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Dan L. Miller Favorites

I watch movies every day because movies significantly enhance the quality of my life. I enjoy popular movies, award-winning movies, classics, and various genres. I find particular pleasure, however, in discovering rare and seldom-seen movies that engage me and leave me with that satisfying feeling of having shared a beautiful artistic moment with those who created the film. Although I view some modern seldom-seen movies, I focus more on rare and seldom-seen movies from the Silent Era, the Pre-Code Era, and the Thirties.

Many movie viewers don’t realize the fine quality and artistic importance of rare and seldom-seen movies. One can have an incredibly moving experience discovering and watching movies that people seldom see. Take a break from popular movies and discover movie-making geniuses from the past and movies featuring stars who deliver astounding performances.

Visit my movie blog ‘Rare and Seldom-Seen Movies’ at

Kennel Murder Case, The (1933)

The Kennel Murder CaseWilliam Powell, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette

Philo Vance investigates a man who was murdered in a locked room. This is the best of the Philo Vance series of films. It serves as a good introduction to the series, and if you want to get a good feel for the nature of these whodunits, choose this film first. William Powell, among the many actors who portray the detective, also does the best job—the most authentic, the most charismatic, and the most comfortable. And Mary Astor—she’s good in everything she’s in. Can’t go wrong with this gem. 

Watch the movie: The Kennel Murder Case —»

Pygmalion (1938)

Matchmaking MammaLeslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson

Henry Higgins wins a bet with Colonel Pickering to turn a guttersnipe into a lady. The problem is…what to do with her when the ‘experiment’ is over. This movie is a faithful rendering of the Shaw play. No color, glitz, or music as in ‘My Fair Lady.’ The acting is superb, and Wendy Hiller is the perfect Eliza Doolittle. This film is a delightful dramedy—a filmed version of the classic play—a cinematic treasure that is must see viewing.

Watch the movie: Pygmalion —»

The Silver Horde (1930)

The Silver Horde

Evelyn Brent, Joel McCrea, Louis Wolheim, Jean Arthur, Blanche Sweet

A salmon fisherman loves two girls and must choose between the girl with the bad reputation and the more-refined society girl. Primitive, early talkie production. Barebones production values and routine acting. Jean Arthur is not as attractive as in her later movies, and she’s still an actress-in-training in this film. Joel McCrea is always attractive and delivers a standard performance. Scenes of the fishing industry are interesting, but the fight scenes are lame. The movie is mildly interesting but worth watching. 

Watch the movie: The Silver Horde —»

Mister Antonio (1929)

Mr. AntonioLeo Carrillo, Virginia Valli, Gareth Hughes

Primitive talkie with amateur acting and with Carrillo speaking Italian at times. Basic story of Carrillo helping a young girl kicked out of her uncle’s home for visiting a roadhouse with her cousin. Booth Tarkington wrote the story, which is simple but solid. Mild historical interest.

Watch the movie: Mr. Antonio —»

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