The pioneer of this genre of movies Charlie Chaplin (April 16, 1889 – December 25, 1977) had an uncanny knack of delivering clips after clips with flawless performances and impeccable comic timing which preserve the relevance of silent movies even in the very aggressive talking movie era.

The American Great Depression of 1929 saw the stock market crumble to pieces, making it one of the most stressful periods of the pre-World War II era. During that catastrophic period, Chaplin’s movies connected humour with satirical in such a fine manner that they conveyed the messages as well as put broad smiles on the face of the beleaguered masses.

Post World War II, the release of The Jazz Singer (1927) announced the arrival of sound movies, which resulted in the waning of silent movies. Talkie movies had more mass-appeal and business drawing contents, so movie makers opted for the more lucrative option.  

However, connoisseurs of comedy are trying to revive the silent movies. Recently, Anurag Basu, director of Hindi movie Barfi! (2012), tried to rejuvenate the silent movie era as both leading characters of the film, enacted by Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra were mute. Also, a TV serial, Gutur Gu, India's first silent comedy series directed by Prabal Baruah, was started in 2010 on SAB TV.
According to psychologists, facial expressions and eye movements have more impact than words, so it could well be expected to see resurgence of the fine art of silent media.

To conclude, it would be prudent to name a few players of the era who, along with the Tramp, Charlie Chaplin made their mark:

Roscoe Arbuckle: Roscoe Conkling, popularly known as "Fatty" Arbuckle was one of the finest silent film actors.  Born on March 24, 1887 in Kansas, USA, Arbuckle was also a director and screenwriter.

Monty Banks:  Popularly known as Monty,  Banks was a comedian and director. Born on July 15, 1897 in Cesena, Italy, Banks is remembered for his role in comedy-thriller Play Safe (1927).

Alfred Eric Campbell: Born on April 26, 1879  in Los Angeles, California, United States,  Campbell was a key member of Charlie Chaplin's film ensemble. He appeared in 11 of Chaplin's films before he was killed in a car crash at the age of 38.

Mae Dahlberg: Born on May 24, 1888 in Australia, Mae Dahlberg was one of the veteran actors of silent movies.  He was also a music hall and vaudeville performer.  

Lloyd Vernon Hamilton:  Known for brilliant work in silent movies,  Lloyd Vernon Hamilton was born on August 19, 1891 in Oakland, California, USA. He is best remembered for his work in a string of two-reel serials.

Written by Raju Kumar/JPN

Latest News from Entertainment News Desk