Movie reviews for movies released theatrically in 1925.
1. The Battleship Potemkin, directed by Sergei Eisenstein (10/10)
Expertly staged anyway, and full of iconic moments, even if it is propaganda. Until you see it, you won’t really understand how many scenes and set-pieces from this movie have been reused by Hollywood. It’s kind of ridiculous.
2. The Gold Rush, directed by Charles Chaplin (10/10)
I haven’t seen this film since I was a teen, so I cannot really give it a fair assessment here. What I can say is that this was the movie that started my love affair with Chaplin (and, because I discovered silent comedy through it, with Keaton). It is also widely esteemed as one of – perhaps the – great silent comedies. So I feel comfortable putting it at nearly the same level as the other masterpieces of the era.
3. The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Rupert Julian (10/10)
This movie is flat out astounding. Yes, there may be the odd moment of implausibility in the staging, but that is totally forgivable given the extraordinary technical innovation. The biggest (and most obvious) of these is the colour: I have yet to see another silent feature film that was so bold about tinting, especially one that used tinting as one of the primary effects of the movie. It’s amazing. From the first change in colour I was dazzled. Also, Chaney plays the second readily identifiable horror villain in film history, which is also pretty awesome. He may not look that creepy now, but I can imagine he looked pretty horrible then.
4. Beggar on Horseback, directed by James Cruze (10/10)
I like my experiments bold, and I guess I can forgive some of the clunkier parts which haven’t dated so well.