View Full Version : Favorite Silent Actor
10-09-2002, 10:56 PM
Who is Your favorite Silent film Actor and why? Mine is Rudolf Klein-Rogge whose performances in Lang's expressionistic films brought an air of dominace that is rarely seen in Lang's later films. His eyes had a presence of their own, and his face is one that is memorable for the silent era. Actors ranging from Boris Karloff to Christopher Lee have been influenced by this actor as he I believe paved the way for the types of characters they were to play in their careers.
10-09-2002, 11:03 PM
God, this is hard. It's down to Keaton, Chaplin or Chaney.
I would have to go with Chaplin, although his greatest roles were in the 1930's with MODERN TIMES and CITY LIGHTS. The mixture of comedy with emotion is something truely amazing to witness. That feeding machine will bring tears to your eyes with laughter then the piece of junk house they move in to, thinking it's great for them is another heart tugging scene.
Keaton delivered the greatest silent film, IMO, THE GENERAL. Unlike Chaplin, I think Keaton gave different performances for each role and didn't settle into playing the same character over and over. Keaton usually didn't go for tears either.
Chaney, with his performance in THE PENALTY is something truely amazing to watch. He took the makeup and made terrific characters and his performance in THE UNKNOWN is downright chilling. The ending is unforgettable.
10-09-2002, 11:44 PM
Chaplin, with my favorite films of his being THE IMMIGRANT and especially ONE A.M.
10-10-2002, 07:00 PM
10-10-2002, 07:47 PM
My personal favorite is Chaplin, with Keaton, Chaney, and Conrad Veidt following closely behind.
10-10-2002, 11:58 PM
Funny how most of us are choosing comic actors... it's a good reminder of how the silent comics were innovators in film technique as well as funnymen. I adore Buster Keaton; I don't think any other male silent star had his force of personality, which is awfully ironic since he is, after all, the great stone face. Though I do have to admit a certain fondness for William S. Hart, whose gaze I'm certain can shatter glass. This is not to take away from Chaplin or Harold Lloyd or Fatty Arbuckle or Lon Chaney or Douglas Fairbanks or any of the other hundred actors we can all name...
10-16-2002, 08:48 PM
Another actor from the silent era for whom I also like is Bernhard Goetzke for his complex and interesting performances in the Lang expressionistic films.
10-22-2002, 02:55 PM
Michael, this is hysterical. I too love Chaplin and Keaton. But I find that Keaton pretty much always played himself while Chaplin had a broader acting range (the Tramp character alone was never completely consistant and evolved from rude smart ass to demure gentleman throught his films). And in his later films, he played many different characters. Monsieur Verdoux, the King In New York, and Calvero in Limelight are very different characters.
Keaton was a brilliant performer. But he was not a character actor. At least, IMHO.:)
04-27-2005, 04:01 PM
Other favorites are Keaton, Cheney.
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