Movies of the 20s

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dan.AE, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Dan.AE

    Dan.AE Auditioning

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    I'm doing some research about the 20s, and I want to find some movies that are both set in the 20s (made whenever) and some movies that were made in the 20s. However, my film knowledge isn't quite up to the task of finding some of the more accurate films of the times, so I was hoping some of you could help me out with a list or two of movies that would be both informative and entertaining.

    I'm not really looking for any particular information, just a general feel for the culture at the time.

    So let me know your suggestions!

    thanks

    --
    Dan
     
  2. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    For set in the 20s, it's hard to top Chicago.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Some Like It Hot.
     
  4. Terry St

    Terry St Second Unit

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    Are you looking for films set in the U.S., or just anywhere? The silent cinema of the 20's had no language barriers so film was truly an international medium then. Much more so than it is today.

    If you're looking for American films, I'd check out Buster Keaton's works first. (Kino has a wonderful box set of some of his more popular films, mostly made in the 20's) Although Buster did do some historical/fantasy films, many of his films were set in the present day (the 20's). I think Keaton's films will give you a better feel for the decade than those made by some of his contemporaries, such as Chaplin, since he did a lot more of his shooting outside of soundstages. "Seven Chances" is a nice example of his work in which you'll see a large chunk of 1920's L.A. just in the 40 minute bridal chase sequence. (IMHO, one of the greatest sustained comedic chase sequences ever filmed) Some of Chaplin's films are worth looking up too since he often snuck a little bit of social commentary into his films. You'd probably need to do a little research on the side to appreciate it however. Chaplin had a longer and more prolific career than Keaton, so it can be difficult to find sets containing just his films from the 20's.

    For contrast, check out the first film documentary: "Nanook of the North", made in 1922. Although some of it is staged, the setting is authentic 1920's Canadian far north.

    It would also be helpful if you let us know what aspect of the 20's you're trying to get a feel for. There are plenty of great films made in the 20's that have nothing to do with the 20's themselves, but they do reveal a lot about aspects of culture in the 20's...
     
  5. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I would think that few movies offer as good an example of society and culture in the 1920s than the 1927 silent film It, the movie that famously pitched Clara Bow as the It Girl. (Get the special edition from the Milestone Collection, which includes extras that go into the era.) But that's just my take.

    A more modern film set in the Flapper Era is Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967).
     
  6. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    And of course, the German silent classics Metropolis and Nosferatu. Get the Kino and Image versions, respectively.
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    King Vidor's classic The Crowd was both made in the 20's and provides a portrait of urban life at the time.
     
  8. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    The only titles I have from the 20s are Sunrise and Mickey Mouse in B&W
     
  9. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Several of the Laurel and Hardy silent films (and early soundies for that matter) feature nice exterior shots of 1920s California. You also get the hairstyles, dress, etc. that goes along with that era. You can find those on the "Lost Films of L&H" DVD series.

    For more modern films, isn't "The Great Gatsby" set in the 1920's? It's been a very long time since I've seen it so please correct me if I'm mistaken. It's not all that good a movie though.

    Good luck on your project. It sounds very interesting.

    Steve
     
  10. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Two great silent classics made in the 1920's that I recommend, if you don't mind settling for VHS, are Abel Gance's epic tour-de-force Napoleon, and the 1926 silent classic Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman. Now if they'd just get these out on DVD, I'd be one happy camper indeed.
     
  11. Robert Hutchison

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    Check out Tuner Classic Movies. Almost every Sunday at midnight they air a silent film. Last Sunday it was the 1926 German animated film " The Adventures Of Prince Achmed".
     

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