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Danny Fortune was born a long time ago in a small town, in a small state, in a small world, to very small parents. He grew up watching old classic films and B horror movies, ruining his eyesight in the process. He now lives in a tiny, cramped apartment in San Francisco with an unbridled collection of religious icons and dead movie star photos. When he is not spying on his neighbors and feeding stray cats, he is usually rotting his brain with trivia and all kinds of useless shit. Danny works in a Special Education Class where he teaches children left behind. And he contributes reviews of classic movies for Alt Film Guide.


Author Archives: Danny Fortune


'Desert Nights': Enjoyable John Gilbert Adventure Dares to Ask Age-Old Philosophical Question

Desert Nights with John Gilbert and Mary Nolan: Enjoyable Sahara-set adventure – which happened to be Gilbert's last silent film – dares to ask the age-old philosophical question, “Is there honor among thieves?” John Gilbert late silent adventure 'Desert Nights' asks a question for the ages: Is there honor among thieves? The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release Desert Nights arrived in theaters at the tail end of the silent era. By 1929, audiences wanted lots of singing and dancing – talkies! And they might have been impatient to hear John Gilbert's speaking voice. I can't tell whether sound would have improved it or not, but Desert Nights has a lot of title cards filled with dialogue. Directed by the prolific William Nigh,[1] the […]


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'Desert Nights': Enjoyable John Gilbert Adventure Dares to Ask Age-Old Philosophical Question



'The Doll' Movie: Greedy & Gluttonous Church Officials + German Mary Pickford in Early Ernst Lubitsch Comedy

The Doll with Ossi Oswalda and Hermann Thimig. Early Ernst Lubitsch satirical fantasy starring “the German Mary Pickford” has similar premise to that of the 1925 Buster Keaton comedy Seven Chances. 'The Doll': San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented fast-paced Ernst Lubitsch comedy starring the German Mary Pickford – Ossi Oswalda Directed by Ernst Lubitsch (So This Is Paris, The Wedding March), the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival presentation The Doll / Die Puppe (1919) has one of the most amusing mise-en-scènes ever recorded. The set is created by cut-out figures that gradually come to life; then even more cleverly, they commence the fast-paced action. It all begins when a shy, confirmed bachelor, Lancelot (Hermann Thimig), is ordered by […]


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'The Doll' Movie: Greedy & Gluttonous Church Officials + German Mary Pickford in Early Ernst Lubitsch Comedy



'Amazing Tales from the Archives': SFSFF Remembers Pioneering Female Documentarian & World War I Era (!) Sound Films

“Amazing Tales from the Archives”: Pioneering female documentarian Aloha Wanderwell Baker remembered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival – along with the largely forgotten sound-on-cylinder technology and the Jean Desmet Collection. 'Amazing Tales from the Archives': San Francisco Silent Film Festival & the 'sound-on-cylinder' system Fans of the earliest sound films would have enjoyed the first presentation at the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 1–4: “Amazing Tales from the Archives,” during which Library of Congress' Nitrate Film Vault Manager George Willeman used a wealth of enjoyable film clips to examine the Thomas Edison Kinetophone process. In the years 1913–1914, long before The Jazz Singer and Warner Bros.' sound-on-disc technology, the sound-on-cylinder system invaded the nascent film […]


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'Amazing Tales from the Archives': SFSFF Remembers Pioneering Female Documentarian & World War I Era (!) Sound Films