Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Lloyd Hamilton's The Optimist (1923)
During the last two years, I have been able to gain access to a number of Lloyd Hamilton films that were unavailable to me while I was writing my biography of Hamilton. A chapter of my upcoming book, Sixteen Comedians of Silent Film, will thoroughly examine these films. Here, as a sneak preview, are screen captures from The Optimist (1923).
Hamilton makes the mistake of feeding a starving bird, which draws other birds to his home and brings about a vicious attack. The comic scene ideally anticipates the more scary bird attacks of Hitchcock's The Birds (1963).
Hamilton tells the story of his Pilgrim ancestors, which leads to a clever dissolve to Hamilton in 17th Century America.
Hamilton keeps score as he shoots down Indians.
Hamilton protects the modesty of a toddler.
The Optimist is a funny film that shows Hamilton at his best. My thanks to the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam for providing me with a copy of this rare film.