Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Where to Watch Reginald Denny's Silent Movies (Part 2)!

Reginald Denny photographed in 1929.
If you refer to my previous blog post titled: "Where to Watch Reginald Denny's Silent Movies (Part 1)!", I discussed what silent movies of Reginald Denny that were released during the years of 1922 through 1925, which are available to watch and where to watch them! This post is to specifically focus on the silent movies of Reginald Denny that were released during the years of 1926 through 1929, which are available to watch and where to watch them! Once again, Reginald Denny was a talented, charming, and a very handsome actor. He was a popular leading man who was under contract at Universal Pictures during the 1920's. Reginald Denny deserves to be re-discovered by younger audiences because of his natural acting, warmth, great charisma, and his fantastic comedic skills.

Skinner's Dress Suit (1926)

A lobby card for Skinner's Dress Suit (1926).
I will be honest in saying that Skinner's Dress Suit (1926), is not only one of my favorite Reginald Denny movies, but it is one of my favorite movies ever! Skinner's Dress Suit (1926) was the first Reginald Denny silent movie that I watched and let me tell you that it made me an instant fan of Denny and his charming leading lady, Laura La Plante! Denny and La Plante play a young married couple who live in a suburb of New York City. Denny works as a clerk. La Plante is proud of her husband and wants him to ask his boss for a raise. What occurs after this, is purely hilarious! Denny was at his charming best in this. There is a scene when one of Denny's co-workers (played by Betty Morrissey) teaches him a dance titled "The Savannah Shuffle" and it is off the charts funny! Denny's good friend William A. Seiter directed Skinner's Dress Suit (1926) and it has been said before by film historians such as Kevin Brownlow that Seiter was Denny's best director. I have to most certainly agree with this. Seiter appreciated Denny's talents and he knew how to let him shine, which he does!

Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante bring on the charm in Skinner's Dress Suit (1926).
Laura La Plante is my favorite leading lady of Reginald Denny. Their chemistry was undeniable and sweet. They really brought the best out of one another. I'm sure it did help that Denny and La Plante were friends off screen! They co-starred in two other movies: Sporting Youth (1924) and The Fast Worker (1924), which luckily are not lost, but have not been released on DVD yet.  Maybe one day they will! Denny and La Plante are in my opinion, the dream team of 1920's romantic comedies and Skinner's Dress Suit (1926) proves that!

You can buy Skinner's Dress Suit (1926) on DVD from Grapevine Video on Amazon and I would highly recommend this one! Even after 82 years since it has been released, it has not lost it's humor and charm thanks to the wonderful performances by Denny and La Plante and it's easy-going direction by William A. Seiter.

Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante in Skinner's Dress Suit (1926).
Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante in a publicity photo for Skinner's Dress Suit (1926).
The Cheerful Fraud (1926)
A poster for The Cheerful Fraud (1926).
The Cheerful Fraud (1926), is another fun Reginald Denny feature also directed by William A. Seiter. Denny co-stars again with the lovely Gertrude Olmstead (whom he worked with in California Straight Ahead). As I have said before, Reginald Denny and Gertrude Olmstead made a sweet on screen team and they had wonderful chemistry!

Reginald Denny plays Sir Michael Fairlie, who is briefly visiting his hometown of London, England. He goes out into a bad rainstorm and literally runs into a pretty young lady named Ann Kent (played by Miss Olmstead). There is a hilarious scene with their umbrellas and this one of the highlights of the movie for me! Well of course, Denny falls in love with Olmstead and follows her. What happens during the rest of the movie are a lot of mistaken/stolen identities, blackmail, and Denny trying to win the love of Olmstead even though he at first, is pretending to be someone else!

The hilarious comedy scenes are provided by the trio of Reginald Denny, Otis Harlan, and Gertrude Astor. The scene in the library had me laughing quite a lot! Otis Harlan was an actor who appeared in many of Denny's movies during the 1920's and they make a good team. Gertrude Astor also appeared with Denny in The Kentucky Derby (1922).

