Day 3: Classic Movie History Project – The People

Welcome to Day 3 of The Classic Movie History Project.  With the focus now shifting to The People today we feature the topics of Groundbreakers and Before They Were Stars.  If you need a refresher as to what we mean, here ya go…


“The openers” is how John Steinbeck referred to them in “East of Eden.”  These people who ventured forth into uncharted territory were often naïve, learned hard lessons, made mistakes and persevered.  In doing so they permanently changed our culture by changing movie history and this topic is for them.  With trailblazing energy they set standards that stand to this day.  The groundbreakers – not with shovel or cement in hand, but with a camera, with a microphone, with gestures and words they paved the way and we want to know how they did it.

Before They Were Stars

W.C. Fields made his Broadway debut in an aptly titled musical comedy, “The Ham Tree.”  Norma Shearer won a beauty contest at the age of fourteen.  Buster Keaton nearly suffocated at a few months old after being accidentally shut in a costume trunk off stage while his mother and father performed.  You get the picture.  We want to know the highs, the lows and the in-betweens of those whose faces would someday adorn the silver screen.

I know you’ll enjoy reading the entries so there’s no delay in getting to them except that I suggest you check out Days 1 and 2 if you haven’t done so already.

Day 1 – Hosted by Movies SilentlyThe Studios and The Publicity Department

Day 2 – Hosted by Silver ScreeningsThe Production Code and The Magic of Animation

Entries for Day 3 – THE PEOPLE

(The list will be updated as entries arrive so be sure to check back often)

Cinematic Scribblings – Essence of Truffaut: Les Mistons (1957)

Cinematic Catharsis – Fact vs. Fiction: Nanook of the North

Cary Grant Won’t Eat You – Mae West’s Lessons for Groundbreakers

An Ode to Dust – Lon Chaney

Silent-ology – Josie, Lige, “Pimple,” And Other Uber Obscure Silent Comedians

Cinema Cities – Olivia de Havilland and the Decision that Reformed Hollywood

Sister Celluloid – Auntie Joan (Crawford) Explains It All For You

Realweegiemidget Movie Reviews – “Here’s Jack, One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest 

Midnite Drive-In – On John Wayne, How to Build an Icon the Hard Way

Movies Silently – The Daughter of Dawn (1920)

Once Upon a Screen – Groundbreaking Make-Up Artist, Dorothy ‘Dot’ Ponedel

The Classic Movie History Project runs through Wednesday, August 10.  Be sure to stay tuned for many more entries.  To take a look at the complete roster visit the announcement post here.  Also, the entries will be featured on my Citizen Screen FB page throughout the next couple of weeks.


I leave you with three images to toast the groundbreakers and the stories of before they were stars!  An image of Sidney Poitier is the featured image.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s