Student of Prague, The (1913)

“I agree that Mr. Scapinelli shall take from this room whatever he chooseth for his own use.” Synopsis: A poor university student (Paul Wegener) in love with a countess (Grete Berger) unwittingly gives his reflection to a sorcerer (John Gottowt) in exchange for gold, and soon finds that his reflection is committing crimes in his […]

It (1927)

“Sweet Santa, give me him.” Synopsis: A wealthy fop (William Austin) becomes smitten with a perky shopgirl (Clara Bow) who he believes epitomizes a certain brand of sexual magnetism known as “It”; meanwhile, Bow falls for Austin’s handsome friend (Antonio Moreno), whose parents own the department store where she works. Genres: Clara Bow Films Cross-Class […]

Joyless Street, The (1925)

“One cannot open a door without seeing misery in all its nakedness.” Synopsis: During the depths of the post-WWI Depression in Austria, two young women — the daughter (Greta Garbo) of a councillor (Jaro Furth), and a secretary (Asta Nielsen) eager to marry her poor fiance (Henry Stuart) — degrade themselves in order to survive. […]

Sparrows (1926)

“Please come and take us away from the Grimses cause they are awful mean to us.” Synopsis: A teenaged orphan (Mary Pickford) cares for a group of younger children hidden away on a swamp-filled “baby farm” run by cruel Mr. Grimes (Gustav von Seyffertitz) and his wife (Charlotte Mineau). When Mr. Grimes takes in the […]

Racket, The (1928)

“This is the last murder you’ll ever get away with in my district!” Synopsis: During the Prohibition era, a police captain (Thomas Meighan) is determined to nab a prominent bootlegging gangster (Louis Wolheim) who has consistently used political connections to elude arrest. Genres: Cat-and-Mouse Corruption Gangsters Play Adaptation Police Silent Films Review: This early Academy […]

It’$ Only Money (1962)

“I love private investigators! I want you to investigate me!” Synopsis: While apprenticing with a private eye (Jesse White), a clutzy television repairman (Jerry Lewis) accidentally discovers he’s the long-lost nephew of a millionairess (Mae Questel) whose slimy fiancee/lawyer (Zachary Scott) is colluding with her butler (Jack Weston) to acquire her money at any cost. […]

Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

“Oh Alfred, what is the matter? You’re acting like a crocodile with a toothache.” Synopsis: When a renowned conductor (Rex Harrison) is led to believe that his beautiful young wife (Linda Darnell) is cheating on him with his secretary (Kurt Kreuger), he concocts several elaborate scenarios for revenge. Genres: Black Comedy Infidelity Linda Darnell Films […]

Intolerance (1916)

“Our play is made up of four separate stories, laid in different periods of history, each with its own set of characters. Each story shoes how hatred and intolerance, through all the ages, have battled against love and charity.” Synopsis: Four stories set in different time periods — ancient Babylonia, 16th century France, the era […]

My Best Girl (1927)

“You wouldn’t have kissed me if I weren’t your best girl.” Synopsis: A stockgirl (Mary Pickford) in a five-and-dime falls in love with a new employee (Charles Rogers), not realizing he’s really the wealthy heir of the store, and already engaged to a society girl (Avonne Taylor). Genres: Cross-Class Romance Mary Pickford Films Mistaken or […]

Blood and Sand (1922)

“In a man’s life there is sometimes a good love and a bad love.” Synopsis: An aspiring bullfighter (Rudolph Valentino) marries his childhood sweetheart (Lila Lee), but breaks her heart by having an affair with a vampish noblewoman (Nita Naldi). Genres: Bullfighting Femmes Fatales Infidelity Rudolph Valentino Films Silent Films Review: This enormously popular Rudolph […]