Transitional sound films

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This list has 86 members. See also Silent films, Film sound production, History of film, 1920s in film

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  1. Show Boat

    Show Boat (1929)

    779 views

    Show Boat is a 1929 American romantic drama film based on the novel of the same name by Edna Ferber, not, as has been often claimed, on the Kern-Hammerstein stage musical, although the film does have songs. This version was released by Universal in two editions, one a silent film for movie theatres still not equipped for sound, and one a part-talkie with a sound prologue. The storyline follows the novel rather closely, with the significant exception of the racial angle present in the novel and in virtually all other adaptations of it, including the celebrated 1927 Broadway musical version and the film versions of the musical, made, respectively, in 1936 and 1951. (Some live radio adaptations of the musical would also omit or heavily alter the racial angle.)


  2. The Jazz Singer

    The Jazz Singer (1927)

    651 views

    The Jazz Singer is a 1927 American musical film. The first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Directed by Alan Crosland and produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the movie stars Al Jolson, who performs six songs. The film is based on The Day of Atonement, a play by Samson Raphaelson.


  3. Our Dancing Daughters

    Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

    522 views

    Our Dancing Daughters is a 1928 American silent drama film starring Joan Crawford and John Mack Brown (later billed after a career decline as "Johnny Mack Brown"), about the "loosening of youth morals" that took place during the 1920s. The film was directed by Harry Beaumont and produced by Hunt Stromberg. This was the film that made Joan Crawford a major star, a position she held for the following half century.


  4. 4 Devils

    4 Devils (1928)

    513 views

    4 Devils (also known as Four Devils) is a lost 1928 American silent drama film directed by German film director F. W. Murnau and starring Janet Gaynor.


  5. The Godless Girl

    The Godless Girl (1929)

    330 views

    The Godless Girl (1928) is a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shown for years as his last completely silent film.


  6. Noah's Ark

    Noah's Ark (1928)

    320 views

    Noah's Ark is a 1928 American early romantic melodramatic disaster film directed by Michael Curtiz and written by Darryl F. Zanuck. The film starred Dolores Costello and George O'Brien. Released by Warner Bros. studio, the film was representative of the transition from silent movies to "talkies", although it was essentially a kind of film known as a part-talkie, utilizing new (at that time) Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology. Some scenes are silent, in particular the biblical ones, while others have sound.


  7. Don Juan

    Don Juan (1926)

    292 views

    Don Juan is a 1926 American romantic adventure/drama film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack, though it has no spoken dialogue. The film is inspired Lord Byron's 1821 epic poem of the same name. The screenplay was written by Bess Meredyth with intertitles by Maude Fulton and Walter Anthony.


  8. The Divine Lady

    The Divine Lady (1929)

    270 views

    The Divine Lady is a 1929 Vitaphone sound film with a synchronized musical score and sound effects. The film, however, featured no spoken dialogue. The film tells the story of the love affair between Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton. It featured a theme song entitled "Lady Divine" with lyrics by Richard Kountz and music by Nathaniel (Nat) Shilkret. The song became a popular hit in 1929 and was recorded by numerous artists such as Nat Shilkret, Frank Munn, Ben Selvin (as The Cavaliers), Smith Ballew, Adrian Schubert, Sam Lanin, and Bob Haring.


  9. Show People

    Show People (1928)

    261 views

    Show People is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by King Vidor. The film was a starring vehicle for actress Marion Davies and actor William Haines and included notable cameo appearances by many of the film personalities of the day, including stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart and John Gilbert, and writer Elinor Glyn. Vidor also appears in a cameo as himself, as does Davies (to a decidedly unimpressed reaction by herself in character as Peggy Pepper).


  10. Old San Francisco

    Old San Francisco (1927)

    251 views

    Old San Francisco is a 1927 American silent historical drama film starring Dolores Costello and Warner Oland, and directed by Alan Crosland. The film was produced and distributed by Warner Bros.


  11. Abie's Irish Rose

    Abie's Irish Rose (1928)

    220 views

    Abie's Irish Rose is a 1928 early talking (part-talkie) film directed by Victor Fleming, based on the play Abie's Irish Rose by Anne Nichols.


  12. Our Modern Maidens

    Our Modern Maidens (1929)

    188 views

    Our Modern Maidens is a 1929 American silent drama film directed by Jack Conway. Starring Joan Crawford in her last silent film role, the film also stars Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Anita Page. Our Modern Maidens has no audible dialog, but features a synchronized soundtrack and sound effects.


  13. Blackmail

    Blackmail (1929)

    182 views

    Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard. Based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, the film is about a London woman who is blackmailed after killing a man that tries to rape her.