Reginald Denny and Gertrude Olmstead in an adorable scene from The Cheerful Fraud (1926).

Reginald Denny of course, in the end, saves the day and wins Gertrude Olmstead's love. I would highly recommend this one as well and it can be watched online at Internet Archive from the link below!

It can also be purchased on DVD from!

Reginald Denny and Gertrude Olmstead in The Cheerful Fraud (1926).
The Night Bird (1928)

Reginald Denny: The Boxer in The Night Bird (1928).
The Night Bird (1928), is not one of Reginald Denny's best movies, but it is important in the fact that the leading lady of the movie, Betsy Lee, later in 1928 became Mrs. Reginald Denny off screen! The Night Bird (1928), goes back to Denny's talent in boxing and he plays a girl-shy boxer in this one. To my knowledge, this is the last time he ever played a boxer on screen. Denny falls in love with a young Italian girl (played by Miss Lee) who is abused by her stepfather named Mario. Mario also wants her to marry a man that she does not love. The love is mutual between Denny and Lee and as in most movies, there are some complications throughout the movie, but in the end, all goes well.

Reginald Denny and Betsy Lee in The Night Bird (1928)

Betsy Lee was not the real name of the second Mrs. Reginald Denny (this was her stage name). She was born Isabella Clara Stiefel on May 8th, 1907 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She met Reginald Denny as an extra at Universal Pictures sometime in the mid to late 1920's. Reginald Denny and his first wife Irene separated. Irene filed for divorce in 1927 and the divorce was finalized in 1928. Reginald and Isabelle (her nickname was Bubbles) were married on November 24th, 1928 in a quiet ceremony at Isabelle's home. She was a good actress, but retired when she married. From what it seems, they did end up having a happy and successful marriage, which brought them three children. You can most certainly see the natural and genuine chemistry between the two leads. I enjoy watching this movie to see the future Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Denny!

Corliss Palmer and Jocelyn Lee enjoy the company of Reginald Denny in The Night Bird (1928).
The Night Bird (1928) is available to purchase on DVD from Grapevine Video!

His Lucky Day (1929)

A window card for His Lucky Day (1929).
His Lucky Day (1929) was originally filmed in two forms, one as a complete silent and two as a part silent and a part "talkie". The only print that survives today is the complete silent version. His Lucky Day (1929) was made at the end of Reginald Denny being under contract to Universal Pictures. Nevertheless, it's still a charming comedy with some funny moments provided from Denny and Otis Harlan.

Reginald Denny plays a real estate agent named Charles Blaydon, who rents a house to a wealthy art collector named Weaver, but Denny is unable to sell it to Weaver until another person purchases the neighboring house. Also Denny is in love with Weaver's daughter named Kay, who is played by a sweet actress named Lorayne Duval. Denny ends up finding tenants for the neighboring house (who end up being a group of crooks on the run). There are as always, complications along the way, but all ends well for Denny. Denny is charming and funny and even if the story is not the best, his presence makes the movie worth watching alone.

Reginald Denny and Otis Harlan in His Lucky Day (1929)
Reginald Denny and Lorayne Duval in His Lucky Day (1929).
Reginald Denny has a hilarious scene where he wears a cat suit to scare Otis Harlan (who plays one of the crooks). While the story is not the best, His Lucky Day (1929) is still an enjoyable comedy because of the talent and charm of Reginald Denny!

His Lucky Day (1929) is available to purchase on DVD from Grapevine Video!

Reginald Denny in His Lucky Day (1929).
I hope that these last two blog posts have inspired you to watch some of Reginald Denny's silent movies! I have loved watching through Reginald's filmography, as he was a very versatile and talented actor. And there are so many more silent movies of his that are in archives that deserved to be released on DVD! I hope that you enjoy watching him as much as I have!

Reginald Denny photographed by Fruelich in the 1920's.