By John T. Soister
Throughout the Silent period, whilst such a lot movies handled dramatic or comedic takes at the "boy meets lady, boy loses woman" subject, different films dared to take on such themes as rejuvenation, revivication, mesmerism, the supernatural and the gruesome. A Daughter of the Gods (1916), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Magician (1926) and 7 Footprints to devil (1929) have been one of the strange and startling movies containing tale components that went some distance past the area of "highly unlikely." utilizing surviving documentation and their mixed services, the authors catalog and speak about those departures from the norm during this encyclopedic consultant to American horror, technology fiction and fable within the years from 1913 via 1929.
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Additional resources for American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929
The latter is a peace-at-any-price man who hates the idea of building up the army and navy as much as he hates to take physical exercise. He is a cold-blooded plutocrat, self-loving and opinionated, but truly devoted to his two daughters. Virginia is a real “American beauty,” as father and mother both proudly call her, and little Dorothy is the ﬂower of the family. Into his home Vandergriff welcomes Emanon, who also professes to be an advocate of peace, but who in reality is a spy. Emanon is a distinctly foreign type, polished of manner, suave and oily of tongue, and a two-poled magnet draws him to the Vandergriff household — its master’s enthusiastic support of Peaceful Policies, and the charm and beauty of Virginia (to say nothing of the many good American dollars that would constitute her dowry for the lucky individual who leads her to the altar).
She discusses the operations of The Bat as if they were everyday happenings in the drawing room. And even in the closing chapter she has the last word, not being in the least discommoded by the ﬁring of a pistol while her back is turned … a bag with a mere matter of $200,000 is tossed about from one place to another worrying everybody except the delightful Miss Van Gorder, a part cleverly acted by Emily Fitzroy. “The picture ran 91 minutes— a long time for anybody’s picture, but it was interesting every minute of the way,” stated Variety’s Sisk, who should be grateful he’s not around today to test his fanny muscles on the likes of The Watchmen.
Then, too, there’s the most poignant point: was there ever a horror worse than that of war? Although the picture’s oxymoronic title gives little hint, the two minds behind The Battle Cry of Peace soared with hawks rather than doves. Battle Cry been often described as being “based on” Hudson Maxim’s diatribe on the country’s lack of preparedness, Defenseless America, but “inspired by” is closer to the truth. Even though both works stopped short of actually advocating an immediate declaration of war against anyone, book and motion picture strongly made the case for armament in the event that conﬂict would become unavoidable.
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929 by John T. Soister