Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Silent Oscars: 1923 (Unofficial)

Along with Méliès's rocket hitting the moon in the eye and Chaplin as the Tramp, Harold Lloyd hanging from the hands of a clock is one of the most iconic images of the silent era. And the movie it comes from, Safety Last!, is quintessential Lloyd—the nebbishy nice guy with the glasses who winds up performing some truly outrageous and inventive physical stunts, all for love.

I'm going with Lloyd for best actor.

My choice for best picture is The Hunchback of Notre Dame. You've probably heard of it—stars a fellow named Lon Chaney in one of his most famous roles.

Finally, according to Alternate Oscar guru Danny Peary, I'm entitled to one tie in the actor category and one in the actress. I'm using my actress tie here, to recognize Colleen Moore and Norma Talmadge with what are essentially career achievement awards. Only one reel of Flaming Youth survives, but it was a trendsetter—much more than anything Louise Brooks would later do, Colleen Moore with this role established the "flapper look" in the minds of the public—and along with those films of Moore's that do survive, I think she's one of the top actresses of the silent era. As for Norma Talmadge, she was to the silent era what Bette Davis was to the Golden Age. Her best available movie is the 1926 comedy Kiki, but Within the Law is actually more typical.

Picture: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (prod. Carl Laemmle and Irving Thalberg)

Actor: Harold Lloyd (Safety Last!)

Actress: Colleen Moore (Flaming Youth) and Norma Talmadge (Within The Law) (tie)

Director: Abel Gance (La Roue)

Supporting Actor: Adolphe Menjou (A Woman Of Paris)

Supporting Actress: Gladys Brockwell (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame)

Screenplay: Perley Poore Sheehan (adaptation) and Edward T. Lowe Jr. (scenario), from the novel by Victor Hugo (The Hunchback Of Notre Dame)

1 comment:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Much appreciated, especially since Ms. Who and I now have a working VCR of our very own, plus Netflix, yes! And we are about to follow the path of the Monkey.

Howsomever! ... I am afraid that the lede for every Myth post from now on will now suffer by way of comparison with the opening clause of May 4 which shall live forever in my memory, to wit:

"With all due respect to Bela Lugosi ..."

You just can't beat that and i aint lyin' -- who could read those words and then not keep reading? Heck that could be the title of a damn good book!