Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 100th Charlie Chaplin!

Greeting in Charlie Chaplin's 100th year, since being in his first film, with the presentation of the London 2014 Firework show. Set at The London Eye, on the banks of The Thames, by Royal Festival Hall and close to where Chaplin grew-up, what better way to kick off this year! Thanks, BBC One!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Garen Ewing's 'Napoléon' adventure

On November 30th, 2013, I had the great pleasure of seeing Kevin Brownlow's restored film of Abel Gance's NAPOLEON in London, at the Royal Festival Hall. And, equally so, I got to see it with comic creator, and silent film fan, Garen Ewing. Garen had wanted to see the film, since reading Kevin Brownlow's acclaimed book "The Parade's Gone By."

Here is Garen's excellent report about the film history and recent showing in London. It also includes Kevin Brownlow lecture on the film, held at BFI on December 10th. LINK

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clara Bow "It Girl" by comic artist Jessica Martin

Ever since I was introduced to Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid, I have kept an eye out on other graphic novels/comic books, with a story based in the 1920's and in the silent film era.

Here is a brand new one created by Jessica Martin called "It Girl." It's based on the biography of Clara Bow's life. It's Martin's first comic and is available worldwide from her online shop. Certainly worth looking into for those who love silent films and looking to add some original new items to your collection. I certainly plan too!

'The retro period feel of the piece is gorgeously observed and beautifully referenced, and Martin's visual interpretation of Clara has an almost haunting authenticity…'
                                                                      Broken Frontier

Always enjoy seeing a new generation of people captured by the silent film era. Thanks, Jessica, for making Clara your first! (Thanks to Garen for leading me to this.)

Link to Martin's shop.

Monday, December 09, 2013

London's The Cinema Museum uniform collection

Ten years ago, I traveled to Great Britain in November 2003 to see a three day Charlie Chaplin film event. So, this year, I made another trip back to Britain to see NAPOLEON at the Royal Festival Hall. It was a wonderful trip, and I have some reports to follow. But for now, an online tour of one the places visited, called The Cinema Museum in London.

This video was made a few years ago by David Trigg, detailing the vast collection of uniforms once used during the golden age of cinema. Featured is the museum founder, Ronald Grant.

In coming weeks, I will have about our visit to the museum, on ednapurviance.org.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Garen Ewing wins the 'Young People's Comic Award' in Leeds!

As a longtime fan of Garen's Ewing's 'The Rainbow Orchid,' very excited to see Garen win the British Comic 'Young People Comic Award' in Leeds, at Thought Bubble Friday, for his book, The Complete Rainbow Orchid. The winner was voted on by the children of Britain, which makes it extra special. Hearty Congratulations to Garen! Very Happy for you, in winning is award.

Here's some more about it from Forbidden Planet.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rainbow Orchid on iPad

It's finally here! Garen Ewing's The Rainbow Orchid is now available on iPad through Sequential. And to introduce you to it, is Garen showing us all the great features this new format provides. Read more about it here, at Garen's official Rainbow Orchid site.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Gance's at Napoleon

For those who maybe going to Kevin Brownlow's showing of Napoleon at the Royal Festival Hall on November 30th, be thankful you got your seats, as my last look shows all the regular seats as being sold out for this special event.

But, going or not, here is a short clip of Abel Gance's film, titled Napoleon's vision of the siege of Toulon. A glimpse into director's Gance's filmmaking vision.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

How the San Francisco Silent Film Festival got Napoleon

With only three weeks to the showing of Napoleon in London at the Royal Festival Hall, thought we look back at the showing in Oakland in the spring of 2012.

In this video interview, San Francisco Silent Film artistic director, Antia Monga, and executive director, Stacey Wisnia, talk about silent films, and how they got Kevin Brownlow's Napoleon.

At this posting, counted 13 regular seats left for the November 30th showing.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Max Linder and Abel Gance's 'Au Secours!'

Anyone who is a longtime Charlie Chaplin fan, knows that Max Linder was one of Chaplin's idols before Chaplin got into films. But did you know Max Linder also worked with Abel Gance?

In honor of the Napoleon showing in London on November 30th, here is look at the film Max Linder and Abel Gance made together called 'Au Secours!' (French film). Released before Napoleon, it's a good look at the style of editing so favorited by Gance's work. Besides that, it's fun film to watch.

Note: This video appeared to be recorded at a live event, as the soundtrack suggests.

Napoleon showing Ovation in Oakland

For today's Napoleon post, here is the standing ovation received at the San Francisco Silent Film showing of the film, in the spring of 2012. There were four showings at the Oakland Paramount Theatre, over two separate weekends, so don't know for sure, when this was filmed.

