Why were silent films never silent?

The technology to capture and record sound on film along with the images was not mastered until the mid-1920s, and it wasn't in common use until later in that decade. That means that for most of the first 35 years of motion pictures, theaters had to provide their own accompaniment with the films.
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Were silent films completely silent?

The term "silent film" is something of a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds. During the silent era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films.
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What do historians mean when they say that the silents were never silent?

Someone explained how silent films were accompanied by music by starting with the phrase, “Of course, silent films were never silent …” We've all used those words, or something like them, explaning the basics of silent film to those new to or indifferent towards the medium. It's corny, but it's useful.
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Why did silent films have music?

Setting the Scene: Silent Films and Live Accompaniment

During the silent film era, live music accompanied screenings to provide emotional context and enhance the overall experience. Music played a vital role in setting the mood, narrating the story, and keeping the audience engaged.
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When were films no longer silent?

In 1927, The Jazz Singer was the first feature length film to include sound. By the early 1930s, the silent film era was over as “talkies” became a theatre sensation.
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How Silent Films Were Actually Shown in Theaters

When did movies switch from silent to talking?

The gradual transition from silent films to talkies took place between 1926 and 1930 and included many small steps — both technological developments and adjustments to audience expectations — before it was complete.
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What was the first not silent film?

The first feature film originally presented as a talkie (although it had only limited sound sequences) was The Jazz Singer, which premiered on October 6, 1927. A major hit, it was made with Vitaphone, which was at the time the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology.
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Why did silent films lose popularity?

The largest cause of silent film loss was intentional destruction. Before the eras of home cinema, television, and home video, films were viewed as having little future value when their theatrical runs ended. Similarly, silent films were perceived as worthless after the end of the silent era.
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What was the first silent film with sound?

“The Jazz Singer” from 1927 was not the first-ever motion picture with sound, but it was the first feature-length movie with synchronized dialogue and marked the end of the silent film era.
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Why did people enjoy silent films?

The first silent films were created in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were popular because they were a new technology and people were curious to see them. This may seem strange to us now, but at the time it was a new and exciting way to tell a story.
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What were silent films called?

The term silent film is therefore a retronym — that is, a term created to distinguish something retroactively. That is to say before sound was introduced, (silent) movies were called motion pictures or just films.
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Was the music for silent movies scored or improvised?

The vast majority of films did not have scores composed specifically for them. Rather, they relied on local pianists or small orchestras to improvise music without the supervision of the studios and filmmakers.
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Why is it called the silent era?

Silents are the films of the early era that were without synchronized sound, from the earliest film (around 1891), until 1927, when the first 'talkie', The Jazz Singer (1927) - the first commercially successful sound film, was produced.
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What ended the silent-film era?

But it was The Jazz Singer that really spelled the end of an era. Even though the movie was still only part-talkie and was largely silent with intertitles, it showed exhibitors and producers that audiences craved talking and singing and crying and laughing. They wanted sound pictures.
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Were deaf actors often in silent movies?

Representation among actors was not equal even in the heyday of silent films—there were not many Deaf actors—but the celebrated few included Granville Redmond, a painter who appeared in Charlie Chaplin films.
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Did people talk during silent films?

Yes, they did actually talk, although they didn't really follow the script sometimes. They did it to get into the character better and gain the sense that they're portraying an actual person. The fact that the movie makers were unable to capture sound at the time wasn't actors' problem.
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Did any silent film stars transition to talkies?

Many silent film stars found it difficult to “find their voice” and place in this new Hollywood medium, which completely changed the game of on-screen performance. But while the talkies ended a lot of careers, here are seven actors who succeeded—and prospered—in the transition.
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Who was the biggest star of the silent movie era?

1 Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin's name is synonymous not only with silent film but with American cinema as a whole. A multi-hyphenate and perfectionist, Chaplin wrote, directed, scored, produced, edited, and starred in most of his movies.
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What silent film stars didn t transition to talkies?

Those who failed to make the transition to sound included Vilma Banky, Mae Murray and Norma Talmadge. Comic legend Charlie Chaplin had yet to talk on film. Roles for Rudolph Valentino's romantic rival John Gilbert dried up, Douglas Fairbanks became disillusioned and audiences avoided director D.W. Griffith's talkies.
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What is the most famous lost film?

Notable lost films

London After Midnight, starring Lon Chaney and directed by Tod Browning in 1927, was a silent-era mystery-thriller pseudo-vampire film that is now considered to be the 'holy grail' of lost films by collectors.
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Are silent films making a comeback?

But now the films are making a comeback in New York City, with increasing popularity among young people. Film Forum, a nonprofit, puts on two to three silent movies with live accompanying music every quarter, including at least one silent comedy for its junior audience.
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Why do they talk so fast in old movies?

In old films from the 1930's to 1950's, why do the characters seem to talk so fast? Movie makers encouraged diction, more along the lines of British speech which was more clipped, with less drawl. (drawl was allowed in Western movies), but Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn had very clipped accents.
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Are there any modern silent films?

'The Artist' is a modern day silent movie that's making a lot of noise in Hollywood playing homage to the early days of filmmaking.
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What was the first color movie?

Did you know that A Visit to the Seaside (1908) was the first commercially produced film in natural color? This eight-minute British short film used the Kinemacolor process to capture Brighton Southern England seafront shots.
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