Silent film comedy Ronnie

The other night I watched Ronald Colman’s 1925 silent movie Her Sister From Paris and these little moments happened…

Especially that second gif cracks me up completely! I think it may be my fave (Colman) gif ever.

It was a fun movie, co-starring Constance Talmadge, an actress I had never heard of before but who seems have to been a top star in the silent movies, famous for her comedies. Short synopsis: A housewife (Constance Talmadge) poses as her twin sister, a notorious dancer, in order to fool her husband (Ronald Colman) and teach him a lesson.

That last hair tousling gif from the movie is quite irresistible too. Ronnie really had very good hair! Here’s another hair tousling gif, from the 1936 (talking) movie Under Two Flags, co-starring Claudette Colbert (I like that little thing she does with the sand, so added that gif here as well)…

Anyway, back to Constance Taldmadge. Ronald made two movies with her. I saw the 1924 movie Her Night of Romance a few weeks ago and it really cracked me up. It’s about an heiress who travels to England disguised as a frump in order to ward off fortune-hunting men. Ronald Colman is a penniless Lord who falls in love with her and then impersonates a physician to get more closely acquainted. There are lots of misunderstandings and attempted cover-ups to hide lies and when attempts are made to make things right, everything gets even worse. There’s this whole section in the film where our hero and heroine tell one person they are married to cover up a compromising situation, then must at the same time hide their ‘marriage’ from the heiress’s dad. A lie is not so easily contained and in the end a whole village shows up to congratulate them. Ridiculous and funny!

All of it is of course quite fanciful and pretty contrived but really so much fun.

I also watched Kiki from 1926 with Constance’s real life older sister Norma as the star. Norma Talmadge was more of a dramatic actress and only made very few comedies but she did do this one with Ronnie. Synopsis: Kiki (Norma Talmadge), a poor young woman who sells newspapers on the street corners of Paris, is able to land a job singing and dancing at a nearby theater. While she is there, she invites herself into the life of the revue’s manager Victor (Ronald Colman), with whom she has fallen in love.

This movie too is quite a lot of fun. Kiki worms her way into the chorus, which is a bit of a disaster…

And at the end, in order to stretch time and to not have to leave Victor, she feigns a sudden onset of catalepsy…

This one’s a fun movie too, although my fave of these three is Her Night of Romance (despite it being the most convoluted one). A cool thing about these movies is that it’s mostly the women propelling the action. 1920s women sure were sassy, in a very good way. There is a down side to these silent films too, though: you can’t hear Ronald’s gorgeous voice…

(P.S. Should you care to watch any of these movies yourself, they are all availabe on Youtube for free.)

2 thoughts on “Silent film comedy Ronnie

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