Abel Gance's NAPOLEON on a 3.99:1 screen! from H.P. Mendoza on Vimeo.

Tracking all followers to this site.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Learning about Napoleon, before seeing the film

When Abel Gance's started his work on Napoleon, he envisioned doing an extended series of several films to cover his life. Due to the sheer time and cost, he did only one film. The London showing will show nearly five and half hours of the currently restored version by Kevin Brownlow.

The film doesn't cover all of Napoleon's life, only part of it. This PBS documentary on Napoleon is a great introduction to him. Part one roughly covers the years presented in Gance's film. (Personally, I found it best to watch the full documentary, as a refresher on his life.)

Just remember, Gance's film is his own version of Napoleon life, not a documentary. If you have watched other Gance's work, you already have a fairly good idea of his storytelling style. An excellent pre-film book to read is Kevin Brownlow's NAPOLEON. It goes into detail on how the film was made. It could increase your appreciation on the creating of the production, and a great edition to your silent film library, whether you are going to the film or not.

For more, here is a series of my post about NAPOLEON.

Also, for those who like reading reviews, before seeing a film, this thread on Nitrate has varies reviews about the US showing and others. I post the thread link, for those who maybe interested. As I mentioned on my blog before, if you are planning on seeing it, I think it's best to see a film through your own eyes and experiences.

Update at this posting: For the Napoleon showing at the Royal Festival Hall on November 30th, about 25 seats left.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Harry Langdon in Tramp, Tramp, Tramp

November 19, 2013
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
starring Harry Langdon

Huntington, New York

with accompanist by Ben Model

"In this hilarious comedy, beloved silent screen star Harry Langdon stars as a shoemaker’s son who enters a cross-country race in an attempt to save the family business - never noticing that the race is staged to publicize the huge footwear corporation that is crushing his father’s livelihood. Harry woos the corporate boss’s daughter, a young and fetching Joan Crawford." - Cinema Arts Centre

Monday, November 04, 2013

Kevin Brownlow interview

At this posting there is only about 35 seats left for the special NAPOLEON showing at the Royal Festival Hall in London on November 30th. So, still a chance to be part of this rare screening.

Meanwhile, if you missed this before, here is Kevin Brownlow in an interview at the Killruddery Silent Film Festival from 2009 in Ireland (festival Brownlow helped started). While not directly about Napoleon, this 19 minute talk starts with his introduction to silent film to today's trends in showing them. Thanks to DocumentAVI for the recording and posting.

Kevin Brownlow at Killruddery Silent Film Festival 2009 from DOCUMENTAVI on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Chaplin and Napoleon

For years, Charlie Chaplin had thoughts of creating a film about Napoleon. Edna Purviance was the first person he was going to have play Josephine, but as the years passed, his other leading ladies were told they would have the role.

Chaplin never made Napoleon, but his thoughts of making it are still in paper form as saved now at the Chaplin Archives in Italy. Here is a look at Chaplin Napoleon documents, as presented by narrator Dan Stewart.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Abel Gance et son Napoléon, behind the scenes documentary

With it only 30 days away to the showing of Napoléon at London's Royal Festival Hall, here is a great behind scenes look at the creation of the film. 'Abel Gance et son of Napoléon' was released on French television in 1984. The French documentary features behind scenes footage of the creating of Abel Gance's film.

You can see how scenes were shot on location and in the studio, with some film test of the actors to play the roles. Even if you don't speak French, it still a great introduction to the film.

Though not the full series, what is available is presented in four parts on Daily Motion. Each part about 19 minutes. It gives great insight into the production of the film, and well worth to watch, whether you plan to see Napoleon, or not.

Part One


Part Two


Part Three


Part Four


Roughly about fifty seats left for the showing by Kevin Brownlow, so a bit of time left, but not for long...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"1812" - 1912 Napoleon film about the Russia battle

With the "Napoleon" event drawing nearer in London, here is a look at a 1912 silent film called "1812."  Created to mark Russia's centenary year since their fight with Napoleon, it's said to be the first  film ever made about that battle. About 27 minutes long.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Edna Purviance!

October 21, 1895, silent film star, Edna Purviance was born in Paradise Valley, Nevada. Happy Birthday, Edna! (ednapurviance.org)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Morgan Hill vs. Maurice Hill

Extra for my 'Edna Not' page on my Edna Purviance home site
(This time, not Morgan Hill...)

Recently, I had someone think that these two people were the same person. Two of their main facts, in coming to this conclusion, was the look of them and their name. Both had the name Morgan Hill. But in a case like this, just because someone has the same name and a similar look, isn't enough to go on in identifying people. I knew for sure, who the person on the left was, but didn't know anything about the person on the right.

