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18 Comedians of Silent Film + Lloyd Hamilton Bio

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:29 pm
by JFK
This thread is a listing of fabulous holiday-or any day- gift suggestions:
Currently “in print” items- DVDs; eBooks; CDs; Calendars; Books; Art; etc.

Produced, in whole or in part, by NITRATEVILLE MEMBERS.

Ideally, each post will provide an image, publisher’s description, and on-line purchase link.

Eighteen Comedians of Silent Film
Paperback– August 25, 2012
by Anthony Balducci
“For decades, hundreds of actors delivered a steady stream of pranks and pratfalls for the amusement of silent film fans. While film historians have focused their attention on the three biggest comedy stars (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd), numerous comedians of less renown have been unjustly forgotten. But, now, eighteen uniquely talented comedians overlooked for many years finally receive the recognition they deserve. Discussed at length are the methods and skills that made these performers stand out. This includes the subtle expressiveness of Lloyd Hamilton, the goofy acrobatics of Clyde Cook, the playful irreverence of Hank Mann, the wicked brazenness of Billie Ritchie, and the destructive buffoonery of André Deed. Eighteen Comedians of Silent Film is presented as both a loving tribute and a thoughtful analysis of a delightfully special group of artists.”

Lloyd Hamilton
Poor Boy Comedian of Silent Cinema

Paperback– May 13, 2009 (still in print)
by Anthony Balducci
“At first glance, Lloyd Hamilton was a large, baby-faced comic who walked like a duck. To the trained eye, Hamilton demonstrated keen timing and an inventive mind, providing wry humor rich in emotion during his 20 year career. Perhaps most importantly, Hamilton was greatly admired by his fellow comics, receiving praise from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. This book explores Hamilton's life and work, beginning with his conservative, middle-class childhood and continuing through the comic's entry into show business as a theatre extra, his most memorable role as half of silent comedy's "Ham and Bud" duo, and his first feature film, The Darker Self. The author examines Hamilton's private life and alcoholism and the decline of his health and career, which led to his death at the age of 43. The book includes exclusive photographs from the Hamilton family, a filmography with detailed plot descriptions, many behind-the-scenes facts, and an analysis of Hamilton's critical lost feature film A Self-Made Failure.".

Mack Sennett's Fun Factory-History and Filmography

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:46 pm
by JFK
Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: ,
A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies,
With Biographies of Players and Personnel

Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle – December 8, 2010
by Brent E. Walker
“This is a comprehensive career study and filmography of Mack Sennett, cofounder of Keystone Studios, home of the Keystone Kops and other vehicles that showcased his innovative slapstick comedy. The filmography covers the more than 1,000 films Sennett produced, directed, wrote or appeared in between 1908 and 1955, including casts, credits, synopses, production and release dates, locations, cross-references of remade stories and gags, footage excerpted in compilations, identification of prints existing in archives, and other information. The book, featuring 280 photographs, also contains biographies of several hundred performers and technical personnel connected with Sennett...”

2014 Silent Movies Calendar- Fabulous Hats!

Posted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:13 pm
by JFK
The 2014 Silent Movies Calendar
Fabulous Hats!

Calendar– November 2013
Rodney Sauer
"The Silent Movies Benefit Calendar features silent film artwork and birthdays of silent-era film stars and personalities, as well as notable marriages, deaths, film openings, and other significant dates. This year, all of the photos have excellent hats, ranging from the fashion bombs on the cover to some perfectly normal (but stylish) headgear."

Russian Emigres in Paris + King Vidor Oral History

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:15 pm
by JFK
French Masterworks: Russian Emigres in Paris 1923-1928
5 Iconic Films Albatros Productions

DVD– May 14, 2013
5 Disc DVD Box Set
Directors: Ivan Mosjoukine, Jacques Feyder, Marcel L Herbier, Alexandre Volkoff

"The collection of Russian filmmakers who made up the core of what came to be known as Films Albatros arrived from Moscow after the October 1917 revolution by way of Yalta, Constantinople and Marseilles, establishing their base of operations in an old Pathé greenhouse-style studio in the Paris suburb of Montreuil. From it flowed some of the finest French films of the 1920s – variously experimental, spectacular, charming, witty; and always beautifully executed."

King Vidor
A Director's Guild of America Oral History

Hardcover – September 1, 1988 (still in print)
by Nancy Dowd and David Shepard
“Vidor recounts his early days in Texas, his years at the birth of Hollywood, and his rise through the MGM Studios to become a prominent film director”

Kount Kracula's Twisted Sinema!

Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:15 am
by JFK
Kount Kracula's Twisted Sinema!
Obscure 21st Century Underground Horror /Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Thriller Movies & Shorts #1
Tales Lost and Found

Kindle Edition– September 18, 2012
by Tony 'Tex' Watt, Vivita (Editor), Reg Hartt (Foreword)
“Tony 'Tex' Watt [aka T.V. horror host : Kount Kracula] exploits the exploiters in this, the first volume of : "Kount Kracula's Twisted Sinema!: Obscure 21st Century Underground Horror /Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Thriller Movies & Shorts #1": Watt's non-fiction book will focus on 9 selected works of quirky, talented and unostentatious multi-genre B-moviemaking luminaries (Himself included!)
- Lloyd Kaufman’s TROMEO & JULIET - Jürgen Heimann's PUPHEDZ: THE TATTLE-TALE HEART
- Lee Gordon Demarbre's JESUS CHRIST VAMPIRE HUNTER -Steve Herold's H.R. PUKENSHETTE
- Kim Sonderholm's CRAIG- Barry MacKinnon's MOOSE HUNTER - SV Bell's CRAWLER

Lon Chaney Bio + Hollywood And the O.K. Corral

Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:49 am
by JFK
A Thousand Faces
Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures

Paperback and Kindle– January 1, 1997 (still in print)
by Michael F Blake
“From Booklist
Like fellow silent stars John Gilbert, Douglas Fairbanks, and Harold Lloyd, Lon Chaney is underremembered. His full repertory of classic performances is rarely exhibited (only the clunky Phantom of the Opera [1926] is occasionally trotted out), and he is infrequently mentioned in the company of other American film pioneers. Blake seeks to redress this oversight, which is especially egregious in view of Chaney's writing, directing, and producing as well as acting credits. Most significantly, of course, Chaney was a master of makeup who crafted some of the most grotesque physical portrayals of human misery on film. Contemporary recognition of Chaney is limited by the fact that he made only one talkie, and that just before he died. Nevertheless, particularly because of his longtime teamwork with director Tod Browning, Chaney was what we would today call a superstar. Blake helps restore the proper luster to Chaney's status.”

Hollywood And the O.K. Corral
Portrayals of the Gunfight And Wyatt Earp

Paperback- October 27, 2006 (still in print)
by Michael F. Blake
“A lot can happen in 30 seconds. In the case of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, 30 seconds found three men dead, left two men wounded and ultimately captured the imagination of generations of Americans. Wyatt Earp, an against-all-odds hero who was literally the last man standing; Doc Holliday, Earp's unlikely crony; the tragic tale of the Earp family--all of these elements make the story of the O.K. Corral irresistible to a great many people. Hollywood filmmakers were quick to recognize the legend's attraction--and its potential. As early as 1939 (with the production of Frontier Marshal), moviemakers were recreating the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its attendant happenings in Tombstone, Arizona, on October 26, 1881. The following decades produced various renderings of the story, some more historically accurate than others but all with the American flair for entertainment. This volume examines eight movie renderings of the legendary gunfight. Produced from 1939 to 1994, these movies each use Wyatt Earp and other real-life characters as their sources. The work focuses on the filmmakers' treatment of the history and the skill with which each balances fact with the necessity of entertainment. The ways in which Wyatt Earp is presented in each film and this portrayal's relationship to the period in which the film was made is also examined in detail. Films discussed are Frontier Marshal (1939), Tombstone: The Town Too Tough to Die (1942), My Darling Clementine (1946), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), Hour of the Gun (1967), Doc (1971), Tombstone (1993), and Wyatt Earp (1994). Period photographs are also included.”

Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood + Santa Barbara Silent Films

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:13 pm
by JFK
Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood
Kindle– June 29, 2004
by Robert S. Birchard
“Far and away the best film book published so far this year."--National Board of Review Cecil B. DeMille was the most successful filmmaker in early Hollywood history. Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood is a detailed and definitive chronicle of the screen work that changed the course of film history and a fascinating look at how movies were actually made in Hollywood's Golden Age. Drawing extensively on DeMille's personal archives and other primary sources, Robert S. Birchard offers a revealing portrait of DeMille the filmmaker that goes behind studio gates and beyond DeMille's legendary persona. In his forty-five-year career DeMille's box-office record was unsurpassed, and his swaggering style established the public image for movie directors. DeMille had a profound impact on the way movies tell stories and brought greater attention to the elements of decor, lighting, and cinematography. Best remembered today for screen spectacles such as The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah, DeMille also created Westerns, realistic "chamber dramas," and a series of daring and highly influential social comedies. He set the standard for Hollywood filmmakers and demanded absolute devotion to his creative vision from his writers, artists, actors, and technicians."

Silent-Era Filmmaking in Santa Barbara
(Images of America)

Paperback– July 2, 2007
by Robert S. Birchard
“Between 1910 and 1921, the American Film Company was one of the fledgling movie industry's most successful studios, with production facilities in Santa Barbara and business offices in Chicago. Nicknamed for its distinctive winged A logo, the Flying A produced nearly 1,200 films, starring such favorites of the day as Mary Miles Minter, J. Warren Kerrigan, Wallace Reid, and King Baggot. The company's rather patriotic motto invited patrons to See Americans first. The studio's films also documented the picturesque and developing Pacific seaside community of Santa Barbara and served as a training ground for some of Hollywood's greatest directors, including Allan Dwan, Henry King, Victor Fleming, Frank Borzage, George Marshall, William Desmond Taylor, and Marshall Neilan.”

