Old Hollywood
Cinema
1900-1979

Nostalgia is a seductive liar - George Wildman Ball
Vampyr (1932,  dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer)

Vampyr (1932, dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer)

Crew members prepare Emil Jannings for the scene in Faust (1926, dir. F.W. Murnau) in which Mephisto’s wings obscure the sky as he hovers above a city. (via)

Crew members prepare Emil Jannings for the scene in Faust (1926, dir. F.W. Murnau) in which Mephisto’s wings obscure the sky as he hovers above a city. (via)

Emil Jannings, as the demon Mephisto, spreads his wings over the Earth & sows the seeds of plague in Faust (1926, dir. F. W. Murnau)

Emil Jannings, as the demon Mephisto, spreads his wings over the Earth & sows the seeds of plague in Faust (1926, dir. F. W. Murnau)

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)
The most seductive robot winkin cinema history, out of control,leading troglodyte saps in ridiculous sabotsto near destruction, inciting dinner-suitsto fisticuffs, murder, suicide,laughing as the flames of the witch-pyrelick her to base metal.
-Love Letter to Brigitte Helm, Peter Howard

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

The most seductive robot wink
in cinema history, out of control,
leading troglodyte saps in ridiculous sabots
to near destruction, inciting dinner-suits
to fisticuffs, murder, suicide,
laughing as the flames of the witch-pyre
lick her to base metal.

-Love Letter to Brigitte Helm, Peter Howard

 Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)
“This film marks the beginning of an intensive interplay between cinema and architecture. In its most grandiose moments the two fuse to become cinematic architecture, an independent art form.”
-Wolfgang Jacobsen,  Metropolis: A Cinematic Laboratory for Modern Architecture   

 Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

“This film marks the beginning of an intensive interplay between cinema and architecture. In its most grandiose moments the two fuse to become cinematic architecture, an independent art form.”

-Wolfgang Jacobsen, Metropolis: A Cinematic Laboratory for Modern Architecture   

Art director Erich Kettelhut & crew create the futuristic city set of Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang) (via)

Art director Erich Kettelhut & crew create the futuristic city set of Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang) (via)

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz  Lang)
On the creation of Robot Maria:
"The  concentric rings of light that surround her and move from top to bottom  were in fact a little ball of silver rapidly swung in a circle and  filmed on a background of black velvet. We superimposed those shots, in  the lab, over the shot of the robot in a sitting position that we had  filmed previously."
-Fritz Lang

Brigitte Helm in Metropolis (1927, dir. Fritz Lang)

On the creation of Robot Maria:

"The concentric rings of light that surround her and move from top to bottom were in fact a little ball of silver rapidly swung in a circle and filmed on a background of black velvet. We superimposed those shots, in the lab, over the shot of the robot in a sitting position that we had filmed previously."

-Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang & the monocle he sported during the filming of Metropolis (1927) (via)
On the increased use of violence in post-war films:
"After the war, there was no longer a sense of family. We no longer loved our flag or honored our country. People no longer believe in hell and brimstone, or even retribution and therefore they do not believe in punishment  after          they are dead. What could we be afraid of? There was only one thing: physical pain. Physical pain comes from violence and I think today that is the only fact that people really fear. And when we are afraid of violence, then it becomes an element of drama. So, brutality’s now a necessary ingredient of dramatic development and denouement.
We can’t avoid violence because it is everywhere. It should be present in films. But everything depends on the way it is shown. I detest violence when it is shown as a spectacle or when it is used to make us laugh. And that is how it is used more and more on the screen.”
-Lang, in 1967 interview (via Brunnhuber’s Fritz Lang: His Life & Work)

Fritz Lang & the monocle he sported during the filming of Metropolis (1927) (via)

On the increased use of violence in post-war films:

"After the war, there was no longer a sense of family. We no longer loved our flag or honored our country. People no longer believe in hell and brimstone, or even retribution and therefore they do not believe in punishment after they are dead. What could we be afraid of? There was only one thing: physical pain. Physical pain comes from violence and I think today that is the only fact that people really fear. And when we are afraid of violence, then it becomes an element of drama. So, brutality’s now a necessary ingredient of dramatic development and denouement.

We can’t avoid violence because it is everywhere. It should be present in films. But everything depends on the way it is shown. I detest violence when it is shown as a spectacle or when it is used to make us laugh. And that is how it is used more and more on the screen.”

-Lang, in 1967 interview (via Brunnhuber’s Fritz Lang: His Life & Work)

Conrad Veidt & Lil Dagover in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) (via) (online here)

Conrad Veidt & Lil Dagover in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) (via) (online here)

Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) kidnaps Maria (Brigitte Helm) in Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang)
(via)

Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) kidnaps Maria (Brigitte Helm) in Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang)

(via)

Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922, dir. FW Murnau) (entire film online here)

Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922, dir. FW Murnau) (entire film online here)

Production sketch by set designer/architect Walter Reimann for  The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) (via)

Production sketch by set designer/architect Walter Reimann for The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) (via)

Conrad Veidt & Lil Dagover in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) 
"I realized that the sets had to deviate completely in form and design from the usual naturalistic style. The images had to be like visionary nightmares - averted from reality, they had to acquire fantastic graphic form. No real structural elements could be recognizable…[Caligari co-set designer Walter] Reimann, who applied the Expressionist painting technique in his designs, succeeded with his idea that this subject had to have Expressionist sets, costumes, actors, and direction…
Furthermore, I would like to say that sets should remain as background in front of which the action takes place, reflecting it and supporting the actor, who is after all supposed to have the major supporting role. In Caligari, this relationship is reversed. In this single special case I will concede that the sets became the major means of expression.”
-Caligari co-set designer, Hermann Warm, Caligari & Caligarismus

Conrad Veidt & Lil Dagover in The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1920, dir. Robert Wiene) 

"I realized that the sets had to deviate completely in form and design from the usual naturalistic style. The images had to be like visionary nightmares - averted from reality, they had to acquire fantastic graphic form. No real structural elements could be recognizable…[Caligari co-set designer Walter] Reimann, who applied the Expressionist painting technique in his designs, succeeded with his idea that this subject had to have Expressionist sets, costumes, actors, and direction…

Furthermore, I would like to say that sets should remain as background in front of which the action takes place, reflecting it and supporting the actor, who is after all supposed to have the major supporting role. In Caligari, this relationship is reversed. In this single special case I will concede that the sets became the major means of expression.”

-Caligari co-set designer, Hermann Warm, Caligari & Caligarismus

Lya de Putti in Variety (1925, dir. Ewald André Dupont)
“There is no greater glory than love, nor any greater punishment than jealousy.”
(via)

Lya de Putti in Variety (1925, dir. Ewald André Dupont)

“There is no greater glory than love, nor any greater punishment than jealousy.”

(via)