The man on the left, is Sidney Morgan Hill, Edna Purviance's nephew. And through research, I have been able to identify the person on the RIGHT, as Maurice Earl Hill (alias Morgan Hill).

I knew Sidney Morgan Hill, as I have been researching his life for the past 10 years. I had this post here about a 3D project Morgan was involved with. This is where the confusion started.

Someone thought their Morgan Hill had to be Edna's nephew, based on a similar look to each other and the fact they had the same name. The other gentlemen, I never heard of, but in the last day, I learned more about him, to help prove, these are not the same people. Using the web sources, I tracked down who this other Morgan Hill really was.

I knew from the contact this other 'Morgan Hill' did an acting job in one known film called '23 1/2 Hours Leave.' Because he was credited in the film as Morgan Hill, he has his own listing on IMDb, but I learned that wasn't his given name.

Lefthand Image: Sidney Morgan Hill was Edna Purviance's nephew. He worked for Chaplin's Studio between the production of 'The Circus' and early production on 'The Great Dictator.' He was born to a pioneering ranching and mining family in Humboldt County Nevada. (Some of his birth history is here.) Morgan worked for Chaplin throughout the 1930s, but also took on extra camera and film lab work, during Chaplin's long breaks from filmmaking. I never found Morgan acting in any films.

Righthand Image: Maurice Earl Hill was born to a wealthy Chicago manufacturer, but also read his father was a builder. While Maurice was studying medicine, he met stage actress and performer, Fifi D'Orsay (said to be born as Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier, but not confirmed). Fifi was her stage name. They were married in 1933.

Fifi thinking of marrying Maurice in September 1933
River Daily Press, California, September 21, 1933
December 5, 1933 - Hollywood, Ca. Marriage planned for December 6th, 1933.
(A bit confusing, as the marriage, was on and off again, about four times, before actually marrying.)

Lefthand Image: This is a signed picture of Maurice and Fifi from 1935. The image was signed by Maurice and Fifi Hill. You can see, even with the makeup, the details of the eyes, mouth, chin, and nose are similar. (The signed image was found during a web search.)

Righthand Image: This was the closest image I could find of Maurice Hill (stage name 'Morgan Hill') from the film '23 1/2 Hours Leave' from 1937. During this film, I found Maurice's name changed to 'Morgan Hill' for the credits in the film and also in the publicity in the press. This change may have been because of Maurice's wealthy Chicago background. But why Morgan Hill? Don't know, but one guess, Morgan Hill was also a name of a well-known town in California, so could have been as simple as that.

NOTE: Sidney Morgan Hill has been confused with the town of Morgan Hill, California. A couple of writers thought Sidney was from there. I did help one in getting their information correct, and they were grateful. As for Sidney Hill, he had great fun learning a town shared his same name. He even made a visit there, just to check it out. Initially, it was a train stop for Morgan Hill Ranch.

Here is how Maurice 'Morgan Hill' name is listed in the credits of the film. He plays the role of TOMMY. Maurice's first appearance in the film is when he brings in a message (at about 23 minutes into the film).

The Canton Repository, Canton, Ohio - pg. 43 - April 2, 1937
Mentions the film, Morgan Hill (Maurice) and his wife Fifi D'Osray.
 'Morgan Hill' Maurice Hill and his wife, Fifi, and the producer of the film. May 1937.

This is a more detailed account of the film, during its release with an ad for the film.

I decided to check out this couple further and learned they were divorced in 1939. Even Maurice Hill's mother helped Fifi with the divorce from her son, who is said to have deserted her in November 1937. (Not confirmed for the exact date.)

Sidney Morgan Hill was still at the Chaplin Studios, but coming to the end of his work there, as Chaplin was making major changes in staff, as part of Chaplin's move finally to sound and the changing labor union requirements for workers.

While Sidney Morgan Hill was never in the film, '23 1/2 Hours Leave' I will have much more about Morgan's real life in Edna's family bio. While I found more on Maurice Earl Hill, this post is just to help people look beyond just a similar looking face and name.

Note: There is someone else named Maurice Hill in the IMDb listings, but checking the age, he was a younger man than this Maurice 'Morgan' Hill and worked mainly in television.

Nine Morgan Hills are listed in the IMDb listing.

IMDb listing for 'Morgan Hill' in '23 1/2 Hours Leave', that is really Maurice Earl Hill.

Sidney Morgan Hill on the IMDb listing that needs updating, but clearly says from Nevada, which is correct.

