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TCM Silent Film Schedule: December

Last month, silent films were in the spotlight on TCM, with more than two dozen silents shown. This month is one of the slimmest offerings in a while, only five films. All but one are comedies, and many of those are classics that are must-see.

Yankee Doodle in Berlin (1919): A Mack Sennett feature comedy (his most expensive up to that point), this is essentially a World War I propaganda film. The film stars noted vaudeville female impersonator Bothwell Browne in his only film role. Ford Sterling, the original captain of The Keystone Cops, plays the Kaiser.

The Cameraman (1928): This Buster Keaton film marked the end of his great starring content. His first production with MGM turned out well, as his creative control was still in tact. This was truly the end, though, as the MGM controlled films that followed were not even in the same universe.

The Kid (1921): If you’ve only seen even one Charlie Chaplin film, there’s a good chance it might be this one. His first feature, it’s one of his perfect blends of comedy and pathos: the adoption of a child (Jackie Coogan) by The Tramp.
City Lights (1931): There’s also a very good chance this is one of the Charlie Chaplin films you’ve seen before. And even if it is, it needs to be seen again. One of the greatest films of all time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a film with a more touching ending.

The King of Kings (1927): As a director, Cecil B. DeMille was best known for his epics, and this one certainly fits the bill. The film focuses on the final weeks and days of Jesus (played by H.B. Warner), and features early use of two-strip Technocolor in some scenes.


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