  14. The Pagan

    The Pagan (1929)

    180 views

    The Pagan is a 1929 silent/part talking romantic drama filmed in Tahiti and produced and distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Both director W. S. Van Dyke and cinematographer Clyde De Vinna had previously visited Tahiti in 1928 to film White Shadows in the South Seas. The Pagan stars Ramón Novarro.


  15. The Canary Murder Case

    The Canary Murder Case (1929)

    178 views

    The Canary Murder Case (1929) is a crime/mystery film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Malcolm St. Clair and Frank Tuttle. The screenplay was written by Willard Huntington Wright (as S.S. Van Dine), Albert S. Le Vino, and Florence Ryerson, based on novel The Canary Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine. It was the first film in the series of Philo Vance films adapted from the novels, starring William Powell as Philo Vance, Louise Brooks as the Canary, and Jean Arthur as Alys LaFosse.


  16. Lady of the Pavements

    Lady of the Pavements (1929)

    141 views

    Lady of the Pavements (1929; UK title: Lady of the Night) is a silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lupe Vélez, William Boyd, and Jetta Goudal. Griffith reshot the film to include a couple of musical numbers, making it a part-talkie.


  17. Dynamite

    Dynamite (1929)

    140 views

    Dynamite is a 1929 American drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford, and Julia Faye. Written by Jeanie MacPherson, John Howard Lawson, and Gladys Unger, the film is about a convicted murderer scheduled to be executed, whom a socialite marries simply to satisfy a condition of her grandfather's will. Mitchell Leisen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.


  18. The Wolf Song

    The Wolf Song (1929)

    131 views

    The Wolf Song is a 1929 American silent Western romance drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Gary Cooper and Lupe Vélez. Based on a story by Harvey Fergusson, the film is about a man who heads out west in 1840 looking for adventure and meets a group of mountain men who take him into the Rocky Mountains to trap beavers and cats. The man meets a beautiful Mexican woman in Taos who comes from a proud and wealthy family. They fall in love and elope, and he becomes torn between his love for her and his desire for travelin'. The film contains a synchronized score and sound effects. This Pre-Code film is notable for showing full frontal nudity. Gary Cooper is seen entirely nude as he shaves and washes in a river.


  19. The Thirteenth Chair

    The Thirteenth Chair (1929)

    123 views

    The Thirteenth Chair is a 1929 American mystery film directed by Tod Browning. The picture is based on a 1916 play of the same name by Bayard Veiller. The supporting cast features Bela Lugosi, whom Browning would direct as Dracula two years later.


  20. Four Sons

    Four Sons (1928)

    122 views

    Four Sons is a 1928 silent drama film directed and produced by John Ford and written for the screen by Philip Klein from a story by I. A. R. Wylie first published in the Saturday Evening Post as Grandmother Bernle Learns Her Letters (1926). It is one of only a handful of survivors out of the more than fifty silent films that Ford directed between 1917 and 1928. It starred Margaret Mann, James Hall, and Charles Morton. The film is also notable for the presence of the young John Wayne in an uncredited role as an Officer. Though "silent," it was released with a Movietone music and sound effects track.


  21. Tarzan the Tiger

    Tarzan the Tiger (1929)

    79 views

    Tarzan the Tiger (1929) is a Universal movie serial based on the novel Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It stars Frank Merrill as Tarzan, Natalie Kingston as Jane, and Al Ferguson. It was written by Ian McClosky Heath and directed by Henry MacRae.


  22. The Iron Mask

    The Iron Mask (1929)

    77 views

    The Iron Mask is a 1929 American part-talkie adventure film directed by Allan Dwan. It is an adaptation of the last section of the novel The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas, père, which is itself based on the French legend of The Man in the Iron Mask.


  23. The Singing Fool

    The Singing Fool (1928)

    72 views

    The Singing Fool is a 1928 musical drama Part-Talkie motion picture which was released by Warner Brothers. The film starred Al Jolson and was a follow-up to his previous film, The Jazz Singer. It is credited with helping to cement the popularity of both sound and the musical genre.


  24. Where East Is East

    Where East Is East (1929)

    72 views

    Where East Is East, is a 1929 silent movie starring Lon Chaney as an animal trapper in Laos. The picture is Chaney's penultimate silent film and the last of his collaborations with director Tod Browning. While this film is essentially a silent film in form, with intertitles and no spoken dialogue, MGM released it with a Movietone soundtrack of effects and music.


  25. The Four Feathers

    The Four Feathers (1929)

    70 views

    The Four Feathers is a 1929 American war film directed by Merian C. Cooper and starring Fay Wray. The picture has the distinction of being one of the last major Hollywood pictures of the silent era. It was also released by Paramount Pictures in a version with a Movietone soundtrack with music and sound effects only. The film is the third of numerous film versions of the 1902 novel The Four Feathers written by A. E. W. Mason, and the cast features Richard Arlen, Clive Brook, William Powell and Noah Beery, Sr.


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