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  • Scraps in Black and White
  • Scraps in Black and White

    Before U.S. copyright law was updated to include motion pictures in 1912, films had to be registered as giant collections of photographic prints, which turned out to be a blessing over the years as film stocks disintegrated but paper prints in the Library of Congress survived. more...
  • Underworld

    The first full-fledged gangster movie and still an effective mood piece, this 1927 milestone was directed by the master of delirious melodrama, Josef von Sternberg. more...
  • The Third Degree

    Hungarian expatriate Michael Curtiz--who would go on to direct Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and other Warner Brothers classics--made his U.S. debut with this silent 1926 drama about a circus trapeze artist (Delores Costello) who marries a playboy (Jason Robards). more...
  • The Man Who Laughs

    Director Paul Leni, whose career was cut short by his death from blood poisoning in 1929, is best remembered for his creaky, campy haunted-house movie The Cat and the Canary, but this elegant Victor Hugo adaptation (1928) gives a much better sense of his considerable dramatic and pictorial talents. more...
  • The Yellow Ticket

    Pola Negri, one of the greatest stars of the silent era, plays a young woman who wants to study medicine in Czarist Russia but must hide her Jewish heritage to do so. more...
  • Midnight Madness

    Produced by Cecil B. DeMille's short-lived production company and directed by the now-forgotten F. Harmon Weight, this 1928 comedy is reportedly a variation on Taming of the Shrew made in the South African Jungle. more...
  • The Patsy

    Thanks to Citizen Kane, Marion Davies is better remembered as William Randolph Hearst's mistress than as the talented comedian she occasionally showed herself to be (Hearst insisted on putting her in deadly costume dramas). more...
  • Faust

    The great F.W. Murnau directed only one real blockbuster in Germany, just before coming to America to make his masterpiece, Sunrise; extravagant in every sense, Faust (1926) is laden with references to Dutch, German, and Italian painting and was rivaled only by Fritz Lang's Metropolis in driving the UFA studio toward bankruptcy. more...
  • Downhill

    Silent-era star Ivor Novello stars in as a public schoolboy who is falsely accused of getting a girl pregnant. more...
  • The Flapper

    A former Ziegfeld girl, Olive Thomas acted in almost two dozen films before dying unexpectedly at age 25. more...