UC Berkeley Library

1920-1929

Siren of the Tropics (La Sirene destropiques) (France, 1927)

Directed by Henri Etievant, Mario Nalpas. Cast:Josephine Baker, Pierre Batcheff, Georges Melchior,Regina Dalthy. Papitou is a free-spirited,animal-loving native girl who falls in love withAndre, a sophisticated young man who has been sentto the Parisian Antilles as a prospector. She isunaware that he is betrothed to another, or thathis work assignment is actually a perilous ruseconcocted by his scheming boss. As the truthbecomes known, Papitou finds herself pursuing Andreback to Paris. 87 min.

St. Louis Blues(1929)

Directed by Dudley Murphy. Cast: Bessie Smith. In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and dancers.
Reviews and articles: Stanfield, Peter. "An Excursion into the LowerDepths: Hollywood, Urban Primitivism, and St. Louis Blues,1929-1937." Cinema Journal - 41, Number 2, Winter 2002, pp. 84-108 Full-textof this article / review is available: Berkeley users only

Stolen Moments (orig. 1920, re-released in 1922)

Directed by James Vincent. Cast: Rudolph Valentino, Marguerite Namara, Aileen Pringle (as Aileen Savage) "Vera Blaine, a young woman in the deep South, is passionate and romantic. So, she's easy prey for José Dalmarez, a novelist visiting from Brazil. Vera refuses a proposal from Hugh, her upright guardian, thinking she will marry Dalmarez. She writes him love letters and inscribes a book to him with loving words. When she learns that his intentions do not include marriage, she spurns him, and he returns to Brazil.

Sumurun (One Arabian Night) (1920)

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Cast: Pola Negri, Ernst Lubitsch. This blending of melodrama and comedy in the manner of an Arabian nights tale, tells the story of a rebellious harem member who rejects the sheikh and falls in love with a merchant. 85 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Chaser (1928)

Directed by Harry Langdon and Alfred de Gaetano. Cast: Gladys McConnell, Harry Langdon, Helen Hayward, William Jaimison, Charles Thurston. A dark, slightly kinky comedy in which carousing Harry is cast as a philanderer who is hauled into court by his disgruntled wife. As punishment, the judge orders Langdon to assume his wife's household duties, leading to the film's funniest moments. 63 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Clinging Vine (1927)

Directed by Paul Sloane; produced by Cecil B. DeMille. Cast: Leatrice Joy, Tom Moore, Robert Edeson, Toby Claude. The clinging vine: She works in a male-dominated industry and lives in a male-dominated society. But that doesn't keep determined career woman Antoinette Allen from rising to the top. Still, even a buttoned-down female executive like Ms. Allen can make mistakes, like taking part in a crooked business deal -- or falling in love on the job.

The Extra Girl (1923)

Directed by F. Richard Jones. Cast: Mabel Normand, Ralph Graves, Vernon Dent, Anna Hernandez. A small town girl and would-be star wins a beauty contest through a mix-up and goes to Hollywood. When she arrives the mistake is discovered and she starts working in the props department of the studio instead. Her parents then come out to California and invest some money with a very shifty individual. Film is notable for the sets of a typical studio of the 1920s. 68 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Flapper (1920)

Directed by Alan Crosland. Cast: Olive Thomas, Warren Cook, Theodore Westman, Jr., Katherine Johnston, Arthur Housman. The story of an innocent girl from the country who comes to a boarding school and enjoys the sophisticated life of a liberated women until she gets mixed up with some crooks and must do what's responsible. Supplementary feature: Olive Thomas, everybody's sweetheart. 88 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

The Freshman (1925)

Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor. Cast: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Brooks Benedict, James Anderson, Hazel Keener. Harold Lamb is so excited about going to college that he has been working to earn spending money, practicing college yells, and learning a special way of introducing himself that he saw in a movie. When he arrives at Tate University, he soon becomes the target of practical jokes and ridicule. With the help of his one real friend Peggy, he resolves to make every possible effort to become popular.

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (Germany, 1920, Germany)

Directed by Carl Boese and Paul Wegener. Set in medieval Prague, the rabbi gives life to the Golem who falls in love with the rabbi's daughter and brings fear to the emperor's court. He is destroyed by an innocent child. Based on the legend of the Golem, a popular figure in Jewish tradition. Restored authorized edition, 86 min.: 90 min. version: 94 min. version: Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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