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alt.movies.silent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), 2/4

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Archive-name: movies/silent/online-resources
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 2002/02/15
Version: 2.2
Copyright: (c) 1999-2002 Rick Levinson and Emily Way
Maintainer: Emily Way <> and
Rick Levinson <>

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FAQ about silent film: Online resources

This document is the second of four FAQs for the Usenet newsgroup
alt.movies.silent, and contains information about where to learn about
silent film. There is some overlap in the content of the FAQs. If you
don't find what you're looking for here, try one of the related FAQs
(see the last question for a complete list).

1. What are some links to Web sites about silent film?
2. What are some links to Web sites about silent film stars?
3. Is it okay to copy scanned images off a Web site?
4. What are some links to Web sites containing clips of silent films?
5. Where on the Internet can I buy and sell silent film memorabilia?
6. Where are the other silent film FAQs?


1. What are some links to Web sites about silent film?

There's a number of links within the silent film net community. Here are
a few of the outstanding ones:

The Silents Majority

Diane MacIntyre's and Spike Lewis' The Silents Majority features
exclusive articles and photos on films, performers, and genres;
schedules of theatrical and TV showings of silent film; news updates on
the latest goings-on within the silent film community; reviews of recent
releases of silent film on all formats; and more. There are even
snippets of silent film on view. TSM is updated each month and is the
best site on the Web for information on silent film.

Silent Film Sources

David Pierce's Silent Film Sources is a wonderful resource for news on
silent film releases in all formats.

Be sure to check out David's sister site, The Silent Film Bookshelf:

Glen Pringle's site on silent film

This is another great resource for general information on silent film;
for silent film showings; and for tons of links to other silent film

Classic Images

This is a monthly periodical devoted to classic film; most issues
contain information on silent film personalities and silent film
festivals. Classic Images can be found in better newsstands everywhere.

Silents Are Golden

This is Tim Lussier's lovely site devoted to silent film.


This is Bruce Long's site devoted to the mysterious murder of William
Desmond Taylor, a Hollywood director who was shot to death in 1922.
Besides containing many documents pertaining to the Taylor murder
investigation, the site has many contemporary accounts of Hollywood

Welcome to Silent Movies

Kally Mavromatis' site is a terrific tribute to silent film.

Gilda's Blue Book of the Screen

This is a marvelous tribute as well.

Bruce Calvert's Internet Silent Film Still Archive

This site has about 150 stills and counting, cross-indexed by film star
and film.

Past Times Publishing Company
Jordan R. Young's site devoted to vintage entertainment from the
Golden Age, roughly the 1920s to the 1940s -- popular music, classic
movies, vaudeville, radio and early television.

Brent Walker's Film History Website

Brent Walker's new site features three sections so far:
historic film locations, unidentified Keystone and Mack Sennett
performers, and a tribute to bit comics.

Silent Era

Silent Era has the following:
  * new releases of silents on video and DVD + reviews of new releases
  * notes on lost films
  * list of 'top 100' silents
  * recent books on silent film
  * silent film fests and rep house showings

2. What are some links to Web sites about silent film stars?

For more than 6,000 wonderful photos of silent film stars, check out
David B. Pearson's Silent Ladies and Silent Gents sites:

Rob Farr's Mugshots celebrates the more obscure practitioners of the art
of silent comedy.

Individual silent film stars are the subject of several Web sites. Here
are some links:

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton has many homes on the 'net, but the best, without
question, is the Damfinos -- the official Buster Keaton site. Victoria
Sainte-Claire, the Web artist and designer, Patty Tobias, and Melody
Bunting have done a beautiful job of creating and maintaining the site.

Charlie Chaplin

Chaplin Fans Unite is an extensive site on Chaplin, and contains links
to other Chaplin-related sites.

There's also a Usenet newsgroup devoted to Chaplin:


Harold Lloyd

Did you ever see a photo of a guy with glasses and a straw boater
clinging to the hands of a giant department store clock several stories
above a busy street?

Why, that's none other than Harold Lloyd, and you can find Annette M.
D'Agostino's Hello, Harold Lloyd here:

Charley Chase

Here is Yair Solan's tribute to one of the great unsung silent

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle

Speaking of unsung comedians, Arbucklemania is David B. Pearson's
tribute to that unjustly neglected genius and Buster's mentor, Roscoe
"Fatty" Arbuckle. (Note: Arbuckle HATED the nickname "Fatty." If you're
going to refer to him, call him Roscoe.)