Also remember, information on Maurice, can change too, as more research is done, but this establishes they are two different people. While this has nothing to do with my current Edna bio writing, I decided to post the research to help others to be careful. Going down the wrong path is easy. Thanks for reading...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Arthur Honegger's Napoleon Suite

There has been much writing about the original music score for Abel Gance's Napoleon. Having a strong interest in music, and having studied and performed, I can easily be on the side of French composer, Arthur Honegger, when it has been said, he hated this film. The main reason he probably came to hate it, was the fact Gance's kept re-editing the film, clear up to the night it was premiered. For a composer, that is a nightmare.

This is said to be the only remaining score that exists from that original release. I have read different opinions about it too, but I don't go by other peoples opinions, but how it speaks to me, as a listener. And I must say, I really enjoyed this. I'm looking forward to finding it to add to my collection of classical music.

(This is a recording by the CSR Symphony Orchestra.)

Not seeing any of the film versions, I have read, not much of this is in the current Carl Davis score, but only a touch. If you have seen the film, or have Carl Davis's Napoleon CD, you can hear what parts.

For those going to NAPOLEON in London on November 30th, I thought you like to listen to this score, as well.

Also, here is a good article about the background of this score and the music of Napoleon. (From the Moldehauer Archives at the Library of Congress.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kevin Brownlow - Lecture at the 'London Television Centre'

Another re-visit, as I continue to post a collection of material featuring Kevin Brownlow and his coming showing of Abel Gance's NAPOLEON at Royal Festival Hall in London.

In 2010, Kevin Brownlow gave an informative lecture at the 'London Television Centre.' It was part of the Jane Mercer Memorial Lecture series. 'My Life in Archives' was recorded by Gerry Lewis Productions. This three part lecture is a must for people heading to NAPOLEON this November 30th, 2013 and fans of Brownlow's work.

Part One: link to program
Brownlow talks about his early years, that lead to his work with NAPOLEON.

2010 Jane Mercer Lecture part 1 from Gerry Lewis Productions on Vimeo.

Part Two: link to program
2010 Jane Mercer Lecture part 2 from Gerry Lewis Productions on Vimeo.

Part Three - link to program
2010 Jane Mercer Lecture part 3 Q&A from Gerry Lewis Productions on Vimeo.

Here is the link to the Philharmonic Orchestra site for more details on the Napoleon showing.

Note: Counting under a 100 seats still available, in the Balcony and Boxes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kevin Brownlow talks to Leonard Lopate about NAPOLEON

When Abel Gance's NAPOLEON shown in Oakland, California, by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2012, Kevin Brownlow did some USA interviews about that showing. Here's Brownlow on 'The Leonard Lopate Show' on WNYC, discussing the film and the music.

With Royal Festival Hall showing the film in London on November 30th, great time to re-listen to this 18:05 minute program from November 2011.  LINK TO SHOW

Part of my countdown to NAPOLEON.  More about The Leonard Lopate Show.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rarely screened NAPOLEON

If you haven't gotten your tickets to see NAPOLEON, there is only a few seats left for the November 30th, 2013 showing at the Royal Festival Hall (few box and balcony seats left). Unlike in Oakland, where there were four showings of the film, only one showing is currently on schedule for the London presentation.

NAPOLEON has only shown on the big screen, in it's restored form, a handful of times. This is the third time it will be presented at the Royal Festival Hall in thirteen years. It's also been shown in two versions, Kevin Brownlow's restored version, with the music of Carl Davis, and a shorter film version with the score by Carmine Coppola.

Without getting into the legal battles over the film, the main thing, the only way to see Brownlow's complete film, is at these rare screens, like last year in Oakland and this November in London. It's very expensive to show this film with a live orchestra, and to set up the special screens, with projectors, for the Triptych (three scenes at once, on three different screens).

While there is a shorter Francis Ford Coppola version available on DVD, the Brownlow's version, with Carl Davis score is not available on disc. And it may never be in the near or far future, due to the legal copyright situation. But at least, for those who can, these rare live music viewing do give fans a chance to see it.

Meanwhile, here is a taste of a live screening with the Coppola version in Rome.

And, if you missed this earlier, here is Kevin Brownlow's talking about Abel Gance from the early 1980s (?).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Carl Davis on creating the music for Napoleon

With NAPOLEON being presented at the Royal Festival Hall this November 30th, 2013 in London, looking back at the special showing of the film in Oakland, California by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in the spring of 2012.

Here composer Carl Davis talks about creating the music for NAPOLEON during that 2012 presentations. Presented by SFSFF.

Again, only a few seats left for the Kevin Brownlow's restored version on November 30th in London.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Carl Davis on BBC 3 Radio - one week only!

BBC Radio 3 - Carl Davis is one of the guest this week on 'John Mills: Sound of Cinema.' Davis does talk about the coming NAPOLEON event in London at the Royal Festival Hall, on November 30th, 2013.

