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Another day, another depressing war film...

So, this is the first full length silent film I've ever watched, and I was pleasantly surprised (despite the mood of the film itself). There seemed to be an artistic flair missing from later movies, more akin to theatre, due to the need to convey information and emotion without the benefit of voice. The dialogue, such as it is, is sparse, and presented as text on the screen.

Despite the lack of dialogue, the character development is strong, and the production is rather good. The soundtrack, provided by a Wurlitzer theatre organ also adds a lot of the emotion.

This film takes place during the First World War, and follows Jack, and David, from the same small town, as they enlist in the Air Service, and become pilots. They start out as rivals fueled by their love for the same woman, but as they end up at the same post in France and eventually become good friends. It also follows Mary (played by Clara Bow), the "girl next door", who is in love with Jack, but who he utterly fails to notice.

Without giving away the plot, the film continues on with themes of friendship, spurned love, war, heroism, mistaken identity, tragedy, and reconciliation, all with little dialogue. I can say it took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

Personally, I was utterly amused about the scene where Jack has a bit too much to drink and becomes infatuated with imaginary bubbles. ;)
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chezmax

October 2011

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