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Ask somebody to name the greatest film comedy team of all time, and
chances are the answer will be Laurel and Hardy.

The Boys have a number of sites devoted to them, including these:

Laurel and Hardy Central

The Laurel and Hardy Magazine site

The Laurel and Hardy Museum

There's also a newsgroup devoted to L&H:


Harry Langdon

Harry Langdon was a baby-faced comic who emulated, with uncanny
accuracy, the reactions of a child. He was the Pee Wee Herman of
the silents, and for a time he rivaled Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd
as one of the finest feature film comedians. Fortunately, many of
Langdon's films have been restored by Kino International.  You can
learn more about this pantomimic genius at Floyd Bennett's site
devoted to Harry:

Lon Chaney

Horror fan? Visit Jon Mirsalis' tribute.

Louise Brooks

Addicted to alluring, smouldering, timeless beauties? Visit Pandora's

Clara Bow

If Louise Brooks was the Ice Goddess of silent film, Clara Bow was the
Fire; check out the Clara Bow Page for a great tribute to the It Girl.

Mary Pickford

One of the greatest of all film pioneers, male or female, was Mary
Pickford, and Mary Pickford: America's Sweetheart is devoted to one of
Canada's greatest exports.

Rudolph Valentino

By the time he died, in 1926, he was a legend. Rudolph Valentino is
honored at Rudolph Valentino's Home on the Web.


Your favorite silent star doesn't have a website devoted to him or her?
Well, there's a good chance he or she is honored at The Silents
Majority's Silent Artists Index.

Or, at the very least, his or her films are listed on the Internet Movie

Here's the really great part: most of the silent sites listed above are
connected to each other as well as to other sites. So you can surf to
your heart's content.

3. Is it okay to copy scanned images off a Web site?

Legally there's nothing wrong with doing so.

If you are copying images for private purposes, that's fine. You don't
need permission to do so.

If you are copying images for your own Web site, or for commercial
purposes, you are being discourteous to the Web site creators who have
posted the images, and are very possibly violating copyright laws. At
the very least, as a courtesy, you should email the site creators and
obtain their permission before doing so.

4. What are some links to Web sites containing clips of silent films?

David B. Pearson has a site that features film clips in .mov format of
great silent film comedians. You need Apple's QuickTime software to view
them (QuickTime runs on Windows and Macintosh).

Download 'em and make your day.

David Pearson also has more QuickTime clips from films of one of the
greatest of all silent film directors, D. W. Griffith.

The Library of Congress maintains several online collections of very
early films:

"The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies"

"The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures"

"Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904"

"The Last Days of a President: Films of McKinley and the Pan-American
Exposition, 1901"

"The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906"

"Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San
Francisco, 1897-1916"

The Internet Archive hosts many films from Rick Prelinger's astonishing

Even better, hosts a number of complete silent movies that
you can watch online for free:

5. Where on the Internet can I buy and sell silent film memorabilia?

eBay is one of the most popular memorabilia auction sites on the Web.
Silent film stills, books, and other silent era-related stuff are
available for auction. You have to register online before you can sell
or bid.

Reproductions of posters for silent and classic films are available at
the following:

The DeMaio Collection

Phillips Museum Shop

The Mining Company's classic film site has links to sources for original
film poster art.

The Poster Art Library has books on film poster art.

The Hollywood Canteen, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, sells a wide variety
of of books, posters, film stills, magazines, videos, and lots more.

Richard Kukan sells vintage film star postcards; at least half of 
his stock dates from the silent era.

You can buy film books online at

Unfortunately many excellent books on silent film are rare or
out-of-print. Amazon will search for you, but you may have better luck
at one of these three sites:



Have a particular book or books in mind before you use Bookfinder,
Bibliocom, or Inprint.

For a partially annotated list of books about film, silent and otherwise, 
check out Emily Way's REEL WORLD site:

6. Where are the other silent film FAQs?

There are three other FAQs for the alt.movies.silent newsgroup:

   * alt.movies.silent
   * Books and documentaries about silent film
   * Where to see silent films

The complete set of alt.movies.silent FAQs lives on Emily Way's REEL
WORLD Web site:

The FAQs are also posted to alt.movies.silent, news.answers, and
alt.answers once a month. They are also archived automatically at 
the following sites:


Rick Levinson ( and Emily Way (
Last updated February 15, 2002
Emily Way * emily at 
"No one knows what's on his mind except him and his monkey"

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