Davis segment starts at 37:00 minutes and ends at 57:20. You can hear the program for one week only (six days left, from the date of this post).


At this post, a few Balcony seats still available for the London November 30th event.


Also, a good time to look back at the 2012 Napoleon presentation by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Here is Carl Davis touring the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California. If you get a chance, do take in a movie or other program there, sometime. This video provided by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Documentary of Abel Gance's first talking film 'The End of the World'

With the end of the silent era, Napoleon director Abel Gance created his first talking film called 'The End of the World.' During the making of the film, Eugene Deslaw filmed a silent documentary, which includes behind the scenes images of the filming, with clips from the picture.

But the film was not a success. With funding pulled, after nearly two years in production and five million francs, the only release US version was cut to 54-minutes. Kevin Brownlow used some surviving film clips in his history of European films in Cinema Europe.

Here's more about the film from DVD Talks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kevin Brownlow talking about Napoleon on PBS

In 2012, Kevin Brownlow's latest restored NAPOLÉON premiered in Oakland. With another showing planned on November 30th, 2013 in London, here is a look back to an interview with Kevin Brownlow on PBS Art Beat, talking about the making of Napoléon.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Director Abel Gance & actor Albert Dieudonné 'La Folie du Docteur Tube'

For those going to NAPOLEON in London this November, here is look at another film director Abel Gance made with NAPOLEON's star Albert Dieudonné:

'La Folie du Docteur Tube' (1915) - short restored film
Doctor Tube - played by Albert Dieudonné
Directed by - Abel Gance

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NOT EDNA PURVIANCE but Margie Reiger

Another, not Edna Purviance image today, as I saw this on an eBay listing for Red Letter Postcards. The actress in this photo with Charlie Chaplin is Margie Reiger. The film is 'By the Sea' from Essanay in 1915.

Reiger has been mistaken for Edna Purviance before, but she clearly doesn't have the same face features as Edna. I do think people just look at the hair, and if it looks similar, and they are standing by Chaplin, it must be Edna. I wrote the seller in hopes they will correct the error. If you see someone using this image as Edna, please point them to this link. Thanks, LW, ednapurviance.org

Charlie Chaplin and Margie Reiger in 'By the Sea' (1915) Essanay

Monday, September 09, 2013

This photo is NOT Edna Purviance

I have found this picture on a Flickr account, listing it as Edna Purviance.

It is NOT Edna Purviance, but a photo of Mary Miles Minter.

If you see this anywhere on the web, please report the error and send them to here. Too many people have mistaken Edna for someone else, so trying to get these mislabeled images off the web, and titled with their correct names.

Thank-you, L.Wada, ednapurviance.org

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Kevin Brownlow's Napoleon - Abel Gance's Classic Film (book)

If you are planning to see Kevin Brownlow's NAPOLEON in London on November 30th, 2013, or just like to learn more about the film, you may want to check out Kevin Brownlow's book 'NAPOLEON, Abel Gance's Classic Film.'

It's still available a few places used and new. You can check this link to my Hollywood Series page, with a link to books still available in the US.  I found it in two different releases from 1983 from Alfred a Knopf. The used ones maybe mixed.

In the UK? There are a variety of books still available to buy new and used. Check your used local bookstore too.

If you are on a budget or just want to see the book before buying, you can always check it out at your local library. It's available worldwide. Here's a link to World Cat for libraries it is located.

Still tickets available for the event at Royal Festival Hall, but going fast. 

Also, here's an article from Sense of Cinema from 2006, on the background of the different versions.

Update: Click this link more posts on NAPOLEON.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Napoléon - November 30th, at Royal Festival Hall

Film historian, Kevin Brownlow, will be presenting director Abel Gance's 1927 "Napoléon" at the Royal Festival Hall on November 30, 2013. This is Brownlow's restored version. It will be presented with the music by the Philharmonia Orchestra.

This nearly sold out event, still has some tickets available, at this link. Best to get now, before they do all sellout.

Meanwhile, I will be posting some videos by Mr. Brownlow, talking about the film and the director. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BE NATURAL: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

UPDATE: This part of the funding for this documentary has been funded. 

Since I posted this, the Kickstarter project has gone from $76,000 to $144,500 and counting! Only three days left to reach the goal of $200,000. Even a dollar, helps, this great project. Due the natural thing and kick in some support.

During the early days of the silent film era, women had a chance to become more than actors. They could become directors, writers and even start their own studios. But time has forgotten these early pioneers.

Be Natural is the story about one such woman name Alice Guy-Blaché. She became an early pioneer director, but forgotten by the industry she helped build.