Location Filming in Los Angeles

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:19 pm
by JFK
Location Filming in Los Angeles
(Images of America)

Paperback– July 2, 2007
by Karie Bible , Marc Wanamaker, Harry Medved
“Los Angeles has reigned for more than a century as the world capital of the film industry, a unique and ever-changing city that has been molded and recast thousands of times through the artistic visions and cinematic dreams of Hollywood's elite. As early as 1907, filmmakers migrated west to avoid lengthy eastern winters. In Los Angeles, they discovered an ideal world of abundant and diverse locales blessed with a mild and sunny climate ideal for filming. Location Filming in Los Angeles provides a historic view of the diversity of locations that provided the backdrop for Hollywood's greatest films, from the silent era to the modern age.”

Lita Grey Chaplin Memoir + Making Music with Charlie Chaplin

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:27 pm
by JFK
Wife of the Life of the Party
Hardcover, Kindle - March 1998
by Lita Grey Chaplin, Sydney Chaplin (Foreword), with Jeffrey Vance
“Wife of the Life of the Party is the memoir of the late Lita Grey Chaplin (1908-1995), the only one of Chaplin's wives to have written an account of life with Chaplin. Her memoir is an extraordinary Hollywood story of someone who was there from the very beginning. Born Lillita Louise MacMurray in Hollywood, she began her career at twelve with the Charlie Chaplin Film Company, when Chaplin selected her to appear with him as the flirting angel in The Kid. When she was fifteen, Chaplin signed her as the leading lady in The Gold Rush and changed her name to Lita Grey. She was forced to leave the production when, at the age of sixteen, she became pregnant with Chaplin's child. She married Chaplin in Empalme, Mexico in November 1924.
The Chaplins stayed together for two years. Lita bore Chaplin two sons: Charles Chaplin, Jr. and Sydney Chaplin. In November 1926, after Lita discovered that Chaplin was having an affair with Merna Kennedy (Lita's best friend, whom she had persuaded Chaplin to hire as the leading lady in The Circus), Lita left Chaplin and filed for divorce. It was one of the first divorce cases to receive a public airing. The divorce complaint ran a staggering 42 pages and fed scandal with its revelations about the private life of Charles Chaplin. Lita's divorce settlement of $825,000 was the largest in American history at the time. Lita authorized the publication of another biography, My Life with Chaplin, in 1966. The book was mainly the creation of her co-author, Morton Cooper, who re-wrote her manuscript. Lita was never happy with the many inaccuracies and distortions of that book. Wife of the Life of the Party is not to be seen as a supplement to her early book, but rather Lita's own version of her life, told for the first time.

Making Music with Charlie Chaplin
Hardcover- April 12, 2000
by Eric James with Jeffrey Vance
“Although many books have been written about Charlie Chaplin, most are the products of research gathered from second-hand sources and various archives. Eric James had the privilege of knowing and working with Chaplin as his Music Associate for more than twenty years, during which time he collaborated in the development of compositions and subsequent orchestral arrangements that became celebrated film scores.
In Making Music with Charlie Chaplin, James details his relationship with Chaplin, from their auspicious first meeting, to his frequent visits to Switzerland when he lived with Chaplin and his family. The book chronicles James' decades-long collaboration and provides new insight into his protean musical genius.
Alight with levity and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, James allows us to glimpse the artist behind the legend, a Chaplin too rarely seen.”

Laurel & Hardy From The 40s Forward + Gloria Jean Bio

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:48 pm
by JFK
Laurel & Hardy
From The Forties Forward: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

Hardcover, Paperback - November 23, 2009
by Scott MacGillivray
“Scott MacGillivray's Laurel & Hardy: From the Forties Forward was the first book to fully chronicle the later careers of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and everything that followed, from theatrical reissues to home videos. If you enjoyed the book the first time, you'll like this new edition even more. The author has expanded the original text by more than 50 percent, to include new insights, new information, and new discoveries in Laurel & Hardy history, never before published. (Which Laurel & Hardy comedy of the 1940s was withheld from release for almost four years? Which "forties" movie was their all-time biggest hit? Which movie was almost shut down by federal intervention?) You'll read much more about Stan and Ollie's unrealized projects, including five more feature films, two TV series, and two Broadway shows. A must-read for Stan and Ollie's fans everywhere, Laurel & Hardy: From the Forties Forward is better than ever!" "What a marvelous book! I read it straight through, getting happier by the minute to think that more and more material is being set into history about the boys. The writing is so lucid - and that in this day of film books that aren't is high praise. Really wonderful!" - JOHN McCABE, Laurel & Hardy's authorized biographer "All the world's admirers of Laurel & Hardy will now forever be indebted to Scott MacGillivray for providing so much new information about two of the world's most beloved figures." - STEVE ALLEN

Gloria Jean
A Little Bit of Heaven

Hardcover, Paperback - October 11, 2005
by Scott MacGillivray, Jan MacGillivray
“Here is the first book-length biography of Gloria Jean, one of Hollywood's finest performers, who starred in film, radio, stage, nightclub, and television productions. And what a story it is! This is the first in-depth profile of her public and private life. You'll read about her co-stars, including Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx, Donald O'Connor, and Mel Tormé go behind the scenes on the set of Never Give a Sucker an Even Break and meet W. C. Fields, her "Uncle Bill" follow her memorable show-business career with its breathtaking heights and heartbreaking depths, guided-and sometimes misguided-by the studio enjoy dozens of rare photos from Gloria Jean's personal collection browse vintage posters and lobby cards.As a special treat for film buffs, you'll see actual frame enlargements of never-before-seen screen tests and discover three lost Gloria Jean feature films, documented here for the first time anywhere!

