Even a super-expensive film school education doesn’t prepare you for the scope and importance of the silent film era. It was a time where film was literally being figured out on the fly, conventions were being created, stars were born and a language we now take for granted was being written. The journey from film’s earliest incarnation to the sound era is one marked by innumerable milestones, and a 13-part miniseries does an excellent job at putting some of that into perspective.

Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film was produced in 1980 by Thames Television. Directed by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill with narration by James Mason, the show attempts to do exactly what its title suggests: tell the history of American silent film. The entire series resides on YouTube and while you probably won’t be able to finish it in one sitting, the show is a more than worthy addition to your ever expanding instant queue. Read More »

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