This documentary is to help save that piece of silent film history. At this writing, a Kickstarter is running until Tuesday, August 27th, 2013, to help raise the funds to finish the project. The project is produced by Robert Redford, with narrator, Jodie Foster. Official film documentary site.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

QUEEN KELLY at the Cinema Arts Centre - August 2013

From Susan Finkelstein - Cinema Arts Centre
Live accompaniment by Ben Model
Tuesday, August 27 at 7:30 pm 

One of the most audacious in jokes in the history of American movies occurs in Billy Wilder‘s Sunset Boulevard when Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) shows Joe Gillis (William Holden) a silent film being projected by her onetime director-husband and now butler, Max von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim). But the film they are watching, as few viewers then or now would realize, is Queen Kelly, a 1929 production starring Swanson and actually directed by von Stroheim.  

In 1928, after years of struggles within the studio system, Erich von Stroheim found the opportunity to create his crowning achievement: a storybook romance of intoxicating beauty, counterbalanced with a frightfully grim tale of moral corruption. Swanson stars as an innocent convent girl who falls under the spell of a handsome prince (Walter Byron) on the eve of his marriage to a diabolical queen (Seena Owen). 

Queen Kelly might have been one of von Stroheim’s greatest films had actress/producer Swanson (whose lover Joseph Kennedy was financing the production) not halted it in mid-production. Until now, those mesmerizing glimpses in Sunset Boulevard were the only opportunity for American audiences to see von Stroheim’s lost masterpiece. 

Kino Lorber’s critically-acclaimed restoration of von Stroheim’s ambitious epic, which incorporates many of the scenes (set within an African brothel) that caused Swanson to shut down the film, finally allows us to see this amazing work by two of the most legendary figures in silent cinema. 

(USA, 1929, 97 min., b/w, 35mm / Director: Erich von Stroheim / Cast:  Gloria Swanson, Seena Owen, Tully Marshall, Walter Byron)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Edna Purviance Family Bio Update

Very sorry for the lack of post. With the weather being so hot this summer, it has limited some of my computer time, during the hottest part of the day. (Computer gets too hot.) So, normal work takes my top time. Otherwise, I have been spending much of my other free time writing Edna Purviance's family bio. 

The past month, I have been re-writing all the first draft, that has been written, so far. This is to update sections where I have new research to add and correct information. Just about finished doing that, before writing more of the current book. The draft is about 90,000 words, so far, at about 160 pages. 

I do place a mini update on the book at my Edna Purviance home page

On the TV front, if you get TCM, they are planning a good month full of silent films in September. Full schedule should be available soon, but an impressive list so far, with primetime showings. So, certainly a good month for silent films on TCM. 

Also, Dominique Dugros has sent me some new Chaplin covers for his Chaplin Library. I will have up sometime this week. Now, back to more Edna work this weekend. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gardens to light shows at the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair

More from the 1915 San Francisco World Fair, with gardens, Japanese Exhibit, parades, temples, electric light show, auto races and crashes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

San Francisco 1915 World's Fair

Today's film features dances from around the world...

Saturday, June 01, 2013

More of the World's Fair of 1915

As I continue to write Edna's book, more film of the San Francisco World's Fair of 1915.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More of the 1915 San Francisco World Fair

More of the San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Latest Edna Purviance Family Bio on Edna's home site

Starting today, I will be keeping a regular update on the progress of Edna Purviance's family bio on ednapurviance.org main home page. Check there under the Latest Edna News!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Part Four of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair

Continuing with the San Francisco International Exhibition from 1915...
(Many of Edna's close family members visited this fair, as did Edna.)

Friday, May 03, 2013

Part Two of the San Francisco 1915 World Fair

San Francisco International Exhibition 1915 (World Fair) - Part Two

Sunday, April 28, 2013

1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition

Edna Purviance and her sister, Myrtle, were living in San Francisco, when the San Francisco World Fair opened  in 1915. Originally proposal in 1904, but delayed by the 1906 earthquake, it became a major world event, as it celebrated the rebirth of San Francisco and the opening of the Panama Canal.

Many of Edna's family members attended, as did Edna's new employer, Charles Chaplin. Edna started working for Chaplin just a few weeks before the official fair opening.

The following silent films post are a peek at that fair, beginning with the opening:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Working on Edna Purviance's family biography

Sorry for the lack of new post, again, as I am busy in my free time working on Edna's family biography. So far, I have 145 pages written for the first draft. Also, doing new research as I go along. Takes a lot of time, but getting along with it. So, if quiet here, it's just because I like to get this book completed.

Thanks for visiting, and continue to stop by!

