NosferatuShadowYou can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  There are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  But remember, there were only a handful of Oscar categories in this, the second year of the Oscars (and, in fact, several fewer than the year before).

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Nosferatu
  2. The Wind
  3. Steamboat Bill Jr
  4. L’Argent
  5. Lonesome (more…)
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sunrise7shotsYou can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  There are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  But remember, there were only a handful of Oscar categories in this, the first year of the Oscars.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Sunrise
  2. Metropolis
  3. The Man Who Laughs
  4. The Circus
  5. 7th Heaven (more…)
One of the beautiful and haunting images from Sunrise.  Nothing to do with the script, but great to look at.

One of the beautiful and haunting images from Sunrise. Nothing to do with the script, but great to look at.

My Top 10:

  1. Sunrise
  2. 7th Heaven
  3. The Man Who Laughs
  4. The Love of Jeanne Ney
  5. The Cat and the Canary
  6. Tartuffe
  7. Sadie Thompson
  8. The Lodger
  9. Laugh Clown Laugh
  10. The Scarlet Letter (more…)

Greed-notes-and-queries-v-007You can read more about this year in film here.  Since this is the pre-Oscar era, clearly there are no Best Picture reviews to link to.  So, without further ado, here are the initial Nighthawk Awards, covering the entire pre-Oscar era.  There are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:
  1. Greed
  2. The Battleship Potemkin
  3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  4. The Gold Rush
  5. The Phantom of the Opera

note:  A good year for films because there are so many.  The next five, in order, are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Birth of a Nation, Faust, The Last Laugh and Foolish Wives and the **** films go all the way down to #16. (more…)

I grabbed this banner from altscreen.com.  They deserve credit, because it's awesome.

I grabbed this banner from altscreen.com. They deserve credit, because it’s awesome.

My Top 10 Adapted Screenplays:

  1. Greed  (1925)
  2. The Phantom of the Opera  (1925)
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (1923)
  4. Faust  (1926)
  5. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (1921)
  6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  (1920)
  7. Ingeborg Holm  (1913)
  8. Oliver Twist  (1922)
  9. The Birth of a Nation  (1915)
  10. The Avenging Conscience  (1914) (more…)

Lon Chaney - the first of the great actors

In some ways, it’s only appropriate.  The first great actor should come out of the horror genre.  After all, the horror genre was the first great collection of films.  And it wasn’t just American films, either.  In fact, two of the best films of the silent era were German horror films – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu.  Then the genius seemed to travel across the Atlantic (literally, in the case of Nosferatu director F.W. Murnau) and great horror films began to bloom in the States.  At the forefront of that was Lon Chaney, one of the great actors in film history.  He also became one of the first great losses to film history when he died at the age of 47 of lung cancer in 1930, 81 years ago today.

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The brilliant reveal of Lon Chaney as the Phantom - some of the best makeup work in film history

My DVR is going nuts today as I record 9 films in the next 24 hours.  It’s Lon Chaney Day on TCM and if you’re not excited, you should be.  If you love film, then you should love Chaney.

I am up to the 90’s in my current two film series, but don’t think I’m not still looking back at classic films.  I was stunned to see that TCM had 9 Chaney films that I hadn’t seen and I intend to make sure I watch them.

How great is Chaney?  Well, I ranked his performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame as the third best of the 20’s and his performance in Phantom of the Opera as the sixth best.  Though I listed Emil Jannings as the best actor of the 20’s, I think now I was wrong.  In fact, since Chaplin made so few feature-length films, I think there is a strong argument to be made that Lon Chaney was the greatest actor of the Silent Era.  If you don’t believe me, then make sure you watch the films today.  They started at 6 this morning, but they go until 6 tomorrow, so you have plenty of time to catch them.

Here are some of the highlights: