Coming Up on TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights in June
The lineup for TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights in June is looking pretty damn fine. Clear some space on those TIVOs for these four great silent films, unless you actually stay up to 2 a.m. In that case, get the coffee maker primed. No matter how you consume these movies, be there or be square.
The Blot (1921) on June 3 at 12:15 am
Silent cinema director Lois Weber was one of the most successful filmmakers of the 1920s but her star faded quickly with the close of the silent era. These days she’s mostly known for a being a chick, which is a shame. That’s a fine accomplishment but not nearly as fine as the well crafted social dramas she produced. While The Blot might sound a bit like one of these creeping things horror movies, it’s actually a drama concerning an impoverish professor, his wife, his daughter, and the three socially disparate suitors of the daughter. Don’t miss the subtle exegesis on income disparity and the social values of various members of society. (Psst… TCM also has a nice little article on Weber and The Blot here.)
The Circle (1925) on June 17 at 12:45 am
The Circle, directed by Frank Borzage, is a drama of manners based on the play by W. Somerset Maugham. In the 1890s, Lady Catherine is to leave her husband (and son) in favor of her lover. 30 years later, young Elizabeth is facing the same choice between her husband and lover. In the meantime, the parents are coming to visit. The best part about The Circle (besides the fact that it survives in really excellent condition) is the young and beautiful Joan Crawford, who is second only to the old and bat-shit crazy Joan Crawford.
The Circus (1928) on June 24 at 8:00 pm
Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp joins the circus in The Circus. To be candid, this one might rank as my least favorite of Chaplin’s silent movies. Like many of the best, the set up is loose and provides opportunity for Chaplin to dazzle us with his kinetic genius. For some reason, for me at least, it falls kind of flat. But if you haven’t seen it, you of course must and then you can back here and tell me how very wrong I am.
Laugh, Clown, Laugh on June 24 at 12:25 pm
Circus night (no kidding) rolls on TCM with Laugh, Clown, Laugh starring the most amazing Lon Chaney. Tito is a circus clown who falls in love with his adopted daughter. Do I really need to say more? Laugh, Clown, Laugh was produced with two ending, on unbearably happy, the other not so much. Please, please, please for all the love of all that is holy, let this airing be the tragic one. Fingers crossed.