It turns out that I really, really like silent moving pictures. I much prefer them to the talkies. Not only don’t I have to strain to understand the faded sound-tracks of movies like Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, but I can sit down and enjoy the acting, the facial expressions, the music, and the pacing.
Because, despite the fact that silent moving pictures (and who knows — maybe even the talkies) are shown just a tad, or perhaps even a lot, too fast on DVD, the pacing of these pictures is a lot more to my taste. There’s time to grasp the nuance, to see what’s happening. And the acting is so very explicit, the plot devices so very overt, that one can just enjoy the movie and the story.
And the girls are prettier than they are nowadays — filled where a girl needs to be rounded out, and with faces that look like the picture postcards my grandfather had pinned over his desk (which may not be a coincidence, but many’s the dream I’ve had when I stayed with my grandparents in Amsterdam over those girls). And they have distinctive faces, instead of all those samey-samey-toothpaste advertorial maps the movie girls nowadays
have their surgeon create for them.
So, this night, we all saw Douglas Fairbanks’ ‘The Three Musketeers’. And we were duly impressed by the fencing. We were extraordinarily impressed by his fencing, of course, and the girls think Douglas Fairbanks is not only a great athlete, and a very funny man (which is a compliment), but also handsome in a pleasing way: not pretty-pretty-big-hunk handsome like Brad Pitt — but he looks like a man they would like to know better. Pity this picture is from 1921… And, that man can move!
The girls were also much impressed by the inn scene where D’Artagnan nicks a roast suckling pig — just like a painting, was Menna’s remark.
We bought The Douglas Fairbanks Collection at Amazon US, and it plays without a hitch on our European Dell laptops.