The Norman Transcript

Features

September 14, 2013

Silver screen stars: Then and now

NORMAN — Movies are in the business of making money, they hope. However, the primary purpose of movies is to provide entertainment in good times, and diversion in troubled times.

For sheer amusement, the silent movies are, in the vernacular of old timers, a “hoot” and worth watching. You will be bludgeoned over the head and the brain will be rendered numb with the “gawd awful” quality of acting and scripts back then. In the silent movie era, exaggerated mugging was referred to as acting. It was melodrama á la two-year old toddlers because emotions were conveyed without the benefit of sound. In other words, the acting was a true porker, smoked and hammy.

The old movie studios would be filming as many films as there were movie sets available, all at the same time. Consequently, it is probably a blessing that the movies were silent; otherwise, the cacophony of sounds from the movies in progress would have been migraine-inducing nightmares.

The makeup for the silent movies was nearly as exaggerated as for stage actors. The difference being that stage actors had to be visible to everyone, even the folks in the back row or nosebleed balconies. Since movies use close ups, there was no need for makeup by the pound.

Since both men and women wore Pricilla, Queen of the Desert makeup in the silent as well as talking films, it was hard to tell if a guy was manly or not. Except for the über curly hairdos of the women and the slicked-back greasy hair of the men, with all that makeup, including heavy eyeliner, it was a challenge to distinguish the men from the women.

Why they utilized such androgynous makeup back then is a mystery because everything was filmed in black and white. Aside from shadow and light, the heavy makeup made little or no difference in black and white films. Unless, the intention of the director was clownish as opposed to natural appearance of the actors and actresses.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Parents should work on themselves first

    I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem — they are. All this time (however long ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Helping cat with first veterinarian visit

    Dear Dr. Fox: A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Historic quilt from Noble on auction block

    An alert quilter and teacher is concerned about a vintage quilt from Noble that’s being auctioned on eBay....

    July 20, 2014

  • Bark for Life brings pets into fundraising

    Local American Cancer Society member and Norman Regional nurse is at it again, raising awareness for cancer patients with an event that gets people moving. “Bark for Life” is a noncompetitive walk that will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Deadline for entering United Way’s The Ride extended

    Kids ages 3 to 8 are getting ready to roll on their decked out big wheel tricycles in an effort to raise money for the United Way of Norman. The Ride, a big wheel race organized by First American Bank and other local businesses, is ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will host a flapjack fundraiser July 26 at Applebee’s, 500 Ed Noble Parkway in Norman....

    July 20, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new....

    July 20, 2014