1920s

Vintage: Portraits of Dolores Costello – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Dolores Costello – Silent Movie Star

Dolores Costello (1903 – 1979) was an American film actress who achieved her greatest success during the era of silent movies. She had a younger sister, Helene, and the two made their first film appearances in the years 1909–1915 as child actresses for the Vitagraph Film Company. The two sisters appeared on Broadway together as chorines and their success resulted…
Vintage: Fiat Rooftop Test Track in Turin (1920s)

Vintage: Fiat Rooftop Test Track in Turin (1920s)

The Lingotto building in Turin, Italy, once housed a Fiat factory. Construction started in 1916 and the building opened in 1923. The design (by young architect Matté Trucco) was unusual in that it had five floors, with raw materials going in at the ground floor, and cars built on a line that went up through the building. Finished cars emerged…
Vintage: Portraits of Pola Negri – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Pola Negri – Silent Movie Star

Pola Negri (1897 – 1987) was a Polish stage and film actress who achieved worldwide fame during the silent and golden eras of Hollywood and European film for her tragedienne and femme fatale roles. Raised in the Congress Kingdom of Poland, Negri’s childhood was marked by several personal hardships: After her father was sent to Siberia, she was raised by…
Vintage: Portraits of Vilma Bánky – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Vilma Bánky – Silent Movie Star

Vilma Bánky (1901 – 1991) was a Hungarian-born American silent film actress, although the early part of her acting career began in Budapest. Her first film appearance was in the now lost film, Im Letzten Augenblick (In the last moment), directed by Carl Boese in Germany in 1919. On a trip to Budapest in 1925, Hollywood film producer Samuel Goldwyn…
Vintage: Lady Dancing With Skeleton by Franz Fiedler (1923)

Vintage: Lady Dancing With Skeleton by Franz Fiedler (1923)

Franz Fiedler (1885 – 1956) was a German photographer. Fiedler was born in Prostějov, near Olomouc in Moravia. Fiedler was a pupil of Hugo Erfurth. He was regarded as an eccentric during his apprenticeship in Pilsen, and worked in 1905 and again in 1912 with Rudof Dührkoop in Hamburg, and from 1908 to 1911 with Hugo Erfurth in Dresden. At…
Vintage: Our Modern Maidens (1929)

Vintage: Our Modern Maidens (1929)

Our Modern Maidens is a 1929 American silent drama film directed by Jack Conway. Starring Joan Crawford in her last silent film role, the film also stars Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Anita Page. Heiress Billie Brown (Crawford), is engaged to marry her longtime sweetheart, budding diplomat Gil Jordan (Fairbanks). When Billie goes to see senior diplomat Glenn…
Vintage: Portraits of Norma Shearer – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Norma Shearer – Silent Movie Star

Norma Shearer (1902 – 1983) was a Canadian-American actress and Hollywood star. Shearer appeared in a few silent movies, but her time in Hollywood coincided with the transition from silent films to sound. She took the lead in MGM’s second “talkie” in 1929. Its success bolstered her career, as did her 1927 marriage to studio chief Thalberg. He may have…
Vintage: Portraits of Betty Bronson – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Betty Bronson – Silent Movie Star

Betty Bronson (1906 – 1971) was an American television and film actress who began her career during the silent film era. Bronson began her film career at the age of 16 with a bit part in Anna Ascends. At 17, she was interviewed by J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan. Although the role had been sought by such established…
Vintage: Portraits of Betty Compson – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Betty Compson – Silent Movie Star

Betty Compson (1897 – 1974) was an American actress most famous in silent films and early talkies. Playing in vaudeville sketches with touring circuits, Compson got noticed by Hollywood producers. While touring, she was discovered by comedic producer Al Christie and signed a contract with him. Her first silent film, Wanted, a Leading Lady, was in November 1915. She made…
Vintage: Portraits by James Abbe (1920s)

Vintage: Portraits by James Abbe (1920s)

