Saturday, May 21, 2016



"It is a painful irony that silent movies were driven out of existence just as they were reaching a kind of glorious summit of creativity and imagination, so that some of the best silent movies were also some of the last ones."-Bill Bryson, One Summer: America, 1927

I was looking at some original film critiques from the  New York Times Film Reviews and thought I would share some of the original thoughts on some films from 1928 from that source.

The Passion of Joan of Arc

 "In The Passion of Joan of Arc, M. Carl Dreyer has produced a singularly arresting and original film, which will certainly be much discussed. He presents the heroine in the new realistic manner as an inspired peasant girl, without the gaudy trappings of legend, and the figure he makes of her is no unworthy companion to the stage picture drawn by Bernard Shaw."-W. L. Middleton, New York Times Film Reviews, August 12, 1928.

The Docks of New York
"Nine-tenths of the persons seeing the Paramount's offering this week will like it. Perhaps the most serious objections the other tenth will have are that The Docks of New York is a little too long and that it has an anti-climax. The picture as a whole is good, however, with able acting and occasional bits of exceptional directing."-Mordaunt Hall, New York Times Film Reviews, September 17, 1928.
Storm Over Asia
"Excellent photography and sterling work by the eminently suitable cast are the conspicuous assets of Vsevolod Pudovkin's silent cinematic contribution, Storm Over Asia...There is, however, much that is compelling in this production in the early scenes, but in the closing episodes it becomes hysterical and absurd events occur, including a man, who through injuries, is hardly able to move around, suddenly becoming a veritable Samson."-Mordaunt Hall, New York Times Film Reviews, September 28, 1930.

The Crowd
"The Crowd is on the whole, a powerful analysis of a young couple's struggle for existence in this city. Throughout this subject, Mr. Vidor shrewdly avoids the stereotyped conception of setting forth scenes and in more than one case he uses the camera in an inspired fashion."-Mordaunt Hall, New York Times Film Reviews, February 20, 1928.

 "The last full year of Hollywood's silent era, 1928, produced some of its greatest masterpieces,"-Martin Ruben, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

"I do wish silent films had endured as an art form alongside the "talkies." But let us enjoy the ones that still survive."-Chris Cox, 1001: A Film Odyssey


  1. Ha ha, I like that you quoted yourself.
    Some of these late silents were truly magnificent. My favorite among those above is Docks of New York, but Sunrise is missing from your list.

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