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Unit 12
6 • Creation and arts

From silent to talkie
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➜ How did the arrival of sound change movies for actors and spectators?

Retrouvez une banque d'audios et de vidéos authentiques en lien avec cette thématique.

The Artist, by Micheal Hazanavicius, 2011.
The Artist, by Micheal Hazanavicius, 2011.


  • blockbuster /ˈblɒkˌbʌstə/ (n.)
  • camera operator (n.)
  • director (n.)
  • film location / setting (n.)
  • microphone /ˈmaɪkrəfəʊn/ (n.)
  • technician (a member of the crew) (n.)
  • look tense / focused (v.)
  • play a part / act in a film (v.)

Get ready!

Voir les réponses
a. What comes to your mind when you hear “silent movie”? List as many words as possible.

b. Look at the vocabulary boxes below. Select a title for each box from the list below.

  • a story
  • a movie
  • people
  • verbs
  • places
  • genres




a. Look at the picture. Say as many things as you can about it.

b. Is the crew filming a silent movie or a talkie?

Discuss the brainstorming questions with your group. Do you like silent movies? Why or why not?

Read the idiom of the week below. With the photo and the note, guess its meaning and rephrase it in your own words.

Let's learn!

Crossing words

Select 10 words from the mind map or the toolbox, write a definition for each and make a crossword.

IDIOM of the week!

That’s a wrap!

IDIOM of the week!
Wrap is an acronym for “Wind, Reel And Print” meaning that you rewind the film on the reel and print the footage (= film). The director says it at the end of a scene or movie to indicate that everything appears to be satisfactory.

Brainstorming question

Do you know which is the first silent film ever made? (Hint: it was made in France in 1895!)

Can you imagine the audience’s reaction back then?

Silent movies

Silent movies

  • main / secondary (adj.)
  • script / screenplay (n.)
  • character / protagonist (n.)
  • part / role (n.)
  • intrigue (n.)
  • plot / sub plot (n.)
  • twist (n.)
  • Happy Ending (n.)

  • box office (n.)
  • cinema / movie theatre /ˈθɪətə/ (n.)
  • dressing room (n.)
  • nickelodeon /ˈnɪkəˌləʊdɪən/ / jukebox (n.)
  • set / shooting location (n.)
  • setting (n.)
  • studio (n.)

  • actor / star / actress (n.)
  • clapman (n.)
  • costume designers (n.)
  • lighting technicians (n.)
  • make-up artists
  • producer (n.)
  • stunt man (n.)
  • film critic (n.)

  • action film (n.)
  • animation film (n.)
  • comedy (n.)
  • documentary (n.)
  • drama / tear jerker (n.)
  • romance (n.)
  • sci-fi /ˈsaɪ-faɪ/ (n.)
  • a sequel /ˈsiːkwəl/ (n.)

  • cut / edit (v.)
  • film / shoot a scene (v.)
  • rehearse (v.)
  • release /rɪˈliːs/ (v.)
  • show / screen a film (v.)
  • starring / featuring /ˈfiːtʃərɪŋ/ (exp.)

  • blockbuster ≠ dud / flop (n.)
  • cameo /ˈkæmɪˌəʊ/ (n.)
  • cinemagoer / film buff (n.)
  • close-up (n.)
  • credits (n.)
  • film / movie / flick (n.)
  • reel (of film) (n.)
  • screen (n.)

On your way to the task - Step 1

Talking heads: participate in a documentary programme about silent cinema.
Activity 1

Step 2

Convince your classmates to have a special issue about silent cinema.
Activity 2
Activity 3

Step 3

Write an article about the challenges of making a talkie.
Activity 4
Activity 5

Your final project

You are a member of your school film club. Get ready for next month meeting entitled From silent to talkie.
Let's go!
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