American Silent Film

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:09 pm
by JFK
While the author - a great early film historian - has passed on, a family member is a Nitrateville denizen.
American Silent Film
Kindle– August 22, 1998
by William K Everson
“Praised as the "best modern survey of the silent period" (New Republic), this indispensable history tells you everything you need to know about American silent film, from the nickelodeons in the early 1900s to the birth of the first "talkies" in the late 1920s. The author provides vivid descriptions of classic pictures such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Sunrise, The Covered Wagon, and Greed, and lucidly discusses their technical and artistic merits and weaknesses. He pays tribute to acknowledged masters like D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Lillian and Dorothy Gish, but he also gives ample attention to previously neglected yet equally gifted actors and directors. In addition, the book covers individual genres, such as the comedy, western gangster, and spectacle, and explores such essential but little-understood subjects as art direction, production design, lighting and camera techniques, and the art of the subtitle. Intended for all scholars, students, and lovers of film, this fascinating book, which features over 150 film stills, provides a rich and comprehensive overview of this unforgettable era in film history.”

Accidentally Preserved + Lame Brains and Lunatics

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:23 pm
by JFK
Accidentally Preserved,
notes on the films

Paperback - November 27, 2013
by Ben Model; Steve Massa
“This companion guide to the "Accidentally Preserved" DVD series volumes 1 and 2 contains notes on the silent films by historian Steve Massa and notes on the 16mm prints themselves by Ben Model. The 54-page booklet includes frame-grabs from the films, several of which are main titles not seen on the DVDs. The book has been designed so that it fits perfectly inside the DVD case of your copy of Accidentally Preserved."

Lame Brains and Lunatics,
The Good, The Bad, and The Forgotten of Silent Comedy

Paperback and eBook– April 30, 2013
by Steve Massa
“Silent Film Comedy was a fortuitous combination of art and technology, where the physical comedy skills and artistry passed down from the Commedia dell'Arte, English music hall, and American vaudeville were captured for posterity by the newly created motion picture camera. While the Chaplins, Keatons, and Laurel & Hardys are still remembered and celebrated, this book profiles unsung practitioners such as Billie Ritchie, Marcel Perez, Lige Conley, and George Rowe, with special focus on the neglected comediennes Alice Howell, Gale Henry, Fay Tincher, and Josie Sadler. Popular icons on the order of Mack Sennett, Marie Dressler, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and W.C. Fields are re-examined, plus detailed histories of silent comedy teams and kid's comedies are offered. The book also includes selected filmographies and is lavishly illustrated with more than 225 rarely-seen photographs and advertising images. Steve Massa is a leading enthusiast of silent comedy, who has devoted 45 years to researching the genre. A librarian in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, he has organized comedy film programs for the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. In addition to consulting with the Eye Film Institute, Netherlands and other archives, and writing for film journals such as Griffithiana, he is a founding member of Silent Cinema Presentations which produces NYC's Silent Clown Film Series. Steve has also contributed articles and commentary tracks to many comedy DVD collections such as The Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Becoming Charley Chase, and Kino Video's Buster Keaton: The Short Films Collection.”

Historic Theatres of Portland

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:29 pm
by JFK
Theatres of Portland
(Images of America)

Paperback, Kindle – June 15, 2009
by Gary Lacher , Steve Stone
“Portland’s theatre history is marked by early enthusiasm and exceptionally vigorous growth. With the Pacific Northwest’s often rainy weather, people sought refuge in movie entertainment, and the city eventually grew to have more theatre seats per capita than similar-sized cities in the United States. Beginning with short cinema segments at vaudeville houses downtown, Portland movie theatres came into their own swiftly and ambitiously. By 1915, there were over 70 individual theatres showing films both downtown and in neighborhoods throughout the city. By the 1920s, larger theatres were being built, including substantial neighborhood palaces such as the Bagdad, Hollywood, and Oriental. Meanwhile, downtown provided the Broadway, Portland, and Orpheum, to name a few. This volume contains an overview of Portland’s theatre history through rare and newly discovered historical photographs of those memorable places of entertainment.”

Fiasco-Hollywood Flops + Hollywood Book of Death

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:36 pm
by JFK
A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops

Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle– January 1, 2006 (still in print)
by James Robert Parish
“ A longtime industry insider and acclaimed Hollywood historian goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of 15 of the most spectacular movie megaflops of the past 50 years, such as Cleopatra, The Cotton Club, and Waterworld. He recounts, in every gory detail, how enormous hubris, unbridled ambition, artistic hauteur, and bad business sense on the parts of Tinsel Town wheeler-dealers and superstars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood, and Francis Ford Coppola, conspired to engender some of the worst films ever.”

