Silent : Which silent comedy movie actors...

Which silent comedy movie actors...

... were the most expressive? You might think most of them were, but no. Buster Keaton did deadpan humour, which is the complete opposite of what I'm asking.

Edit: Actresses as well.

Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

Certainly Marion Davies, as far as I'm concerned. The scene in "Show People" where her dad tells the guy behind the window [in the casting office] which emotions she's doing as she steps through them is a great illustration of what I'm talking about.

Also, I kind of disagree with you about Buster Keaton. Yes, I understand that he did deadpan humor, but there's still expression in that.


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Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

Lon Chaney. Could speak a thousand words with his face

Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

by GraceFromSoCal
» Sun Apr 12 2015 10:31:03
IMDb member since November 2002

Also, I kind of disagree with you about Buster Keaton. Yes, I understand that he did deadpan humor, but there's still expression in that.


I agree. In The Silent Clowns, Walter Kerr says Keaton is "the only silent film comic of whom you never have the slightest doubt what they're thinking."

Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

I would say Phyllis Haver. She was totally AWESOME.

And, of course, the ever/unfairly underrated Mabel Normand.

Norma Talmadge was popular as a dramatic actress; however, her performance in Kiki has to be one of the funniest and most expressive I've ever seen.


Animal crackers in my soup
Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop


Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

The electric Clara Bow.



What Is Essential Is Invisible

Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

I find Buster to be quite expressive, but very subtle. Just because he didn't smile doesn't mean he couldn't use a whole range of expressions for fear, surprise, anger, disgust, etc.

Stan Laurel did his fair share of mugging, but in silent films and sound films, and Harold Lloyd did big, physical reactions using his entire body.

- You may have come on no bicycle, but that does not say that you know everything.

Re: Which silent comedy movie actors...

Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Harold Lloyd, Fatty Arbuckle, Dorothy Gish, Ben Turpin, Zasu Pitts...
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