Definition of talkie in US English:



  • A movie with a soundtrack, as distinct from a silent film.

    ‘one of the most beloved actors of the silent screen and early talkies’
    • ‘The film suffers from the wooden, stiff readings, the lengthy pauses, and the near-screaming that was common in the early talkies.’
    • ‘There were several silents, several early talkies and 15 other films between 1935-49 about Louis Vance's Michael Lanyard, the jewel thief-turned hero.’
    • ‘The ubiquitous Tully Marshall plays the grizzled sidekick role, showing much more range as an actor in talkies than he had in silents.’
    • ‘Not only did he love every movie he saw, he loved every change in the technology of movies he witnessed, from the silent screen to talkies, from black-and-white to technicolor, from two-dimensional to three.’
    • ‘His best character - the loveable and naive Little Tramp, who spins his cane and trips over his shoes - epitomises what silent movies were about, before talkies took over the big screen.’
    • ‘Chaplin, with his unique popularity, was able to stretch his transition from silents to talkies over a decade and completed one successful talking film, The Great Dictator.’
    • ‘Likewise, when talkies replaced silent movies, many stars of the earlier era were unable to adapt and became human relics.’
    • ‘The transition from silent movies to talkies destroyed many actors' careers, as did the shift from black-and-white to color.’
    • ‘Like many early talkies, this film alternates between stretches of awkward pantomime and stretches of clumsy dialogue.’
    • ‘In the 1930s, monster movies were the staples of Universal Pictures' line-up, a cash cow as the industry metamorphosed from silent films to talkies.’
    • ‘The talkies had arrived a decade earlier and, although British films were still popular, American culture was starting to influence us.’
    • ‘The films to be screened include silent films and talkies.’
    • ‘Like most films of its day, Little Caesar reflects the awkward transition from the era of silents to the new age of talkies.’
    • ‘Tune back to the early days of talkies, and remember an era before television.’
    • ‘You only have to see a film such as Sunrise to realise why many people considered the coming of sound as a disaster and why early talkies were crude and ungainly.’
    • ‘The film was one of the first talkies ever made, the first location shoot undertaken by Paramount Studios, and as far as it can be determined, the first sound film produced off the shores of Canada.’
    • ‘The short was produced in Hollywood in 1931-the early days of the talkies - when it was common practice for films to be cranked out in various language versions for foreign markets.’
    • ‘Just over 25 years later, the release of The Jazz Singer marked the advent of sound in the form of feature-length talkies, and film took an enormous leap in a new direction.’
    • ‘Almost immediately after the arrival of talkies, film songs came out as 78-rpm plates.’
    • ‘It's easy to understand why opponents of early talkies decried them as a step backward in the art of film-making when silent films had reached this level of wit and sophistication.’
    movie, picture, feature, feature film
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Early 20th century (originally US in the phrase the talkies): from talk, on the pattern of movie.