Silent Films, 1877–1996

A Critical Guide to 646 Movies

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About the Book

This film reference covers 646 silent motion pictures, starting with Eadweard Muybridge’s initial motion photography experiments in 1877 and even including The Taxi Dancer (1996). Among the genres included are classics, dramas, Westerns, light comedies, documentaries and even poorly produced early pornography. Masterpieces such as Joan the Woman (1916), Intolerance (1916) and Faust (1926) can be found, as well as rare titles that have not received critical attention since their original releases.
Each entry provides the most complete credits possible, a full description, critical commentary, and an evaluation of the film’s unique place in motion picture history. Birth dates, death dates, and other facts are provided for the directors and players where available, with a selection of photographs of those individuals. The work is thoroughly indexed.

About the Author(s)

The late silent film historian Robert K. Klepper has written numerous articles and video reviews covering the silent and talkie eras for Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Silents Majority. He lived in Pensacola, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Robert K. Klepper
Foreword by Frank “Junior” Coghlan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 596
Bibliographic Info: 176 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2164-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0484-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii

Foreword by Frank “Junior” Coghlan     1

Introduction     3

The Experimental Years, (1877–1885)     5

Early Films: The 1890s     8

The 20th Century     18

The Nickelodeon Age (1902–1911)     22


The Golden Era of Silents (1912–1931)     41

The Post-Era Silents (1936–1996)     545

Bibliography     551

Index     555

Book Reviews & Awards

Booklist Editors’ Choice
“one book you can’t afford to miss…impressive”—Classic Images; “well over 200 illustrations, a four-star rating system, and a copious index add to the appeal of the book. Recommended”—Library Journal; “a highly readable overview”—Booklist; “worthwhile…an enjoyable, accessible introduction to the…diversity of silent films”—Choice; “all types of silents are included…provides new and useful information”—ARBA; “important”—Film & History; “a labor of love…full of fascinating facts…valuable addition…highly recommended”—Reference Reviews; “exhaustive”—Pensacola News Journal; “a wealth of hard-to-find information”—C&RL News; “immaculately researched…first-rate historical document…. Klepper’s informed comments and easy prose bring the films alive”—Film Review.