I’ve been a fan of silent cinema since I was young child and I’ve been a film collector since my teens. I decided one day to start writing reviews of some of the stuff I’ve seen and here we are. Full disclosure – most of the films reviewed here I’ve had a hand in releasing on video through Harpodeon, but I try to remain entirely candid with my assessments of them. If anything, my uncommon familiarity with them probably makes me a little over critical.


You might also like my other blog, Random Book Synopses, where I post more or less brief summaries of the books I read. I sometimes dip into review, but it’s generally just a title and synopsis. The blog mostly exists for my own use, as I’m terrible with connecting plots to titles and it serves as a sort of diary to keep them straight.

This blog’s title is a reference to Those Awful Hats (Biograph, 1909). Originally, I was going to call it “Musings of the Modern Photoplay Philosopher”, which is a play on the name of a column in Motion Picture Story Magazine from early in its run (1911 to 1914, I think), but then I thought that was probably too obscure.

  1. Hi! I’ve just discovered the Harpodeon site, and have downloaded some titles. I look forward to reading your reviews! I was thrilled to find downloadable early teens films with good scores—exactly up my alley—particularly the films of Alice Guy-Blaché.

  2. Hi — I was delighted to see your website and to read your review and the clip from The Last Man. It is the first time I’ve ever seen my grandfather, Richard Sterling, in a film because my dad, Richard Sterling Jr., didn’t have any of his father’s films. How might I be able to get a full copy of The Last Man — or any other film he was in?
    Mary Sterling

    • I’m glad you got to see your grandfather act. I’ve had a few people contact me about movies their relatives were involved in and it’s always nice to be able to help.

      The Last Man is available for streaming and download at https://www.harpodeon.com/film/The_Last_Man/178619379. It may be on Amazon Instant as well (several of our more recent releases are), but I’m not certain of that.

      I don’t believe we have any other films featuring Richard Sterling, but I’ll be sure to let you know if we acquire any more.

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