The movie poster and headshot collection at the American Treasure Tour is exceptional not only in its size but also in its range. Not only are modern films celebrated, but also many of the silent films almost never seen anymore. With the advent of sound for film, the popularity of the silent began to wane. Now, only the most fervent of film lovers watch them – and they are the true winners because many of these movies were thought provoking, clever and occasionally absolutely hilarious.
That said, today we begin an exploration into a movie called Street Angel. This was the story of a young woman willing to do what she needed so she could take care of her sick mother. When she tried to steal money for mom’s medicine and got caught in the act, she ran. By the time she returned home, mom was already dead. Poverty stricken and alone, she joined the traveling circus and fell in love. But her past crimes refused to leave her alone. Directed by Frank Borzage and starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, Street Angel was a technological, commercial and critical hit upon its release. Released during the awkward transition to sound, the film used intertitles for dialogue, but included pre-created music and sound effects, and won numerous Oscars at the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. More on that tomorrow….