The Revival of the Silent Film and 7 Movies We Would Like to See Without Words

The Artist
The Artist

In a big step forward, or step back, however you would like to think about it, the silent film The Artist was just named the best film by the New York Film Critics Circle. This comes on the heels of the stunning response it has already received from the festival circuit, including a best actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the movie's lead, Jean Dujardin. The film is now being considered a major contender in this year's Oscar race. If it wins, it would be the first silent film to win an Academy Award in 82 years. Take that, talkies!

With all the fanfare of 3-D, action-packed, in-your-face movies, who would have thought that a silent film would be the quiet, dark horse in the running? There is definitely something mesmerizing about silent films. Despite the lack of dialogue, a director needed to use the tools of the art more effectively. So much could be said with the right shot and the right sequence of events. It is inspiring to think of all that was accomplished without a word. Actors really had to act, and what little could be written on a title card had to be carefully thought out to maximize the impression.

Art Attack is all for a revival of silent films. In fact, we would be happy to see a handful of movies already made, redone without any dialogue at all. How many movies could be that much better without all of that talking getting in the way? Sure, you would lose your "You had me at hellos," but think of all you would gain in pouty expressions from Renee Zellweger. Art Attack found a few choice flicks we would like to see as silent films. We ask that you watch all the clips without sound to get the full effect.

7. Reservoir Dogs

We agree this is one of Tarantino's best films and a lot of that has to do with the witty repartee going on, but this movie is just as visually exciting. Imagine the ear-cutting scene without being able to hear the policeman's shrieks of pain, but you could just see him screaming? Shudder. Picture the Mexican standoff scene, guns flying in every direction and no one says a word. Of course, "K-Billy's Super Sounds of the Seventies" would need to remain.

6. Dude, Where's My Car?

As a movie with dialogue,

Dude, Where's My Car?

is a silly stoner flick about two guys who, literally, lose their car. As a silent film, Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott are existential heroes. They aimlessly walk through life and chance upon outsiders likened to themselves; an ostrich farmer, an angry transgendered stripper, even aliens. All of a sudden this is a regular D. W. Griffith film, begging to be broken down by film critics in corduroy jackets smoking clove cigarettes.

5. The Other Boleyn Girl

Shhhh.... Pretties. Don't speak. Seriously, stop talking.

4. Dances with Wolves

We might get some flack for this, but we never really got what the big deal was with this film. It's not that it's a bad movie per se; it's just not a good one, either. That being said, it is stunning to watch. The rich scenery of the western frontier, horses riding into the sunset, the American flag waving proudly in the wind; this movie needs no dialogue. The imagery speaks for itself.


3. Gothika



, Halle Berry, a renowned psychiatrist, follows a blond ghost to her own insanity.


was supposed to be a psychological thriller, but it turned out just to be a dreadful movie. However, seeing Halle Berry locked in a dank and unforgiving insane asylum, screaming her head off, could be really freaky without any talking. Add in a score by Tim Burton's go-to composer Danny Elfman and a silent


has the potential to be one of the scariest films of all time.

2. Labyrinth

A silent


? But it's a musical. A musical with music we would all like to forget. If this movie became a silent film, it would be that much weirder, but without the awful '80s harmonious accompaniment. This is some of David Bowie's worst and most bizarre work ever, which says a lot since it is David Bowie. Picture him swinging that baby around as Jennifer Connelly frantically runs through gardens of peculiar puppets taking their heads off and playing catch with them -- with no words! It would be hilarious.

1. Fast and the Furious, entire series

Why is there any talking in these movies? They are just long drawn out car chases, exciting and gripping car chases, but long and drawn out all the same. Drop the chatter, let's just watch these autos race on mute, which you might already be doing.

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