The Hollywood Book of Death
The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols

Paperback and Kindle– October 29, 2001 (still in print)
by James Robert Parish
“Discover the tantalizing details of Hollywood's famous and infamous fatalities. The death of a celebrity is often as fascinating as--and sometimes more fascinating than--a star's actual life. From the grisly end of Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson family and the mysterious demise of Bob Crane to the peaceful passings of Lucille Ball and George Burns, The Hollywood Book of Death is a captivating and appealingly packaged volume of more than 125 television and movie stars' final curtain calls. Arranged by manner of death, these well-researched accounts include details of celebrities' colorful lives and unusual deaths, their funerals, and the intriguing aftermath. With more than 100 rare photographs and a special "necrology" index of more than 6,000 stars and directors, along with a section revealing where Hollywood personalities are resting in eternal sleep, this enthralling reference promises to be on every film and television buff's "Top 10" gift list.”

Sound of Silence-16 Film/Stage Star Conversations

Posted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:22 pm
by JFK
The Sound of Silence
Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies

Paperback February 25, 2011
by Michael G. Ankerich

"Marion Shilling began her career as a silent film ingenue for MGM and went on to play heroines in Westerns of the 1930s. Stage actress Esther Muir made the transition from Broadway to Hollywood just as talkies became popular. Hugh Allan was a leading man in the last years of the silents only to leave the film business in 1930 because of the uncertainty surrounding his transition to sound films and his disgust with studio politics. These three performers and thirteen others (Barbara Barondess, Thomas Beck, Mary Brian, Pauline Curley, Billie Dove, Edith Fellows, Rose Hobart, William Janney, Marcia Mae Jones, Barbara Kent, Anita Page, Lupita Tovar, and Barbara Weeks) reminisce here about Hollywood and the movie business as it made the transition."

Re: Holiday Suggestions 2013:Nitrateville's Books;Films;Etc

Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:19 pm
by MikeH0714
Wow, it has been a banner year for classic film, hasn't it? Many of these have given me a lot of pleasure. For sheer astonishing research and enjoyment SMILEAGE GUARANTEED, LAME BRAINS & LUNATICS and SHOWMEN, SELL IT HOT! top the list, and ACCIDENTALLY PRESERVED gets the DVD honors. I love how the entries are grouped by author/creator.

Thank you for including LITTLE ELF and CHAPLIN'S VINTAGE YEAR.


James Stephenson- The Life and Films

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:22 pm
by JFK
A Letter of Introduction
The Life and Films of James Stephenson

Paperback November 30, 2013
by David a. Redfern

"James Stephenson's performance in William Wyler's The Letter is held in high critical esteem, yet the actor himself remains remarkably unknown. His is an extraordinary story of dedication and tenacity in achieving Hollywood stardom, only for his career and new-found success to be ended by an unexpected and tragic death. Drawing on the late actor's personal archive, and other primary source material, the book traces his early family background in Lancashire, England, uncovers his First World War army service records, and describes his business career during the 1920s and early 1930s. At the age of forty-three he was able to enter the acting profession on the strength of his experience in amateur stage work. He performed on the professional stage in Liverpool and London. In private letters he describes his journey to Hollywood and the ordeal of screen tests at the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios. During his Hollywood screen career he played opposite such charismatic performers as: Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn and Kay Francis. For the first time, this biography presents the extensive range of James Stephenson's acting career both in Britain and Hollywood. Throughout, his life is depicted against a detailed historical background. David A. Redfern is a film historian and lives in England."

Rudolph Valentino 2014 Calendar

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:15 pm
by JFK
Rudolph Valentino 2014
Calendar– November 2013
Edited by Donna Hill
"2014 edition of the annual Rudolph Valentino calendar is
devoted to showing Valentino in private life off screen.."
Film historian Hill was previously the author of
Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol His Life in Photographs

Re: Gift Suggestions 2013:Nitrateville's Books;Films;Etc

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:40 pm
by JLNeibaur
Honored to have a couple of my books in this company, JFK, but just to note, "Buster Keaton's Silent Shorts" was co-written with Terri Niemi.

Thanks again!



Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:18 pm
by JFK
Looking for Mabel Normand(1923)
ONE YEAR RENTAL– September, 2013
50 mins
Director/Writers: Anthony Marcaldi; Marilyn Slater

"Mabel Normand created her own standard of fun!
Narrated by Academy Award Winning Actress Shirley Jones,
LOOKING FOR MABEL NORMAND is more than a documentary,
it is an homage to one the true pioneers of early cinema."

DeMille-Adam's Rib + Hal Roach-White Sheep DVDs

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:13 am
by JFK
"Grapevinevideo" Joined Nitrateville: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:53 am

Adam's Rib (1923)
DVD– October, 2013
102 minutes + 10 minute short
Director: Cecil B. DeMille

"After nineteen years of marriage Marian Ramsay finds herself with a grown daughter and a lost romance. Her husband Michael being constantly distracted by business is unaware that the mysteries and romantic Mr. Jaromir calls on his wife daily. Michael discovers his rival too late, and when Mr. Jaromir is revealed to be a deposed King he loses yet more influence with his wife. While Michael schemes to get Jaromir away from his wife, their daughter Matilda moves to intervene and protect her parents marriage, imperiling her own honor and happiness in the process
Stars: Milton Sills, Anna Q. Nilsson, Pauline Garon, Elliott Dexter & Theodore Kosloff

Runtime: 74 Minutes
Director: Hal Roach

" The Tyler family runs a small town by force. Nelse Tyler is the mayor and Tom Calvert wants to take over the job. To achieve his plan he has Nelse framed for murder. The youngest of Nelse's three sons saves the day by apprehending the real killer. The plot doesn't sound very comedic but it is an enjoyable, delightful light-hearted romp.
This excellent comedy was re-made 3 years later {as THE KID BR0THER} with Harold Lloyd and many of the same actors."
Stars: Glenn Tryon ; Blanche Mehaffey ; Jack Gavin ; Bob Kortman ; Leo Willis ; Richard Daniels ; Chris Lynton ; J. J. Clayton ; Dick Gilbert - Music score by Lou McMahon.

Accidentally Preserved Volumes I and II DVDs

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:28 pm
by JFK
Accidentally Preserved
Nine Silent Films With Musical Scores

DVD– June 6, 2013
Produced for video and scored by Ben Model
"Accidentally Preserved: Rare and Lost Silent Films from Vintage 16mm Prints" is a collection of nine short films made from 1920-1928, presented in new HD transfers with new musical scores on piano or theatre organ by Ben Model. The films are all new to DVD, and three of them have not been seen by anyone in several decades.
During the 1930s and 1940s companies like the Kodascope and Universal Show-At-Home libraries made 16mm copies of silent movies for people to rent and watch at home. It was like Netflix for the art deco era. Because these movies were on 16mm safety film, many of them have outlived the original 35mm nitrate prints of silent films that are now lost or extremely rare. It's as if these movies were...Accidentally Preserved.
Renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model has taken nine of the rare and lost silent films in his 16mm collection and produced this Accidentally Preserved DVD, bringing these rarities to a new audience in new HD digital transfers. Each film on this DVD has a new musical score by Ben Model performed on piano or theatre organ.
Unavailable to the public for decades, these delightful comedy shorts -- as well as the lost, unknown Elgin Watch factory film -- return to screens to entertain us once more.
The films of Accidentally Preserved: volume 1:
Wallace Lupino in THE LOST LAUGH (1928) – 9 minutes
Jack Duffy in LOOSE CHANGE (1928) – 11 minutes
Monte Collins in WEDDING SLIPS (1928) – 9 minutes
Paul Parrott in SHOOT STRAIGHT (1923) – 10 minutes
Elgin Watch Company - THE HOUSE OF WONDERS (ca. 1931) – 23 minutes
Clyde Cook in THE MISFIT (1924) – 12 minutes
Cliff Bowes in CHEER UP (1924) – 10 minutes
Koko the Clown in MECHANICAL DOLL (1922) – 7 minutes
Billy Franey in THE WATER PLUG (1920) – 12 minutes

Accidentally Preserved: Volume 2
DVD– January 20, 2014
Produced for video and scored by Ben Model
Why Wild Men Go Wild – with Bobby Vernon and Jimmy Harrison (1920) - 12 mins
Party-hearty college boys Bobby and Jimmy are summoned home by Jimmy's dad, who's concerned about their wild ways. They tone it down, until Bobby is smitten with Jimmy's sister…who has a thing for "cave men".
Charley on the Farm – Chaplin cartoon (1919) - 10 mins
One of the rarely-seen Charlie Chaplin cartoons made by Otto Messmer/Pat Sullivan on the eve of the creation of Felix the Cat.
Sherlock's Home** – Alberta Vaughn (1924) - 21 mins
Episode four (of twelve) in the "Telephone Girl" series, based on Runyon-esque short stories by H.C. Witwer; directed by Mal St. Clair and with a scenario by Darryl Francis Zanuck. Co-starring Al Cook, Kit Guard, and several other notable character players of the silents.
The Little Pest** – Neely Edwards (1927) - 10 mins
Childless Neely and his wife offer to baby-sit their in-laws' brat for an afternoon, but it's hard to say who makes a bigger mess of things…Neely or the little kid in the sailor suit.
Papa's Boy – Lloyd Hamilton (1927) - 16 mins
The father of bespectacled, butterfly-chasing Lloyd Hamilton wants to make a man of him, and gets virile Glen Cavender to take him on a camping trip.
Helter Skelter** – Malcolm "Big Boy" Sebastian (1929) - 8 mins (reel 2 only)
"Big Boy" must sell his beloved dog to help his tailoring mother pay for a destroyed dress, but when he is swindled on the sale a wild chase ensues.
Cook, Papa, Cook** – Henry Murdock (1928) - 9 mins
Henry's wife has overslept and, on demanding breakfast, she tells him to make it himself. And so he does, wrestling with bacon, a toaster and more while the little missus eats bon-bons in bed.
How Jimmy Won the Game – blasting cap safety film (1928) - 14 mins
It's the day of the championship baseball game for the neighborhood kids. Will the star pitcher blow his hand off with the blasting cap he finds in the outfield during the game? It's up to young Jimmy and a couple of scouts to save him and the ball game from disaster.
Christmas Seals film – animated theatre ad (1925) - 3 mins
A rare animated advertising film promoting the sale of Christmas Seals. There are no credits or information in vintage trade publications, but animation historians have attributed the graphic blandishments to Fleischer animator Dick Huemer.

