Ancient Rockets: Treasures and Train Wrecks of the Silent Screen

Kage Baker et al.

From January to December of 2009, award-winning author of The Company novels Kage Baker wrote a blog series for reviewing the first silent science fiction and fantasy movies. These 49 reviews will take you on A Trip to the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and through the jungle with Tarzan. From Metropolis to a pre-technicolor Oz, Kage Baker guides the reader through the earliest special effects, introduces the first movie stars, and tackles the best and the worst of silent science fiction with her trademark sense of humor.

“When beloved SF author Kage Baker was battling the illness that ultimately took her life, she distracted herself by watching old science-fiction silent movies, and reviewing them for The 49 reviews include some films you’ve probably seen, and some you’ve undoubtedly never heard of. Now Tachyon [Publications] has collected all of them in a beautiful little book, which is so full of snark and wit that you’ll feel as if Baker was sitting with you giving her commentary on these films.”

Introduction by Kathleen Bartholomew
Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon), directed by Georges Méliès”
Voyage à Travers L’Impossible (Impossible Voyage), directed by Georges Méliès”
Frankenstein, directed by J. Searle Dawley”
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, directed by Lucius Henderson (1912) and John S. Robertson (1920)”
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, directed by Stuart Paton”
The Golem: How He Came Into the World, directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese”
The Master Mystery, directed by Burton King and Harry Grossman”
The Man From Beyond, directed by Burton King”
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene”
The Mechanical Man (L’Uomo Meccanico), directed by André Deed”
Aelita: Queen of Mars, directed by Yakov Protazanov”
Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang”
The Lost World, directed by Harry O. Hoyt”
The ? Motorist, directed by Walter R. Booth”
Frau im Mond (Woman on the Moon), directed by Fritz Lang”
Modern Times, directed by Charlie Chaplin”
L’Atlantide (The Queen of Atlantia), directed by Jacques Feyder”
Orlacs Hände (The Hands of Orlac), directed by Robert Wiene”
Siegfried and Kriemhild’s Revenge, directed by Fritz Lang”
Naxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages), directed Benjamin Christensen”
The Adventures of Prince Achmed, directed by Lotte Reiniger”
Nosferatu, directed by F. W. Murnau”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, directed by Otis Turner”
The Patchwork Girl of Oz, directed by J. Farrell MacDonald”
The Magic Cloak of Oz, directed by J. Farrell MacDonald”
His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, directed by J. Farrell MacDonald”
The Wizard of Oz, directed by Larry Semon”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Charles Kent”
The Tempest, directed by Percy Snow”
Gertie the Dinosaurus, directed by Winsor McCay”
The Thief of Bagdad, directed by Raoul Walsh”
Faust, directed by F. W. Murnau”
Der műde Tod (Destiny), directed by Fritz Lang”
The Belle, directed by James Young”
Paris Qui Dort (The Crazy Ray), directed by René Clair”
Tarzan of the Apes, directed by Scott Sidney”
The Son of Tarzan, directed by Arthur J. Flaven and Harry Revier”
The Adventures of Tarzan, directed by Robert F. Hill and Scott Sidney”
Tarzan the Tiger, directed by Henry MacRae”
The Fall of the House of Usher, directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber”
La Chute de la Maison Usher, directed by Jean Epstein”
Waxworks, directed by Paul Leni”
“The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Rupert Julian”
The Haunted Castle (Schloss Vogeloed), directed by F. W. Murnau”
Wolf Blood, directed by George Chesebro”
The Pet, directed by Winsor McCay”
The Flying House, directed by Winsor McCay”
Scrooge; or Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth”
A Christmas Carol, directed by J. Searle Dawley”
A Christmas Past (collection), various directors”

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