Silent movies

Apparently early movies were shown at a projection rate of 15 frames per second, but with the introduction of sound this changed to the present rate of 24 frames per second. My question is, why ever since then have they continually shown old movies at the speeded-up rate, thus convincing generations of people that this is how they were originally screened? Did they think it somehow made the comedies funnier? (It certainly has that effect with the serious films). Just one time I`d like to see an early Chaplin movie where he is not rushing everywhere at breakneck speed.

They habven’t done it ever since. Although it’s easiest to just stick an old movie in a more modern projector and let it rip, producing funny effects (the show Fractured Flickers, by the Bullwinkle team of Jay Ward and Bill Scott did just that circa 1960), it’s more usual to occasionally reprint a frame so that the film looks as if it’s running at a proper speed. Onr video company even brags about its ability to match the speed really well.

All the silent films I have on video and DVD have been processed in this way. I don’t think I’ve got any that run too fast.

Early movie cameras were hand-cranked. The director could have the cameraman crank faster for a dramatic slow-motion shot, or crank slower for comedic fast action.

I think the same went for the early projectors.