(films marked ** are formerly lost, and were transferred from the only known print)

American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:04 am
by JFK
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Feature Films 1913-1929

Paperback June 15, 2012
by John T. Soister , Henry Nicolella, Steve Joyce, William F. Chase, Harry Long

"During the Silent Era, when most films dealt with dramatic or comedic takes on the "boy meets girl, boy loses girl" theme, other motion pictures dared to tackle such topics as rejuvenation, revivication, mesmerism, the supernatural and the grotesque. A Daughter of the Gods (1916), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Magician (1926) and Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) were among the unusual and startling films containing story elements that went far beyond the realm of "highly unlikely." Using surviving documentation and their combined expertise, the authors catalog and discuss these departures from the norm in this encyclopedic guide to American horror, science fiction and fantasy in the years from 1913 through 1929. ."

The Elvis Movies + James Cagney Films of the 1930s

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:43 pm
by JFK
The Elvis Movies
Hardcover - April 4, 2014
by James L. Neibaur
“In The Elvis Movies, James L. Neibaur looks at the thirty-one features that Presley made, from Love Me Tender in 1956 to Change of Habit in 1969. Most of these were star vehicles tailor-made for his image. As Neibaur points out, Elvis had a real interest in being a good actor, but his initial promise was soon thwarted by anti-creative decisions that sold a packaged version of the singer. Despite lapsing into a predictable formula of lightweight musicals, Elvis Presley’s star power ensured that the films became box office successes. Neibaur examines each film, providing information about their production and offering assessments about their value in general, as well as their place in the Presley canon. Additional details include behind-the-scenes personnel, costars, DVD availability, and featured hit songs.
An entertaining and informative look at an often underrated aspect of the singer’s career, The Elvis Movies offers readers insight into his films. This volume will be a welcome resource to fans of the singer who want to know more about the King and his successful ventures on the big screen."
James Cagney Films of the 1930s
Hardcover December 16, 2014
by James L. Neibaur
“In James Cagney Films of the 1930s, James L. Neibaur reviews the first decade of the great actor’s work. A film-by-film look at Cagney’s movies during this pivotal period, this book traces the actor’s transition from a song-and-dance man on stage to a tough guy on screen. Although Cagney occasionally was able to deviate from studio typecasting—in films like Footlight Parade and A Midsummer Night’s Dream—his most notable roles were in gangster dramas like The Public Enemy and Angels with Dirty Faces.
Throughout this book, Neibaur provides readers with plot summaries of each film, production details, and critical and commercial reception. For fans of the actor’s work, James Cagney Films of the 1930s is an invaluable resource that will also appeal to anyone interested in movie-making during one of Hollywood’s greatest eras."

Mishaps of Musty Suffer DVD+Book

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:03 am
by JFK
The Mishaps of Musty Suffer DVD Companion Guide
Film notes, History, and Complete Filmography on the Musty Suffer Films

Paperback - March 31, 2014
by Steve Massa
“Companion guide to the DVD "The Mishaps of Musty Suffer" with information about the films, their production and distribution history, bios on the cast, and a complete detailed filmography, plus never-before-seen production stills and images. Written by renowned film historian Steve Massa (Lame Brains and Lunatics, BearManor 2013), the companion guide fits inside the DVD case for handy reference."

The Mishaps of Musty Suffer
Silent Films With Musical Scores - 117 minutes

DVD– April 22, 2014
Produced for video and scored by Ben Model
"The Mishaps of Musty Suffer was a series of comedy shorts released weekly, in three series of ten films, from 1916-17. It was popular, successful and well-reviewed…and yet it is almost completely forgotten today. Playing Musty Suffer was Ziegfield Follies headliner comic Harry Watson, Jr.…also forgotten. 24 of the 30 "Musty" films survive and have been in the collection of the Library of Congress since 1959 but are rarely seen.
The films are hilarious, full of cartoony and surreal settings and slapstick, and have a circus influence. This DVD contains 8 of the best of the surviving Musty shorts, seen for the first time ever on video in new HD transfers from master material preserved by the Library of Congress, and featuring brand new musical scores by Ben Model.
Be sure to pick up the companion guide by Steve Massa with detailed film notes and history on the series and a complete Musty filmography. The booklet even fits inside the DVD case for handy reference!

"Going Up" (1916) - 12 mins
"The Lightning Bellhop" (1916) - 13 mins
"Just Imagination" (1916) - 14 mins
"Blow Your Horn" (1916) - 12 mins
"While You Wait" (1916) - 14 mins
"Local Showers" (1916) - 12 mins
"Outs and Ins" (1916) - 12 mins
"Spliced and Iced" (1917) - 12 mins
"Hold Fast" (excerpt) (1916) - 6 mins
"Capturing Chicago" (1916)- 10 mins

image gallery

Charlie Chaplin's Mutual Comedies (1916-1917)

Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:03 pm
by JFK
Chaplin's Mutual Comedies 1916-1917
Silent Films With Musical Scores