James Abbe (1883 – 1973) was an American photographer. His career as international photographer was first boosted by the Washington Post, which commissioned him to travel and take photographs of a 16-day voyage with the American battleship fleet to England and France in 1910. Many years later he traveled throughout Europe as a young photojournalist in the late 1920s and…
Vintage: Portraits of Blanche Sweet – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Blanche Sweet – Silent Movie Star

Blanche Sweet (1896 – 1986) was an American silent film actress who began her career in the earliest days of the Hollywood motion picture film industry. Sweet was known for her energetic, independent roles, at variance with the ‘ideal’ Griffith type of vulnerable, often fragile, femininity. After many starring roles, her first real landmark film was the 1911 Griffith thriller…
Vintage: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Tet Holiday (1920s)

Vintage: Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Tet Holiday (1920s)

Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tet Holiday, is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese people usually return to their families during Tết. Some return to worship at the family altar or visit the graves of their ancestors in their homeland. They also clean the graves of their family as a sign of respect. Although Tết is a national…
Vintage: Portraits of Colleen Moore – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Colleen Moore – Silent Movie Star

Colleen Moore (1899 – 1988) was an American film actress who began her career during the silent film era. At age 15 she was taking her first step in Hollywood. Her uncle arranged a screen test with director D.W. Griffith. She wanted to be a second Lillian Gish but instead, she found herself playing heroines in Westerns with stars such…
Vintage: The Last Laugh (1924)

Vintage: The Last Laugh (1924)

The Last Laugh is a 1924 German silent film directed by German director F. W. Murnau. Jannings’ character is a doorman for a famous hotel, who takes great pride in his work and position. His manager decides that the doorman is getting too old and infirm to present the image of the hotel, and so demotes him to a less…
Vintage: Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Vintage: Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr. is a 1924 American silent comedy film directed by and starring Buster Keaton. A movie theater projectionist and janitor (Buster Keaton) is in love with a beautiful girl (Kathryn McGuire). However, he has a rival, the “local sheik” (Ward Crane). Neither has much money. The projectionist buys a $1 box of chocolates, all he can afford, and changes…
Vintage: Greed (1924)

Vintage: Greed (1924)

Greed is a 1924 American silent film, written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 Frank Norris novel McTeague. John McTeague is a miner working in Placer County, California. A traveling dentist calling himself Dr. “Painless” Potter visits the town, and McTeague’s mother begs Potter to take her son on as an apprentice. Potter agrees and…
Vintage: Pandora’s Box (1929)

Vintage: Pandora’s Box (1929)

Pandora’s Box is a 1929 German silent melodrama film based on Frank Wedekind’s plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1904). Lulu (Louise Brooks) is the mistress of a respected, middle-aged newspaper publisher, Dr. Ludwig Schön (Fritz Kortner). One day, she is delighted when an old man, her “first patron”, Schigolch (Carl Goetz), shows up at the…
Vintage: Portraits of Bebe Daniels – Silent Movie Star

Vintage: Portraits of Bebe Daniels – Silent Movie Star

Bebe Daniels (1901 – 1971) was an American actress. In the 1920s, Daniels was under contract with Paramount Pictures. She made the transition from child star to adult in Hollywood by 1922 and by 1924 was playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire. Following this she was cast in a number of light popular films, namely Miss Bluebeard, The Manicure…
Vintage: The Wind (1928)

Vintage: The Wind (1928)

The Wind is a 1928 pre-code American silent romantic drama film directed by Victor Sjöström. An impoverished young woman named Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) travels west by train from Virginia to live at her cousin Beverly’s isolated ranch in Sweetwater, Texas. On the way, she is bothered by the constantly blowing wind. Fellow passenger and cattle buyer Wirt Roddy (Montagu…
Vintage: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Vintage: Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is a 1927 American silent romantic comedy-drama directed by German director F. W. Murnau (in his American film debut) and starring George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston. A vacationing Woman from the City (Margaret Livingston) lingers in a lakeside town for weeks. After dark, she goes to a farmhouse where the Man (George…