The Last Days of the Silent Films, Part 2

In the second of a two-part episode, Lon Davis, author of the critically acclaimed “Silent Lives,” returns to “The Online Movie Show” to discuss the transition from silent films to the talkies, focusing on stars who made the leap into the new medium (including Garbo, Neil Hamilton and Laurel and Hardy) along with now-forgotten performers who did not (including Madame Olga Petrova, Karl Dane and Mary McLaren).

The episode can be heard here.

“The Online Movie Show” is produced at the Platinum Wolfe Studios.


The Bootleg Files: Garbo

BOOTLEG FILES 583: “Garbo” (1969 BBC documentary narrated by Joan Crawford).

LAST SEEN: An unauthorized posting is on YouTube.



CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It was announced for a 2005 release, but that never happened.

Around 1985, I was walking down First Avenue in New York City when I noticed an elderly woman coming down the street. I immediately recognized this woman – for many years, she had been the elusive object of tabloid photographers eager to snap her picture. I debated whether I should make any acknowledgement of her presence and decided that it would be best to allow her to maintain the legendary privacy associated with her name. And thus, in less than a New York minute, I had my encounter with Greta Garbo.

Continue reading

Two-Faced Woman (1941)

Two-Faced-Woman-PosterFollowing up “Ninotchka” is something of a task, especially since Ernest Lubitch’s cinematic masterpiece went on to immortality. For Melvyn Douglas and Greta Garbo, “The Two Faced Woman” is a disappointing follow-up but I’m shocked it was so poorly received by literally everyone during its initial release. “The Two-Faced Woman” is reportedly the film that ended Greta Garbo’s career when she quit show business after the poor reviews during the film’s run destroyed her enthusiasm for acting. As for George Cukor’s film itself, “The Two Faced Woman” is not the disaster I expected, but it’s certainly no masterpiece.

Continue reading