August 19, 2014
- Run Time: 400 minutes
Flicker Alley and The Blackhawk Films® Collection are proud to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Little Tramp with the premiere of Chaplin's Mutual Comedies, a 5-disc Blu-ray/DVD box set, presented for a limited time in a collector's edition SteelBook case. The collection features 12 newly restored films (The Floorwalker, The Fireman, The Vagabond, One A.M., The Count, The Pawnshop, Behind the Screen, The Rink, Easy Street, The Cure, The Immigrant, and The Adventurer), all scanned under the aegis of Association Chaplin at a resolution of 2,000 lines from original 35mm prints gathered from archives all over the world, then digitally assembled and restored, a collaborative effort of Lobster Films in Paris and L Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy. Each film offers the option of either improvised piano accompaniment or a full orchestral score. Among the many well-known composers and musicians featured are Eric Beheim, Neil Brand, Timothy Brock, Antonio Coppola, Carl Davis, Stephen Horne, Robert Israel, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Gabriel Thibaudeau. Blu-ray Discs: Region A. DVDs: Region 1
image gallery

Monty Banks- Flying Luck DVD

Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:35 pm
by JFK
Flying Luck
Silent Comedy Feature With Musical Score and Lindbergh Newsreels - 100 minutes

DVD– March 24, 2014
Video Producers- Bruce Lawton and Ben Model; Scored by Ben Model
"Monty Banks wants to be like his hero Charles Lindbergh, and will do anything to learn to fly a plane. After building his own doesn't go so well, he winds up enlisting in the Army. During basic training, Monty falls in love with the Colonel's daughter (played by a young Jean Arthur), tangles with a mean drill sergeant (Kewpie Morgan) and is mistaken for a visiting French dignitary. But eventually Monty winds up in a plane and wins the big Army-Navy air polo match!
On May 20, 1927 Charles Lindbergh successfully performed the first transatlantic solo flight, captivating the nation, if not the world. Two months later, motion picture trade papers announced that comedian Monty Banks’ next feature-length comedy would be An Ace in the Hole — which was released on December 5, 1927 as Flying Luck. This aviation-inspired comedy was the last produced of a string of Monty Banks features made 1924-27.
Monty Banks entered films in 1916 and, after supporting other comedians for a few years, had a successful series of starring shorts from 1920 to 1924. Banks is probably best known for the climactic reels of his thrill comedy feature Play Safe (1927), which were featured in Robert Youngson's compilation movie The Days of Thrills and Laughter (1961).
Flying Luck capitalizes on the 1927 airplane craze and co-stars a young Jean Arthur (Easy Living, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Shane). This extremely rare silent film has never been available on home video, and is seen here in a transfer from a rare, vintage 35mm nitrate print.
BONUS: This DVD includes 40 minutes of newsreels covering Lucky Lindy’s infamous flight from New York to Paris from "weeklies" (newsreels) produced by Kinograms, the William J. Ganz Company and Pathé News.
100 mins, B&W, unrated; stereo.
Musical scores copyright © 2014 by Ben Model, all rights reserved.
Produced for video by Bruce Lawton & Ben Model
A DVD release from Undercrank Productions

Dragonfly Squadron: 1st Time in Original 3-D (1953)

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:50 pm
by JFK
Dragonfly Squadron
3-D Film [Blu-Ray]
......AND...... 3-D Film [DVD]
October 14, 2014.
- Run Time: 83 minutes
In 1950, as the Korean peninsula is drawn closer to war, a stern Air Force Major (John Hodiak), is assigned to train a squadron of South Korean pilots, making them combat-ready in half the usual time. At the air base at Kongju, Brady comes face to face with a former flame (Barbara Britton), the wife of an army medical officer (Bruce Bennett). When enemy forces invade, most of the American personnel are evacuated, but Brady remains behind with the barely-trained South Korean troops, and bravely diverts the Russian-backed North Korean army. Completed in late 1953, just as the 3-D craze was in decline, DRAGONFLY SQUADRON was only released in a standard 2-D version. This restoration, specially prepared by the 3-D Film Archive, LLC, is the first time the film can be seen in stereoscopic 3-D, as originally intended.

The Thanhouser Studio & the Birth of American Cinema

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:00 pm
by JFK
The Thanhouser Studio
And the Birth of American Cinema


October 14, 2014.
- Run Time: 52 minutes
The Thanhouser Company was a trail-blazing studio based in New Rochelle, New York, where from 1910 to 1917 it released over 1,000 films that were seen by audiences around the globe. This 50-minute documentary reconstructs the forgotten story of the studio, its founders, technicians, and stars as they entered the nascent motion picture industry to compete with Thomas Edison and the companies aligned with his Motion Pictures Patents Corporation (MPPC).
Ned Thanhouser, grandson of studio founders Edwin and Gertrude Thanhouser, narrates this compelling tale, recounting a saga of bold entrepreneurship, financial successes, cinematic innovations, tragic events, the launching of Hollywood careers, and the transition of the movie industry from the East Coast to the West and Hollywood.
This documentary will be of interest to scholars, archivists, early film historians, and everyone who loves the intriguing stories about the people who pioneered independent movie-making in America.

2015 Silent Film Calendar: Behind the Camera

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:16 pm
by JFK
The 2015 Silent Film Calendar:
Behind the Camera

Calendar– November 2014
Rodney Sauer
"The Silent Movies Benefit Calendar features silent film artwork and birthdays of silent-era film stars and personalities, as well as notable marriages, deaths, film openings, and other significant dates. Our theme this year is "Behind the Camera," with photographs of directors, actors, cameramen, set musicians, and special effects technicians behind the scenes. "