Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
User avatar
Aaron1927
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:12 am

Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Aaron1927 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:26 pm

Were any silent films ever shot at real life castles? I went to the former Royal castle of Corfe in England and thought about Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood. I realized afterwards it was filmed at Hollywood Studios. Was it cheaper to build sets rather than film on location? Were any directors fussy about realism and had scouts photograph castles in Europe in order to recreate them in Hollywood?


Tribute I made to Corfe castle. Watch out for any ghosts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_44rDA8PXbY

Last edited by silentfilm on Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6083
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:59 pm

Well, it was certainly cheaper to build the lower part of a castle and then paint the rest on glass.

I expect there are more than a few examples in European silents, and I believe, for instance, that parts of Dorothy Gish's Madame Pompadour were, though Wikipedia just says it was shot at Elstree Studios (the first thing shot there, in fact).
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
Rodney
Posts: 2352
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 am
Location: Louisville, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Rodney » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:04 pm

Naturally, it made more sense for Europeans to film in castles than Americans. I know that the Nosferatu castle can be found it pretty easily, give it a Google. I am surprised sometimes by the elaborate castles in relatively low budget American films. Like The Star Prince, Long Fliv the King, or The Little Minister.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

User avatar
greta de groat
Posts: 2124
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by greta de groat » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:08 pm

Check out Ivanhoe with King Baggott. Apparently it was shot in Wales.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat

R Michael Pyle
Posts: 1724
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:24 am

greta de groat wrote:Check out Ivanhoe with King Baggott. Apparently it was shot in Wales.

greta
As a matter of fact, it was shot at Chepstow Castle in Wales. The castle is still a spectacular spot to visit if one goes to Wales. The castle itself has a great history. I think some of "Robin of Sherwood" in the '80's was also shot there.

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Spiny Norman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:31 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:I think some of "Robin of Sherwood" in the '80's was also shot there.
Wasn't that often Alnwick, a castle that you eventually will start to recognize?
Then again, eventually you run out of angles to make it appear a different location, so they probably used more than one castle.

I saw the Castle Aaargh, from the outside.
This is nøt å signåture.™

Gary Newman
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: White Plains, NY

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Gary Newman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:59 am

Paul Bernard’s The Miracle of the Wolves (1924) was shot at Carcassonne, in southern France, which has the best set of medieval walls in Europe.

Image

Image

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3328
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:18 pm

R Michael Pyle wrote:
greta de groat wrote:Check out Ivanhoe with King Baggott. Apparently it was shot in Wales.

greta
As a matter of fact, it was shot at Chepstow Castle in Wales. The castle is still a spectacular spot to visit if one goes to Wales. The castle itself has a great history. I think some of "Robin of Sherwood" in the '80's was also shot there.
IVANHOE occurred to me, too. I saw it almost forty years ago, so hope it is still extant. The film wasn't all that long, so don't know if it was incomplete...

Just checked - YT has come up trumps again, though the copy has Dutch titles.
Last edited by earlytalkiebuffRob on Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3328
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:19 pm

Sidney Olcott's YOU REMEMBER ELLEN (1912) may feature a real castle - not too sure there...

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Spiny Norman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:03 pm

Gary Newman wrote:Paul Bernard’s The Miracle of the Wolves (1924) was shot at Carcassonne, in southern France, which has the best set of medieval walls in Europe.
Sadly, it's been a horrible, tasteless tourist trap now for decades!
This is nøt å signåture.™

User avatar
Rodney
Posts: 2352
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 am
Location: Louisville, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Rodney » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:42 pm

Mont Alto once played for La Merveilleuse Vie de Jeanne D'Arc (1929) at the Telluride Film Festival. (This is yet a different French silent film about Joan of Arc). One of its claims to fame is that many of the battle scenes were filmed at the castles where Joan of Arc originally pitched those battles. It's a bit odd, since many of the castles were partially ruined by the time they filmed and were presumably fresher when Joan was there originally; but It does have some impressive castles and sieges.

And, perhaps stretching your definition of "castle," there are several films that were made in defensive cliff houses in the American southwest. Notably, A Modern Musketeer, part of which was filmed in the White House Ruins in the Canyon de Chelly; and Redskin, part of which was filmed at the Acoma Pueblo.

There's a cliff house in The Vanishing American, but since they destroy large parts of it, I sincerely hope it was a constructed set and not a cultural artifact.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

Gary Newman
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: White Plains, NY

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Gary Newman » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:49 pm

The outdoor scenes of Count Orlak’s castle in Nosferatu were filmed at Orava Castle in Slovakia.

Lokke Heiss
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:25 pm

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Lokke Heiss » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:29 pm

Gary Newman wrote:The outdoor scenes of Count Orlak’s castle in Nosferatu were filmed at Orava Castle in Slovakia.
Quite true, and it really gives the film an 'authenticity' that no other Dracula films that I know have, except perhaps for the 1970 Spanish Dracula with Lee.
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs

Michel Derrien
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:53 am
Location: France
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Michel Derrien » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:33 am

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:19 pm
Sidney Olcott's YOU REMEMBER ELLEN (1912) may feature a real castle - not too sure there...
It's Flesk castle in Killarney co Kerry. Longtime ruined the castle is being restored.
Sorry for my English

User avatar
Brooksie
Posts: 2809
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by Brooksie » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:04 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:59 pm
Well, it was certainly cheaper to build the lower part of a castle and then paint the rest on glass.
It's also possible that parts of ruined real-life castles were 'restored' using glass shots or matte paintings - though I'm unaware of specific examples, and unless there's some particular significance in the castle, such as the Joan of Arc example cited, it would probably be cheaper to enhance a standing set in the same manner. The diagrams on this website suggest that this was pretty common.

Something similar was done to recreate the ruined convict barracks in Tasmania for For The Term of His Natural Life (1927). The film's director, Norman Dawn, claimed to have originated the glass technique.

linquist
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:54 pm

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by linquist » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:01 pm

I watched FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE today and saw their "castle on the Marne." At times it looks as if it were a full painting but at other times it did look like a good portion of the million dollars that Metro supposedly spent on the film, probably somewhere in the hills of LA.

linquist
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:54 pm

Re: Film Locations - Castles used in Silent Films

Unread post by linquist » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:58 pm

Ooops. At least some of the film was made in NY. Maybe the "castle" was there.

Post Reply