L. W.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Charlie Chaplin!

Happy Birthday to Charlie Chaplin!
Born in London - April 16, 1889
(died, Christmas Day, 1977)

Charlie Chaplin celebrated until 7PM today, on TCM!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

'Charlie Chaplin' in 1920 Benjamin Rabier animation

French comic book artist and film animator, Benjamin Rabier, created a 'tip of the hat' to Charlie Chaplin, in this 1920 silent animated film. Rabier is said to have inspired others, like George Remi (Hergé - the creator of Tintin) to get into the field as a comic book illustrator.

 Here's a 9.5MM version of the Pathé film:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Harold Lloyd, Safety Last, re-released

Harold Lloyd's Safety Last has been restored and will be release on Blu-ray and DVD this June. The collection will have David Gill and Kevin Brownlow's excellent documentary called The Third Genius.

To celebrate the new release, digital and 35MM copies of the film will be shown in theaters across the county starting in April. Check this list to see if at a theatre near you.

Here is the new trailer by Janus Films for the theater release.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013 Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival

August 22 - 25th, 2013
Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival 2013

Everyman Palace Theatre
Cork, Ireland

More at Chaplin Film Festival home website

Thursday, March 07, 2013


Allan Dawn, the Noble Primitive

Photo: Allan Dwan on the set of Stage Struck (1925)

After von Sternberg, Capra, Ford, Hawks and Walsh, this year’s tribute will be dedicated to Allan Dwan. His career spans from 1911 – the days of Griffith and Ince – to 1961 – when the new waves set in – and produced 400 films (some claim 1400), covering every genre and technical novelty: from his early films (finally restored) to the more mature ones, a fine star vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks (Robin Hood, The Iron Mask) and Gloria Swanson alike (Manhandled). In the 30s and 40s Dwan is able to combine a spectacular with a more intimate cinema, to make one of the best anti-McCarthyist works ever made (Silver Lode) and even shoot a number of films in Cinemascope, a format which greatly inspired this ‘poet of the filmic space’. Finally, Most Dangerous Man Alive: an extraordinary end of career.

Silent Hitch

Photo: Alfred Hitchcock in Blackmail (1929)

The restoration of Alfred Hitchcock's nine surviving silent films is definitely one of the most complex and important restoration project undertaken by the BFI National Archive to date. It is now an immense pleasure for us to be the first festival to screen them all, for the first time, in 35mm (despite being also available on DCP) the original format in which they were created by Hitchcock. The collection starts with the sensational The Pleasure Garden, a newly born film which was believed to be lost for many years, and ends with the evergreen Blackmail. Between the two The Lodger, The Ring, Easy Virtue, The Manxman and more, nine works which go well beyond the ‘crime scene’ to reveal Hitchcock’s remarkable inspiration and creative power which made him, while still in his 20s, the leading British director of his times.

Bigger than Life:
a journey through European CinemaScope

Photo: The Round-Up by Miklós Jancsó (1966)

Over the last decade or so, the magnificent screen at the Arlecchino theatre has allowed us to celebrate the marvels of CinemaScope, particularly American CinemaScope at its best, before the format somewhat lost its inspiration and motives. We will now look at the magic of the ‘European Scope’ – so defined to take into account all of the variations the widescreen systems adopted in our continent. This section will include the best achivements from both Eastern and Western Europe, such as Marlen Khutsiyev’s works (July Rain, one of the greatest Russian films from the New Wave); Vasiliy Shukshin (perhaps his greatest, Happy Go Lucky); Miklós Jancsó (with The Round-Up a legendary study on the machinery of terror); Jean-Pierre Melville (with a too little known gem by Simenon, L'Ainé des Ferchaux), Mario Monicelli (La grande guerra) as well as Alexander MacKendrick’s journey through a child’s soul with Sammy Going South.

War is near: 1938-1939
Photo: Erich von Stroheim in Menaces by Edmond Gréville (1940)

If, following our planet’s destruction, an alien was to visit a film archive and watch the films that were made in 1938-39, he would get a clear glimpse of the madness to come. Nonetheless, we have decided not to program the most obvious anticipations, but rather earlier films which captivate fear and frail hopes, random shadows, inconclusive dialogues, everything that the greatest films around that period, such as Renoir's La Règle du jeu, did so miraculously. Our round trip to these troubled times will include Menaces (Edmond T. Gréville), Paradis perdu (Abel Gance), White Illness (Hugo Haas), Sans lendemain (Max Ophuls), Engineer Kochin’s Error (Alexandr Macheret), Three Comrades (Frank Borzage), Pour la mérite (Karl Ritter).

