Career Achievement Awards For The Silent Era (films released prior to August 1, 1927)
ACTOR: Charles Chaplin
ACTRESS: Lillian Gish
DIRECTOR: D.W. Griffith
Maybe this is what the Academy should have done to honor the three decades of movies that preceded the Oscars, instead of what they did do, which was to allow thousands of movies to molder away in the vaults as if they had never existed, until many of them did in fact no longer exist, having turned to liquified film and ashes long ago.
With the exception of The General, which I consider to be the best movie made before Charles Chaplin's City Lights in 1931, the Katie-Bar-The-Door career achievement awards are for a body of work accomplished prior to August 1, 1927 (the cutoff date for the first Oscars) rather than for a specific film. I'll explain my choices—next week—along with a brief essay on the problem of watching silent movies and finally a selection of "must-see" films from the Silent Era.
Named for Katie-Bar-The-Door, the Katies are "alternate Oscars"—who should have been nominated, who should have won—but really they're just an excuse to write a history of the movies from the Silent Era to the present day.
To see a list of nominees and winners as well as links to my essays about them, click here.
Remember: There are no wrong answers, only movies you haven't seen yet.
The Silent Oscars
And don't forget to check out the Silent Oscars—my year-by-year choices for best picture, director and all four acting categories for the pre-Oscar years, 1902-1927.
Look at me—Joe College, with a touch of arthritis. Are my eyes really brown? Uh, no, they're green. Would we have the nerve to dive into the icy water and save a person from drowning? That's a key question. I, of course, can't swim, so I never have to face it. Say, haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?