Transitional sound films

Posted Mar 8, 2012
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  1. Show Boat
    #1

    Show Boat (1929)

    911 views

    Show Boat is a 1929 American romantic drama film based on the novel Show Boat by Edna Ferber. It is not, as has been often claimed, based on the Kern-Hammerstein stage musical, although the film does have songs. This version was released by Universal in two editions, one a silent film for movie theatres still not equipped for sound, and one a part-talkie with a sound prologue.


  2. The Jazz Singer
    #2

    The Jazz Singer (1927)

    693 views

    The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Directed by Alan Crosland and produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the film, featuring six songs performed by Al Jolson, is based on The Day of Atonement, a play by Samson Raphaelson.


  3. Our Dancing Daughters
    #3

    Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

    570 views

    Our Dancing Daughters is a 1928 American silent drama film, starring Joan Crawford and John Mack Brown, about the "loosening of youth morals" that took place during the 1920s. The film was directed by Harry Beaumont and produced by Hunt Stromberg. This was the film that made Joan Crawford a major star, a position she held for the following half century.


  4. 4 Devils
    #4

    4 Devils (1928)

    563 views

    4 Devils (also known as Four Devils) is a lost 1928 American silent drama film directed by German film director F. W. Murnau and starring Janet Gaynor.


  5. 7th Heaven
    #5

    7th Heaven (1927)

    433 views

    7th Heaven (also known as Seventh Heaven) is a 1927 American silent romantic drama directed by Frank Borzage, and starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The film is based upon the 1922 play Seventh Heaven, by Austin Strong and was adapted for the screen by Benjamin Glazer. 7th Heaven was initially released as a standard silent film. On September 10, 1927, Fox Film Corporation re-released the film with a synchronized Movietone soundtrack with a musical score and sound effects.


  6. The Godless Girl
    #6

    The Godless Girl (1929)

    374 views

    The Godless Girl (1928) is a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shown for years as his last completely silent film.


  7. Noah's Ark
    #7

    Noah's Ark (1928)

    368 views

    Noah's Ark is a 1928 American early romantic melodramatic disaster film directed by Michael Curtiz. The story was by Darryl F. Zanuck. The film starred Dolores Costello and George O'Brien, and released by the Warner Bros. studio. The film was representative of the transition from silent movies to "talkies", although it was essentially a hybrid film known as a part-talkie, utilizing the new (at that time) Vitaphone sound-on-disc system. Most scenes are silent with a synchronized music score and sound effects, in particular the biblical ones, while some scenes have dialogue.


  8. Don Juan
    #8

    Don Juan (1926)

    320 views

    Don Juan is a 1926 American romantic adventure/drama film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it has no spoken dialogue. The film is inspired by Lord Byron's 1821 epic poem of the same name. The screenplay was written by Bess Meredyth with intertitles by Maude Fulton and Walter Anthony.


  9. The Divine Lady
    #9

    The Divine Lady (1929)

    287 views

    The Divine Lady is a 1929 American Vitaphone sound film with synchronized musical score and sound effects, as well as some synchronized singing sequences. The film, however, featured no spoken dialogue. The film tells the story of the love affair between Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton. It featured a theme song entitled "Lady Divine" with lyrics by Richard Kountz and music by Nathaniel Shilkret, which became a popular hit in 1929 and was recorded by numerous artists such as Shilkret, Frank Munn, Ben Selvin (as "The Cavaliers"), Smith Ballew, Adrian Schubert, Sam Lanin, and Bob Haring.


  10. Show People
    #10

    Show People (1928)

    276 views

    Show People is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by King Vidor. The film was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies (to a decidedly unimpressed reaction by herself in character as Peggy Pepper).


  11. Old San Francisco
    #11

    Old San Francisco (1927)

    268 views

    Old San Francisco is a 1927 American silent historical drama film starring Dolores Costello and Warner Oland, and directed by Alan Crosland. The film was produced and distributed by Warner Bros.


  12. Abie's Irish Rose
    #12

    Abie's Irish Rose (1928)

    236 views

    Abie's Irish Rose is a 1928 early talking (part-talkie) film directed by Victor Fleming, based on the play Abie's Irish Rose by Anne Nichols. The film was later remade in 1946.


  13. Our Modern Maidens
    #13

    Our Modern Maidens (1929)

    242 views

    Our Modern Maidens is a 1929 American silent drama film directed by Jack Conway. Starring Joan Crawford in her last silent film role, the film also stars Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Anita Page. Our Modern Maidens has no audible dialog, but features a synchronized soundtrack and sound effects.


  14. The Pagan
    #14

    The Pagan (1929)

    194 views

    The Pagan is a 1929 silent/part talking romantic drama filmed in Tahiti and produced and distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Both director W. S. Van Dyke and cinematographer Clyde De Vinna had previously visited Tahiti in 1928 to film White Shadows in the South Seas. The Pagan stars Ramón Novarro.


