Silent stars shine at Forth Valley Hospital

Images of renowned silent movie stars go on show

Anna-May-Wong is one of the silent movie stars captured as part of the exhibition at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital

The glamorous world of silent movie stars is showing in the atrium of Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Images are being displayed as part of a photographic exhibition featuring greats such as Lilian Gish, Pola Negri and Anna May Wong.

With the advent of the ‘talkies’ in the 1930s, many of the cinema greats who had only existed on celluloid materialised in Scotland to be seen in the flesh – and with voices – in the country’s theatres. And photographers from the Herald’s sister newspapers, the Evening Times and The Bulletin, were there to record their visits.

These were well documented, but by the late 1940s and early 1950s, even a silent era giant like ‘ The Great Stone Face’, Buster Keaton himself, couldn’t excite a picture editor. Only those such as Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich and Laurel and Hardy, who had managed to keep their movie careers and popularity going, continued to attract the newspapers’ attention. For the rest, their names and faces were largely forgotten until the great revival of interest in silent cinema in the 1960s.

The photography exhibition – Silent Stars in Scotland - coincides with the 5th Festival of Silent Cinema, which takes place in the restored art deco Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness this month.