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.


  1. I have an orig. photo of Lloyd Hamilton and other extras. I am trying to get info of what movie this was taken from. it has 1923 and part of of studio stamp on back from Hollywood, Cal. Wondering if you would have any info?

    1. The location is infront of a thrift store setting on the sidewalk w/ cop and cello being held up by an extra.
      The email is not gmail it is at the end. Thanks