Friday, February 4, 2011

Silent Film Star: Janet Gaynor.

Janet Gaynor (October 6, 1906 – September 14, 1984) was one of the most popular actresses of the silent film era. Gaynor became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films, the first: Seventh Heaven (1927). A Romance silent film and one of the first films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film was written by H.H. Caldwell, Benjamin Glazer, Katherine Hilliker and Austin Strong and directed by Frank Borzage. Cast: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell.

First Video of 12.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927). A silent film directed by German film director F. W. Murnau. The story was adapted by Carl Mayer from the short story Die Reise nach Tilsit by Hermann Sudermann.

Sunrise won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production at the first ever Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. In 1937, Sunrise's original negative was destroyed in a fire. A new negative was created from a surviving print.

Much of the exterior shooting was done at Lake Arrowhead, California.

Please click here to view Silents movie review: Sunrise song of two Humans.

First Video of 9.

Street Angel (1928). A silent film about a young woman who finds herself on the streets before joining a traveling carnival, where she meets a vagabond painter. Directed by Frank Borzage. This was the only time which an actress has won for multiple roles.

Her career continued and she performed in the original version of, A Star Is Born (1937). A romantic/drama. Directed by William A. Wellman. Cast: Janet Gaynor Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine, Lionel Stander and Carole Landis.


  1. I really wish both A STAR IS BORN and NOTHING SACRED could be the subject of a restoration drive. I recently saw a restored version of THE DIVORCE OF LADY X and the experience was nothing like the first time I watched the film; the colors are so vibrant, the print is so clear. I can only imagine that after the restoration process these two films, filmed at approximately the same time, would shine like the gems they were when first released in theaters.

  2. whistlingypsy, That would be great. This version of the film, STAR IS BORN, is my favorite. I would love to see it restored.

  3. Dawn, thank you for posting these beautiful photos of Janet Gaynor. One of my favorite silent films of all time, Seventh Heaven (1927) stars Gaynor with Charles Farrell.


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