Stagecoach (1939) Director: John Ford Stagecoach brought about a revival in the Western genre, which had largely fallen out of favor in the late '20s and '30s. The Western is a mythic depiction of the Western country and prairie, a largely historically untrue heroic story of courage and goodness in an amoral land of savages … Continue reading Stagecoach


Camille (1936) Director: George Cukor Camille is an elegant and beautiful MGM film starring Greta Garbo, and showcasing the heights of classic cinema in the 1930s. It is a story of a love-triangle, based on an 1842 story by Alexandre Dumas fils (the Younger), La Dame aux Camélias ("The Lady with the Camellias"). He wrote the story at … Continue reading Camille

Charlie Chaplin’s First National Films

In 1917-1918, Charlie Chaplin was seeking more independence and greater creative license over his films, which he believed were becoming too stagnant and predictable. His relationship with Mutual ended amicably, and he signed an eight-film contract with First National. His years with First National would prove to be some of the most important in his … Continue reading Charlie Chaplin’s First National Films


Cabiria (1914) Director: Giovanni Pastrone Martin Scorcese once said that the true seed of the epic film genre springs from Pastrone, rather than de Mille or Griffith. Pastrone freed the audience from the static single-shot scenes, thus allowing mobile cameras to take the audience along with the story. Cabiria is the great Italian epic, shot during the … Continue reading Cabiria

The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots

The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots (1895) Director: Alfred Clark The film is sometimes called "The Execution of Mary Stuart" (1895) and it is the earliest surviving film using special effects, notably the 'stop trick.' It lasts about 18 seconds and was produced by Thomas Edison. A male Shakespearean actor wound up playing Mary being led to … Continue reading The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots