You might be surprised to know that during the 1910s and 20s the biggest name in American cinema was that of Lillian Gish. I’m sure you’ve heard of her more notorious contemporaries (good time girl Clara Bow springs to mind) but Miss Gish was the star known as The First Lady of The Silent Screen.
The decade between the Edwardian era and the start of WW1 which laid the basics for the roaring 20s. The corset disappeared, hemlines rose and long hair was bobbed short for the first time.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the day Britain declared war on Germany at the start of World War 1. As it is mostly out of living memory now, the First World War has a tendency to seem a very distant conflict, but when you look at some of the photographs taken at the time(…)
I never stopped to wonder how Adolf Hitler spent the First World War, I certainly never imagined he was a soldier with a creased uniform and a flamboyantly-curled moustache.
Marion Davies is as well known for being a famous man’s mistress as she is for being a movie star. She already had a successful movie career when she first met newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and became his lover. The relationship didn’t do her career any harm at all. He both financed her movies(…)
My blog seems to have taken a decidedly Russian turn this week, what with clearing up the rumours about Rasputin and the last Tzar’s family photos! I’m continuing the trend today with the beautiful Vera Karalli, who was a successful ballerina at the Bolshoi in the 1910s as well as being a popular Russian silent(…)
Historical stage costumes are by their very nature fabulous. Rarely understated they needed to communicate the nature of a character as soon as they step onto the stage. Some are ridiculous intentionally, some not (I fear poor Andreas Dippel was supposed to look heroic but fell rather short of that), and some are simply wonderful(…)
Chaplin, along with his mother and siblings, were sent to the dreaded Victorian workhouse when he was aged just 7. After the breakdown of his parents marriage, his mother struggled to keep the family from destitution but without any help from his father she was unable to keep them out of the workhouse. Parents were(…)
I’m embarrassed to say that a great deal of what I knew about Rasputin came courtesy of Boney M (Lover of the Russian Queen, Russia’s greatest love machine etc.) and urban myth. After looking through the last Tzar’s family photos yesterday I was intrigued enough about Rasputin to try to find out more about him.(…)
It was fascinating to come across these family photos which make Tzar Nicholas II of Russia look like just a normal family, despite the Tzar constantly wearing a stiff impressive uniform and military hat regardless of whether he’s on a cruise, or playing tennis! On the subject of outfits, his daughters Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga and(…)
Marie Doro was an American silent movie actress of the early 1920s. Isn’t she stunning? She started out as a chorus girl and actress at which time she inspired a young Charlie Chaplin to fall madly in love with her. She moved into silent movies in 1915 but sadly 13 out of the 18 movies(…)
You may not have heard of Vera Kholodnaya, but she was Russia’s first major silent movie star. The majority of her movies were destroyed by the Soviet regime and she died under suspicious circumstances aged just 25 but she managed to in a lot of living in her short life! Born in 1893 in Poltava,(…)
Mans Desire: A story of the clash of elemental passions in the depths of the forest primeval. Replete with exceptional snow and storm scenes. I just loved this movie poster from 1919 – the movie sounds cracking doesn’t it? I’ll have to try to track down a copy! Image source and copyright: This media file(…)
Cheerleaders didn’t always look and dress they way they do today. Far from athletic girls in crop tops Cheerleaders of the 1920s looked very different (and they weren’t just women), and in the 1950s it was the band girls dressed in the sexy outfits, the cheerleaders looked very different! Here are some vintage cheerleading photos(…)
Alice Brady was a silent movie actress who won an Oscar for best supporting actress in 1937, and successfully made the transition into talkies. She started her career on the stage and made her silent movie debut in 1914 in As Ye Sow. Over the next 10 years she appeared in over 50 movies as(…)
It’s spring, and so of course my thoughts have returned to Paris, the beautiful city of blossom and boulevards, baguettes and bicyclette *sigh*. But Paris has always had a certain charm it was a very different place when Zeppelins were in the sky or there were German soldiers on the streets. Take a look at(…)
You don’t see fur adverts much these days (or at least I haven’t come across many) but basically fur advertising hasn’t changed much since this type of ad (above) from the 1960s. Why she’s holding a lit cigarette lighter that close to her flammable fur coat I have no idea… Anyway, by now you probably(…)
They are an interesting collection of women who were all photographed in the custody of New South Wales police between 1916 and 1929. They range from notorious brothel madams, to bigamists, murderers, drug dealers, prostitutes and simply the unfortunate, like Kate Ellick who was sentenced to prison because her family were dead and she was(…)
I think the tragic disappearance of Flight MH370 is probably pre-occupying all of us at the moment and it goes without saying that all of our thoughts and prayers go out to those missing and the families of all involved. The seemingly impossibly long wait for news got me thinking about some past mysteries and(…)