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


'Autumn Crocus': 'Summertime' Precursor Stars British Stage Legend

Autumn Crocus movie adaptation with Ivor Novello and Fay Compton: Summertime precursor. Ivor Novello last movie: 'Autumn Crocus' Can a naive, plain-looking, spinster school teacher ever find real love in faraway places? This was a question asked by Shirley Booth in Arthur Laurents' 1952 stage play The Time of the […]


'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': Charles Chaplin, Pearl White and The Great War

Charles Chaplin in 'A Film Johnnie' (1914). 'A Night at the Cinema in 1914': From The Great War to Charles Chaplin and Pearl White Imagine, if you will, that you can go back one hundred years in time, when people were enjoying a new and pervasive art form: motion pictures. […]


Sneeze Face, Cheese Mites and Techno Charles Chaplin: 'Amazing Tales'

Sneeze face, cheese mites, and techno Charles Chaplin: San Francisco Silent Film Festival 2014's 'Amazing Tales from the Archive's (image: Fred Ott's 'sneeze face' in the short film 'Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze') The “Amazing Tales from the Archives” presentations at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which […]


Gender Roles & Social Hypocrisy: 'The Girl in Tails'

Einar Axelsson and Magda Holm in 'The Girl in Tails' Gender roles & social hypocrisy in silent era effort 'The Girl in Tails' Poor Katja Kock (Magda Holm)! She spends most of her time serving others: sewing and mending for her brother (Erik Zetterström), humoring her grouchy father (Nils Aréhn), […]


'Midnight Madness' Movie Lacks Both 'Midnight' & 'Madness'

Midnight Madness with Clive Brook and Jacqueline Logan. 'Midnight Madness' movie lacks both 'midnight' & 'madness' Screened at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Midnight Madness has a very curious title: there is no “midnight” or “madness” to be found in the film. The story's original name, The Lion Trap, […]


'Song of the Fishermen': First Chinese Movie to Win International Award

'Song of the Fishermen': First Chinese movie to win international award depicts social inequalities in China during the Great Depression The story of Cai Chusheng's 1934 drama Song of the Fishermen / Yu Guang Qu, screened at the 2014 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, begins in a small coastal village […]


'The Canadian': Thomas Meighan Finds Trouble in The Land of Promise

The Canadian with Thomas Meighan. 'The Canadian': Thomas Meighan faces adversities in The Land of Promise Thomas Meighan is The Star of William Beaudine's The Canadian (1926), which screened at the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The credits feature his name far above everyone else's. The basic story of […]


Antarctic Exploration 'Epic' + 'The Half-Breed' & 'The Loves of Pharaoh'

Antarctic exploration with Sir Ernest Shackleton. Antarctic exploration 'epic': 'South' It was surprising to see the large crowd waiting to get into the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival screening of South: Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antarctic (1920). I did not think that a documentary would interest […]


'The Whales of August': Lillian Gish & Bette Davis in Powerful Drama

Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price and Ann Sothern in The Whales of August According to my math, the careers of the three leading ladies – Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, and Ann Sothern – in Lindsay Anderson's The Whales of August total 191 years. And that is without taking into […]


'The Goose Woman': Fantastic Louise Dresser in Clarence Brown Drama

The Goose Woman with Louise Dresser and Jack Pickford. At the 2011 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Clarence Brown-directed 1925 Universal release The Goose Woman was introduced by author and film historian Kevin Brownlow. For me, Brown's family drama was the best film I saw at this year's festival. [Spoilers […]


The Blizzard Review: Einar Hanson, Mary Johnson Mauritz Stiller

GUNNAR HEDES SAGA / THE BLIZZARD (1923) Dir.: Mauritz Stiller Cast: Einar Hanson, Mary Johnson, Stina Berg, Hugo Björne, Pauline Brunius Scr.: Mauritz Stiller; from Selma Lagerlöf's novel Recommended with Reservations Mary Johnson, Einar Hanson, The Blizzard Directed by Mauritz Stiller, the Swedish drama Gunnar Hedes saga / The Blizzard […]


'Huckleberry Finn' Movie: Sentimental Fare Directed by Eventual Murder Victim

William Desmond Taylor's Huckleberry Finn with Lewis Sargent.   Directed by William Desmond Taylor, Huckleberry Finn stars a fresh, freckle-faced Lewis Sargent as Huck. (Sargent was also featured in another 1920 Taylor production, The Soul of Youth.) Set in the antebellum South, this sentimental retelling of Mark Twain's iconic story […]