February 04, 2011

Understanding Movies, Part 3 by Raphael Shargel

In Part 3 of Understanding Movies, we move from silent pictures to full-sound pictures and learn how storytelling changed as demonstrated with the movie Stagecoach.

In the 1920s, we are ready to move into the world of talking pictures.  But, when movies first integrated sound into their soundtracks, it wasn't originally to hear spoken dialogue.  Movies with sound first featured sounds of the musical score.  Silent films were always accompanied by music, either a full orchestra or even one musician for a small theater.  Eventually, they eliminated the live music in favor of a movie soundtrack.  During the time when the movie soundtrack first came to be, the method of using pantomime and over-exaggerated facial expressions was still totally acceptable.  After watching several of the silent films, I must say that I respect the genre a lot more now.