vulgarities in silent films

Alice Faber faber at POP.HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sat Jun 10 21:17:09 UTC 2000

At 4:13 PM -0400 6/10/2000, Bethany K. Dumas wrote, ostensibly about
Re: vulgarities in silent films:
>On Sat, 10 Jun 2000, Robert S. Wachal wrote:
>>I got just one response, so I am posting once again.
>>Can anyone point me to quotable sources and examples of the claim that
>>vulgarities were often uttered in silent films?
>I'm having trouble with this question. Since the films were silent, how
>could anything have been uittered in them? I thought it was a trick

You just don't have a sneaky, suspicious mind, Bethany. I interpreted
the question as being whether the actors in silents were "saying"
(i.e., mouthing) words that mismatched the subtitles, perhaps in ways
that wouldn't have been allowed at the time.

I'd never heard this, but it does have enough of an urban legend
quality to it that I think pretty strong confirmation would be
required. Even statements by actors from these movies, obviously many
years after the fact, could be embellished to make a good story.
Alice Faber                                       tel. (203) 865-6163
Haskins Laboratories                              fax  (203) 865-8963
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