Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Return to the Forbidden Planet" Royal Mail Stamp by Garen Ewing

February 24, 2011 - It is not everyday someone you know has their work on an offical stamp, but our Congratulations to Garen Ewing, and the launch of his design for the "Return to the Forbidden Planet" official Royal Mail Stamp (approved by the Queen). Stamps available through Royal Mail and can be ordered online. Exciting news, indeed!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Chaplin Archives with Matthew Street

February 21, 2011
BBC 4 Radio (on air and online)
'The Chaplin Archives - Part One'
with presenter Matthew Street
Monday - Broadcast 11AM London Time
LINK TO PROGRAM



FEB. 28 - PART TWO - Same Time
Update: Part One available online until 11AM London Time Monday 28th.

"An exclusive look into Charlie Chaplin's life through his personal archives. Some of this material has never been revealed before so it's a wonderful opportunity for the Radio 4 audience. Writer, broadcaster and film buff Matthew Sweet travels to Vevey in Switzerland where he meets Chaplin's son, Michael, to explore the house and get unprecedented access to some of the amazing revelations of the archive. We hear recordings of Chaplin composing and Michael Chaplin shows Matthew a document, found in a locked drawer after his death, which could lead experts to revise one of the most basic assumptions made about his famous father." - BBC 4 Radio

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chaplin 35 MM Tour in Portland, Oregon


Charlie Chaplin 35MM Tour
Northwest Film Center
Portland, Oregon

March 11 - April 2, 2011

Tickets available online

Monday, February 14, 2011

Edna's Books and Magazine Collection Videos

Edna's Books and Magazine Collection
An on going video section to view collectibles
Click on image to video archive.

I will be adding new videos to this section overtime, so
bookmark the link to check back for the latest additions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Remembering Betty Garrett

A delightful look back at the work of Betty Garrett, who passed away Saturday...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Benshi: Silent Film Narration

Being a silent film fan, I am always amazed to run into areas I heard or read little about in the general silent film information. I know from my research Edna Purviance (and Charlie Chaplin, of course) were very popular in Japan, but I never gave much thought into how their films were presented in Japan during the silent film era.

With the current debates in some circles about how silent films should be presented, and with what kind of music, I knew, from the newspaper research, alone, there was a wide variety of ways, the films were presented during the era, from single instruments to full orchestras.

Back in the silent film era, watching a silent film in Japan had its own uniqueness too. Instead of an organ, the music would be from their traditional Japanese instruments. And, instead of just reading the titles, a live narrator gave voice to the action and characters on the screen.


Called 'benshi,' Midori Sawato is one of the few live narrators working today. The Japan Times reports, during the silent film era, over 7,000 people were employed at this profession. And it was a profession, with popular performers getting very good pay. They also said, while narrators did exist in the US and France, this art was uniquely Japanese.

It would be great to hear more from Edna's Japanese fans on this. The art appears to be declining, with less than a dozen practicing performers. While it may not be every ones 'cup of tea' in watching a silent film, it was (and still is) part of the Japanese experience.

To learn more, here is the Japan Times article by Natsuko Fukue with narrator Midori Sawato, plus their video interview. Plus, to hear Midori Sawato-san in action, her narrative of the 1935 silent comic animation of Danemon's Monster Hunt.

Friday, February 11, 2011

1928 Fashions in living color!

Ever wondered what those 1920 fashions looked like in color? Besides seeing dresses on a rack from that period, take a look at this 1928 color film of the latest 1920s fashions. (And, yes, color film was being tested in the 1920s.)


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

"My Boy" with Jackie Coogan 1921

Thanks to Ben Model for sharing "My Boy" from 1921. This was Jackie Coogan's 2nd film, after completing 'The Kid' with Chaplin. Music by Ben Model.




Want to see the full film? You can get your personal copy at Reel Classic DVD.
Check out their other rare offerings, as well. LINK

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Parallel Language Films

From: Janet Hoffmann
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:30PM
Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is presenting an evening dedicated to Alternate Language Films. Speaking are Beth Werling, Collections Manager of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and Daryl Maxwell, film historian and former archivist at both Universal and Disney studios.



When talking pictures revolutionized movie making in Hollywood, not only did they make silent film obsolete, they also caused the foreign market for American films to disappear. Before the revolution, foreign title and dialogue cards could be easily made and inserted into the film where the English titles and dialogue cards had been.

In order to keep as much of that market as possible, the studios decided to make films in foreign languages, often recasting them with foreign born or foreign language speaking stars.

These films are referred to as either "Parallel" or "Alternate" language films. Between 1929 and 1933 hundreds of these films were made. While performers with accents were no longer suitable for some roles, they were the natural choice for films made in their native tongue, as when Ramon Novarro performed in the Spanish language versions of his M.G.M. films or when Maurice Chevalier made the French version of his Paramount films.

More often other stars would make the alternate versions as when French actress Lily Damita would do the alternate language versions of the Norma Shearer film "Let Us Be Gay" ("Soyons Gais") or the Marian Davies film "Bachelor Father" ("La Pere Celebetaire"). Unique are the Laurel and Hardy films where the duo did all the foreign language versions of their films using cue cards made phonetically in those languages.

The program will include photos and film clips including the English and German versions of "Anna Christie" and the Spanish version of "Dracula" starring Carlos Villareal and Lupita Tovar along with a talk on the history of alternate language films.

Tickets: $5.00 for Members and $10.00 for Non-Members (at the door). Plus, General Admission Tickets can now be purchased online with your credit card via Brown Paper Tickets. Cost is $10.00 plus nominal service fee. Just go to at this link or, for more information or call 1-800-838-3006 to reserve your tickets over the phone. It's that easy!

Special thanks to Janet for the latest...

Monday, February 07, 2011

PBS "The Unseen Alistair Cooke" now online

PBS Video presents Masterpiece's "The Unseen Alistair Cooke" online. It includes the rare footage of Cooke's home movies in Hollywood and his first meeting with Charlie Chaplin.

"A revealing portrait of Alistair Cooke, one of the most celebrated broadcasters of the 20th century. Seen for the first time are extraordinary 8mm home movies shot by Cooke charting his discovery of America, his passions and his relationships with stars such as Charlie Chaplin. The program is told in Cooke's own voice and in interviews with family and close friends." - PBS Video

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Chaplin Database Update! Feb 2011


Dominique Dugro's
Chaplin Book Collection



Latest books
now added

to the database

LINK to Database

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

San Francisco Silent Film 'Winter Event'


February 12, 2011
San Francisco Silent Film Festival

'Winter Event'A series of Charlie Chaplin Mutual Films will be featured,
with Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell and Henry Bergman.

Tickets available online