The MoFo Top 50 Pre-1930 Countdown: The List

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I've not seen either. I did however watch one silent film The Lodger with Sean and Raul when they dissected Hitch

I'm liking the presentation on the movies and the movie stats as a jpg, that's how I would've done it



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Hadn't heard of Skeleton Dance but watched it just now and it was good, might have made my list. I guess my one-pointer was also on somebody else's list!




~48~




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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Conrad Veidt (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Casablanca) is terrific in a role which seemed perfect for Lon Chaney.

Like all of von Sternberg's films, Underworld is a textbook of visual storytelling. Check some of his work here.

0/4 from my list
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Underworld marks the first film on here that I've seen and also the first I've voted for. Just a fine piece of gangster cinema.
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Would have watched Underworld but I wasn't aware of it. Maybe I'll catch it before this countdown ends.

I liked The Man Who Laughs but it didn't make my list.



The Man Who Laughs was my #23.

Here's what I said in the Pre-30s Hall of Fame:

"This movie grabbed me tight in the beginning until we fast forward to when most of the story takes place. Instead of being a cool period piece, it turned into a boring romance that I wasn’t a huge fan of. The moments with Queen Anne were excellent, and you can totally see the inspiration for the Joker in Batman in this movie... in that way it’s groundbreaking, but what could have been a masterpiece was simply a decent film."

I'd give it a
, just enough to sneak on my list.

Seen 1/4
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I had Underworld on my watch list, but never got to it before the deadline. I guess it didn't need my help anyway

I liked The Man Who Laughs, I've seen it twice but it didn't make my list and like Underworld I guess it didn't need my help either. Glad to see it on the countdown.



Just watched Underworld - a little too over-exaggerated at times for my taste, especially in the earlier stages, but overall quite enjoyable and whilst it wouldn't have made my list it would have been one of quite a few that were in consideration for the lower echelons.



Amazing to see that Underworld made the list! That was one of the films I was annoyed I didn't watch earlier, so I could have championed it more around here.

I watched it recently and i was blown away by it. Absolutely incredible film, as Mark has mentioned, von Sternberg's visual style is superb. But the plot is so ambitious, quite a complex narrative with elements from different genres, some jaw dropping scenes. I was astonished by how violent the film is, particularly the final act. Definitely the template for gangster films to come, along with Howard Hawk's Scarface which I suspect will be on this list too.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Remember Skeleton Dance from when i was a kid and thanks @mark f for posting it for a rewatch!

Haven't seen Blackmail but The Man Who Laughs was a blind grab for me in the first Pre-30's HoF and it was #16 on my list--



The Man Who Laughs

To die is nothing. Not to live is frightful. ~ Victor Hugo

From the great French Romantic Writer Victor Hugo's L'homme qui rit, who is best known for writing Les Misérable and Hunchback of Notre Dame, this film, due to it's more "grotesque" aspect has been very much mislabeled as a Horror when, in fact, it is, much like Hugo's work, a melodramatic romance.
Our central figure, Gywnplaine is a tragic figure who's outward deformity, much like Quasimodo from HoND, causes him to be treated as a freak by everyone else. A common thread of Hugo's writing (from the very limited knowledge I have of him)
And, as I've stated, this is a romance. With a Germanic expressionist interpretation that brings the emotional and psychological implications with a visual artistry. Seeing Gywnplaine's misery, living with the surgical mistreatment dealt to him as a child in nearly every scene as he continues to hide his "smile" from everyone. Even his love, the blind Dea who "sees" the real Gywnplaine and the beauty within.

Knowing that this is not a Horror but a Romance IS paramount to the enjoyment of this film.

While much of the political accompaniment is left out from the story, the director, Paul Leni still creates an emotionally provoking world scape of both rural and royal England. A lot of the really amazing cinematography appearing in the beginning and especially in the "chase" at the end of the film.

I've been very happy to finally see this "blind grab" and I will be placing it on my list for the Countdown.
And I was able to catch Underworld that final week before the Deadline and what I read about it as setting the stage for gangster films is very on the mark. The opening and ending exploding with gunfire and the basis of the film is a love triangle that was very well done. It came in at #22


MY LIST: Seen 3 out of 4 (75%)
16) The Man Who Laughs (#48)
22) Underworld (#47)
25) The Iron Mask (One Pointer)

Like everyone else, the graphics are apropos and very, VERY well done!!
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