Silent film fans are fond of saying that silent films were never really silent. They were created to be shown with specific music, for one thing. And the creators of these films never really thought anything was missing. In fact, when “talkies” debuted, many intelligent people felt they would never catch on!
In any case, silent film is an art form all its own, and there are numerous sites on the Web devoted to the movies, their directors, and their stars. Even if you never saw a silent film shown the way it was supposed to be shown, at the correct speed and with the right music, you’ll enjoy visiting these sites.
And so we present our collection of the best and most useful silent film links (but not all of them, by any means). All of these sites and more are included in the permanent Silent Movies Subjects list.
General Silent Film Sites
- Silent Movies
The first silent movies page on the Web. While we have a link to the Charlie Chaplin page from this excellent site, we had somehow overlooked linking to the home page. Better late than never.
- Silent Movies
A site devoted to silent film, including articles, links, interviews, trivia, and more.
Silent Film Stars
- Roscoe Arbuckle
His friends never called him “Fatty.” That’s just one of the facts you’ll learn when you visit the “Arbucklemania” site!
- The Louise Brooks Society
This 250-page site for the society dedicated to the life and times of the silent film star recently celebrated its 10th anniversary online.
- Charlie Chaplin
Biography and career highlights of the great silent film comedian.
- The International Buster Keaton Society
Check out What’s New, read the feature articles, enter the contest, or join The Damfinos (the Society’s nickname), with all the benefits that entails. This is also the only place where you can purchase officially licensed Keaton merchandise.
- The Rudolph Valentino Homepage
In addition to a filmography, photos, and links, this nicely-designed site also contains an interview, a letter, a handwriting sample, a bibliography, and plans for a Quicktime movie and other features in the near future.
Miscellaneous Silent Film Sites
- Classic Images
The online version of the fascinating magazine dedicated to providing people with information about film history. Also the home of Films of the Golden Age, a 2-year-old print magazine whose covers alone are worth the trip.
- German Silent Film
The Internet Source Book for Early German Film, featuring bios, filmography, and topic discussions, in English.
- National Film Preservation Board
Home page of the organization devoted to the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s film heritage.
A newsletter focusing on the unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, a Hollywood director who was shot to death in 1922. But there’s a lot more here, including material on Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Lillian Gish, Harold Lloyd, Rudolph Valentino, and Mary Pickford. For the true film buff.
- Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc.
A non-profit company involved in the acquisition, preservation and distribution of the archives and research materials about the Thanhouser Company.