I won't say much about this year's silent movie at the Ebert Overlooked Film Festival because I wasn't there for the first half of The Eagle. This movie came out in 1925, just a year before its star, Rudolph Valentino died of blood poisoning from a perforated ulcer.
I am not a big fan of silent movies. However, I was impressed with how much more I noticed facial expressions, body language and other non-verbal forms of communication in The Eagle. I will leave it to wiser people than me to decide whether that is because I paid closer attention to the non-verbal forms of communication, not being distracted by speech, or whether the actors in the silent movies exaggerated facial expressions, body language, etc.in order to communicate the only way they could. It was surprising to me how infrequently letter boxes were used to convey what was being said.
There isn't much to be said about the plot of The Eagle other than that it is ridiculous from a modern point of view.
Roger Ebert always has one in the lineup in Ebertfest, primarily to provide a venue for presenting the Alloy Orchestra, a three-man band that specializes in restoring silent movies and then playing along with them on a variety of found objects, ranging from bed pans to plumbing fixtures, as well as more conventional instruments like an accordian and electronic piano. Their music, as always, was excellent; in fact, the main reason I came to the theater for the last half of this film.
One nice thing about this movie is that we were not bothered by a loud annoying buzz in the middle of the movie like we were in almost every other showing. Ebert brags about the projectionists he brings from Chicago every year, James Bond and Steve Krauss, and they have generally done an excellent job. I don't know whether they were responsible for the buzzing, or whether there were electronics specialists who should have found the problem after the first time and fixed it, but since we were given no explanation, I'll blame Bond and Krauss.
Although I didn't see all of The Eagle, I think I saw enough that I'm entitled to rate it. I'm giving it three stars.