Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

TINTYPE TUESDAY: Keaton, Valentino and Nazimova, Ready for Their Arthur Rice Close-Ups

Welcome to another edition of TINTYPE TUESDAY! When you think of classic-film portraits, who pops to mind? George Hurrell, Clarence Bull, Ruth Harriett Louise?

What about Arthur Rice?

When it comes to recognition, Rice seems to have been left largely on the cutting-room floor. But his work was nothing short of stunning, capturing in still life what the best silent-film cinematographers captured in motion—the moody play of light and shadow, the dramatic intensity, the dreamlike spirit.

During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Rice shot film stills and portraits for Metro Pictures, the forerunner of MGM, which distributed many films of stars such as Buster Keaton, Rudolph Valentino and Alla Nazimova. Here’s a sampling of his gorgeous work.

Portraits of Keaton:

sis-arthurrice-buster-5 sis-arthurrice-buster-1
sis-arthurrice-buster-2 sis-arthurrice-buster-6


Portraits of Nazimova:

nazimova-arthurrice-1 nazimova-arthurrice-2

Valentino and Alice Terry in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

sis-arthurrice-valentino-aliceterry-thefourhorsemenoftheapocalypse sis-arthurrice-valentino-julio-thefourhorsemenoftheapocalypse

Valentino and Nazimova in Camille:

sis-arthurrice-nazimova-valentino-camille19212 sis-arthurrice-nazimova-valentino-camille19211

Nazimova as Salome:

sis-arthurrice-nazimova-salome101 sis-arthurrice-nazimova-salome

Nazimova as Camille:

sis-arthurrice-nazimova-camille-19213 sis-arthurrice-nazimova-2

Are you sighing yet? Thank Arthur Rice, a sensitive, undersung artist who gave us an enduring glimpse into an ethereal, long-ago dream.

TINTYPE TUESDAY is a weekly feature on Sister Celluloid, with fabulous classic movie pix (and usually a bit of backstory!) to help you make it to Hump Day! For previous editions, just click hereand why not bookmark the page, to make sure you never miss a week?


  1. Vienna

    Great photos by Mr. Rice. Thanks for telling us about him.

  2. Wow! He was quite the photographer, indeed.

    • Linda you take such great photos yourself, I’m not surprised you appreciate his!! ❤

      • Aw, thanks! Just to let you know, I just received 37 notifications from WP that you liked my comment! They’re going crazy! Usually I just get three. HA! Don’t worry about me, I just delete the extras! Just thought you might want to ask them and don’t know if it’s happening to anyone else. 😀

      • Oh my God!! 🙂 I guess, to paraphrase Sally Field, I really, really liked it!! Actually I’ve had a few people tell me they got multiples, but not that many!! I don’t think it’s WP; I think it’s my computer… very old and keys stick… I apologize!!

      • No need to apologize! 😆

  3. Those are some of my favorite photos of Buster, and now I have the pleasure of knowing they’re all done by the same photographer! So thank you for that 🙂 The rest of the photos are equally as stunning, as well.

  4. I’ve always loved Rice’s photos, just stunning.

    Speaking of Buster… 🙂 I’d like to invite you (once again!) to my second annual Buster Keaton blogathon! It’s going to be Feb. 7-8 2016. Any other bloggers reading this are welcome to join in, too!

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