  15. The Canary Murder Case
    #15

    The Canary Murder Case (1929)

    206 views

    The Canary Murder Case is a 1929 American Pre-Code crime-mystery film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Malcolm St. Clair and Frank Tuttle. The screenplay was written by Willard Huntington Wright (as S.S. Van Dine), Albert S. Le Vino, and Florence Ryerson, based on novel The Canary Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine. It was the first film in the series of Philo Vance films adapted from the novels, starring William Powell as Philo Vance, Jean Arthur, James Hall and Louise Brooks as "the Canary".


  16. Blackmail
    #16

    Blackmail (1929)

    208 views

    Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard. Based on the 1928 play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, the film is about a London woman who is blackmailed after killing a man who tries to rape her.


  17. Lady of the Pavements
    #17

    Lady of the Pavements (1929)

    162 views

    Lady of the Pavements (UK title: Lady of the Night) is a 1929 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lupe Vélez, William Boyd, and Jetta Goudal. Griffith reshot the film to include a couple of musical numbers, making it a part-talkie.


  18. Dynamite
    #18

    Dynamite (1929)

    179 views

    Dynamite is a 1929 American Pre-Code drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford, and Julia Faye. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, John Howard Lawson, and Gladys Unger, the film is about a convicted murderer scheduled to be executed, whom a socialite marries simply to satisfy a condition of her grandfather's will. Mitchell Leisen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.


  19. The Wolf Song
    #19

    The Wolf Song (1929)

    161 views

    Wolf Song is a 1929 American silent Western romance drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Gary Cooper and Lupe Vélez. Based on a story by Harvey Fergusson, the film is about a man who heads out west in 1840 looking for adventure and meets a group of mountain men who take him into the Rocky Mountains to trap beavers and cats. The man meets a beautiful Mexican woman in Taos who comes from a proud and wealthy family. They fall in love and elope, and he becomes torn between his love for her and his desire for travelin'. The film contains a synchronized score and sound effects, as well as some synchronized singing sequences. This Pre-Code film is notable for showing Gary Cooper almost entirely nude as he shaves and washes in a river.


  20. The Thirteenth Chair
    #20

    The Thirteenth Chair (1929)

    138 views

    The Thirteenth Chair is a 1929 American Pre-Code mystery film directed by Tod Browning. The picture is based on a 1916 play of the same name by Bayard Veiller. The supporting cast features Bela Lugosi, whom Browning would direct as Dracula two years later.


  21. Four Sons
    #21

    Four Sons (1928)

    134 views

    Four Sons is a 1928 silent drama film directed and produced by John Ford and written for the screen by Philip Klein from a story by I. A. R. Wylie first published in the Saturday Evening Post as "Grandmother Bernle Learns Her Letters" (1926). It is one of only a handful of survivors out of the more than fifty silent films that Ford directed between 1917 and 1928. It starred Margaret Mann, James Hall, and Charles Morton. The film is also notable for the presence of the young John Wayne in an uncredited role as an officer. Though "silent," it was released with a Movietone music and sound effects track.


  22. Tarzan the Tiger
    #22

    Tarzan the Tiger (1929)

    82 views

    Tarzan the Tiger (1929) is a Universal movie serial based on the novel Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It stars Frank Merrill as Tarzan, Natalie Kingston as Jane, and Al Ferguson. It was written by Ian McClosky Heath and directed by Henry MacRae.


  23. I Kiss Your Hand Madame
    #23

    I Kiss Your Hand Madame (1929)

    86 views

    Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame is a 1929 German drama film starring Marlene Dietrich. It was released in the United States as I Kiss Your Hand, Madame in 1932. It was produced by Super-Film. There is no dialogue in the original version of this film, which was silent, apart from the title-song by Ralph Erwin, text by Fritz Rotter, that had been specially recorded by Richard Tauber to be played during the screening. Tauber himself does not actually appear in the film.


  24. Where East Is East
    #24

    Where East Is East (1929)

    84 views

    Where East Is East is a 1929 silent movie starring Lon Chaney as an animal trapper in Laos. The picture is Chaney's penultimate silent film and the last of his collaborations with director Tod Browning. While this film is essentially a silent film in form, with intertitles and no spoken dialogue, MGM released it with a Movietone soundtrack of effects and music.


  25. The Singing Fool
    #25

    The Singing Fool (1928)

    104 views

    The Singing Fool is a 1928 musical drama Part-Talkie motion picture which was released by Warner Bros.. The film starred Al Jolson and was a follow-up to his previous film, The Jazz Singer. It is credited with helping to cement the popularity of both sound and the musical genre.


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