Silent film

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, mime and title cards. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the introduction of the Vitaphone system. (The term silent film is therefore a retronym, that is, a term created to distinguish something retroactively – the descriptor silent used before the late 1920s would have been a redundancy.) After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, "talkies" became more and more commonplace. Within a decade, popular widespread production of silent films had ceased.

A September 2013 report by the United States Library of Congress announced that a total of 70% of American silent films are believed to be completely lost.

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