Featured Project: The Silent Era

Posted January 14, 2011 by Geni | 3 Comments

Today we feature the Silent Era project, which is dedicated to the people who have made a significant contribution to silent films. These people include actors, directors and writers. Films made between 1894-1929 contained no sound, therefore actors used exaggerated body language and facial expressions to convey emotion. Live music featured at each showing was essential in conveying the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues.  Here’s a preview of the profiles included:

D.W. Griffith – He was a pioneering American film director, credited with developing many of the basic techniques of film making.


Buster Keaton – He was an actor known as “The Great Stone Face” for getting big laughs for his physically comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression.


Gloria Swanson – She was a prominent silent film actress and fashion icon.


Mary Pickford – Known as “America’s Sweetheart” during her silent film career. Pickford was a significant figure in the development of film acting.


Douglas Fairbanks – He was one of the first swashbuckling screen heroes. During the 1920′s, he was known as the “King of Hollywood.”


Charlie Chaplin – He was one of the most influential comedic actors of the silent film era.


Lillian Gish – Known as the “First Lady of the Silent Screen,” Gish was a prominent film star of the 1910′s and 1920′s.

View The Silent Era Project


  • Jewel Hyland

    And what about the musicians who enhanced the movie stars’ acting? My auntie Emily Martin was one of those. She played the organ in Chicago for major movie houses.

    • http://twitter.com/georgegeni George Geni

      That sounds like a great project to start, Jewel!

  • Sue

    My cousin and I have been researching the life of our great-uncle @Hermann Georg Ludwig Schmidt. He worked for Paramount Pictures in NY in the early 1900s and was a costume designer for Famous Players, Famous-Lasky Pictures and Paramount. I have a picture of him with Lillian Gish. He was also a close friend of Geraldine Farrar. I have a blog I have been working on of his personal letters. During the Depression, no longer working for Paramount, he opened a Tea Room in the Westchester Co, NY area & did some catering. On letter describes a surprise request from Farrar’s dear friend Lily Pons that Hermann cater her secret wedding to Andrez Castelanez. Blog is found at http://hmksmith.blogspot.com/.