Scene still of Belshazzar's feast in the central courtyard of Babylon from D. W. Griffith's 1916 silent film Intolerance
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound (and in particular, no spoken dialogue). In silent films for entertainment, dialogue is conveyed by the use of muted gestures and mime in conjunction with title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation.
The term silent film is a retronym—a term created to retroactively distinguish something. Early sound films, starting with The Jazz Singer in 1927, were variously referred to as the "talkies", "sound films", or "talking pictures". Within a decade, the widespread production of silent films for popular entertainment had ceased, and the industry had moved fully into the sound era, in which movies were accompanied by synchronized sound recordings of spoken dialogue, music and sound effects.
Sir Charles Spencer
(16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame during the era of silent film
. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp
" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry
. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era
until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.