Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostThu Jul 11, 2013 11:36 pm

Can anyone shed some light on this TV series that showcased silent films each week? Who produced it? How many episodes did it include and what were some of the titles? Is this series available on DVD? I was just too young at the time (9 years old) to remember much about it. Thanks!


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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 7:11 am

It was produced by Killiam Shows. Part of a season had Ernie Kovacs as its host. The Kovacs wraparounds were taped at his home and are the only footage of his tricked-out den. A few of the wraparounds are on the Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD set (vol 1), which I programmed and which came out a couple years ago.

Someone else on the forum will undoubtedly have more info about the series and whether the shows themselves are on DVD.

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Bob Birchard

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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 8:36 am

There were probably 26 episodes. Some were condensations of features: The Yankee Clipper, The Road to Yesterday, etc. while others were clip show documentaries like The Fun Factory. The shows were re-packaged under the title The Hoistory of the Motion Picture, and under this generic title a number of episodes were sold through Blackhawk Films.

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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 9:02 am

For many of us around the World, this was our introduction to the Silent film. I still remember watching the half hour long program every weekend as a Teenager in the U.S.. So does my friend in Australia.

"Critic's Choice" video once offered the series as a collection on VHS.


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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 10:31 am

The show ran on ABC Thursday nights from 10:30 to 11:00 starting August through October 1960 (first season) and from
March through October 1961 (final season.) There was no host first time around. Ernie Kovacs, whose show Take A Good Look had aired in the time slot until Silents Please returned, became the host in the second season.
(Source: Complete Directory To Prime TV Network And Cable TV Shows.)


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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?



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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 5:51 pm

Film Preservation Associates (Blackhawk) owns the rights and elements to some (not all) of the Silents Please episodes. Those dealing with comedy are licensed to Cinemuseum (Paul Gierucki) who plans to issue them on DVD after his huge and long-awaited Sennett set is finally launched.

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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostFri Jul 12, 2013 9:32 pm

Some of my first non-comedy silents were seen through this program and on Toy That Grew Up. I am glad these shows existed back then to introduce me to silents.


Snitz de Brulier

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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostSun Jul 14, 2013 10:22 pm

Here's the lineup for both years per Carolina-Tennessee edition of TV Guide:


August 4 "The Son of the Sheik"
August 11 "The General"
August 18 "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
August 25 "Yankee Clipper"
September 1 William S. Hart: clips from "Hell's Hinges" and "Tumbleweeds"; Hart's intro to the 1939 re-release of "Tumbleweeds"
September 8 Mack Sennett: clips spanning 1909 to 1929, including an excerpt from "The Lonely Villa"
September 15 "Tempest"
September 22 serials; clips from "The Perils of Pauline"
September 29 and October 6 "Orphans of the Storm"


March 23 "The Black Pirate"
March 30 "The Eagle"
April 6 "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
April 13 Will Rogers; film and newsreel clips
April 20 pre-empted for monthly Ernie Kovacs special
April 27 pre-empted for Algerian war special
May 4 "America"
May 11 "The Thief of Bagdad"
May 18 pre-empted for monthly Ernie Kovacs special
May 25 Chaplin, Keaton and Langdon; clips from "Easy Street", "Cops" and "Saturday Afternoon"
June 1 "Variety"
June 8 heroes rescuing heroines from perils
June 15 pre-empted for monthly Ernie Kovacs special
June 22 pre-empted for U.S. diplomats special
June 29 and July 6 "Orphans of the Storm" begins two months of repeats
July 13 "The Son of the Sheik"
July 20 "Tempest"
July 27 "Yankee Clipper"
August 3 Mack Sennett
August 10 William S. Hart
August 17 "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
August 24 serials
August 31 "The Black Pirate" ends two months of repeats
September 7 "The Garden of Eden"
September 14 "The Road to Yesterday"
September 21 pre-empted for Ernie Kovacs special
September 28 TV Guide says "Dracula" (1922); musta been "Nosferatu"
October 5 Babylonian segment of "Intolerance"
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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 12:29 pm

Thanks for the TN lineup!
Detroit's Free Press weekly TV Guide at least mentions a German Dracula w/ Max Schreck for 9/28/1961.
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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 5:24 pm

Sometime back in the 90's Critic's Choice put 6 VHS tape's worth of this show out; I had those tapes up until about a year ago when I took most of my VHS tapes to Goodwill. If I had had any inkling I'd be joining this board I'd have saved them and offered them here instead.
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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 5:20 pm

"September 28 TV Guide says "Dracula" (1922); musta been "Nosferatu"

I have the Blackhawk vhs release somewhere of the "episodes of Corinne Griffith's THE GARDEN OF EDEN and NOSFERATU (what a combo!!) and I believe it is simply called "Dracula" in the narration.


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Re: Silents Please (1960–1961) ?

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 10:43 am

There was at least one such cut, "re-Stoker-izing" the story in title and character names, released in 8mm. Maybe even more than one:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuk ... L7jHr2wVuQ

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