Letters from Chris Marker

Photo: Chris Marker

Chris Marker was a unique soul. His essay film came to light after a gestation period which happened to be a very special one, the golden age of the French short film in the 1950s. André Bazin defined Lettre de Sibérie, the most legendary of Marker's early films: "I would say, an essay documented by film. The important word is 'essay', understood in the same sense that it has in literature – an essay at once historical and political, written by a poet as well”. Our tribute to Marker will focus on his early works, some of which have been very hard to see lately: Un Dimanche à Pekin, Description d'un combat (which has disappeared from the face of the earth for almost 50 years), La Jetée, Le Joli mai, La Sixième face du pentagone, together with ...A Valparaiso by Joris Ivens with a commentary &nd ash; nobody surpassed him in commentaries – by Chris Marker.

Japan Speaks Out, Part 2!
Song and Social Realism

Photo: Enoken Seishun Suikoden (Enoken’s Youthful Water Margin) by Kajiro Yamamoto (1934) (From National Film Centre of Tokyo)

By the mid-1930s, sound technology had become more widely disseminated in Japan as both studios and theatres invested in the new medium. By 1933, the Tokyo-based P.C.L. (Photo Chemical Laboratory) and the Kyoto-based Studio J.O. had begun production with the remit of producing sound films exclusively. But the transition was still a slow one, and it was not until 1936 that the majority of films produced in Japan were made with sound. The period thus marks an almost unique instance in which sound films were made alongside silents, and in which the aesthetic potential of new sound technologies were gradually assimilated and developed.

This second part of an ongoing retrospective of Japanese sound films from this transitional period focuses on three studios active in this key period. The work of P.C.L., with its stress on musicality, urban life and its at times trenchant so cial commentary, highlights the troubled modernity of 1930s Japan. Studio J.O., with which P.C.L. would ultimately merge into Toho, shared these concerns, but its base in Kyoto allowed it in addition to produce numerous jidai-geki (period films), most sadly lost. The jidai-geki was also the speciality of Nikkatsu, a studio that stretched back to 1912 but which now sought to fuse traditional narratives with the new sound technology, creating a distinctive style of realist period drama. Programme curated by Alexander Jacoby e Johan Nordström, in collaboration with Tokyo National Film Center.

And also…
  • Recovered & Restored
  • Charlie Chaplin at Mutual
  • One Hundred Years Ago: Glorious 1913
  • Preobrazhenskaya and Pravov
  • Théâtre Morieux, le Cinématographe Ritrovato
  • Tenderly Ironic: Vittorio De Sica, actor and director
  • Homage to Xie Jin
  • Autour du Monde
  • Emulsion matters: Orwo and Nova Vlna (1963-1968)
  • Italia Taglia, 100 Years of italian censorship
  • Film Restoration Roundtables
  • Cinema masterclasses
  • Il Cinema Ritrovato DVD Awards (10th edition)
As in previous years, the Renzo Renzi Library will host the Film Publishing Fair (Books, DVD, antique and vintage goods) and the Schermi e Lavagne Project with many educational activities for young cinéphiles.


Bologna Welcome the official tourism website of Bologna offers a useful, updated and easy information service to all Il Cinema Ritrovato participants or to all people in town for business or tourism purposes. Participants are advised to book their accommodation in advance in order to take advantage of the dedicated rates. Discover the Bologna Welcome offers here!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

HULU - CHAPLIN's CLASSICS, FREE for three days!

Spend this weekend watching
on HULU (USA)!

To see the Criterion Collection of Chaplin's films
that includes the full films of all his First National,
United Artist and two British productions

Which includes Edna Purviance's starring role in A Woman of Paris!

There is also a sampling of the documentaries made for the collection

1) Chaplin's never made Napoléon film
2) John Bengston essay on film location for Modern Times
3) Documentary on the special effects for Modern Times
4) Behind the scenes of the making of Modern Times with Jeffrey Vance

ALSO, a link to VIKI.COM, where you will find 55 Chaplin films available to see
from the Mutual, Essanay and Keystone era!

Again, only three days left! To see the Criterion Chaplin films on HULU!
All for FREE!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tribute to Edna Purviance & Charlie Chaplin

A fan's Edna and Charlie tribute...

Friday, February 08, 2013

Latest Editions to The Chaplin Library

Latest Books to Dominique's
The Chaplin Library

February 5, 2013 - Dominique has sent in more covers for The Chaplin library. This month's highlights include:

1) 1917 book called 'The Chronicles of Charlie Chaplin 'The Official "Chaplin" book based on the Essanay-Chaplin Photoplays.

2) 1920 Spanish book called Charlie Chaplin "Charlot"

3) 2006 edition of Charlie Chaplin Stories in the language of Kannada.

See the latest updates at this link and the full listing here.

ALSO, check out Edna's book guide for books available to add to your collection. LINK 

Edna's Book Guide for Chaplin books 

We're always adding more updates, so come back for the latest! 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Completed Rainbow Orchid, interview with Garen Ewing

Interview with author and comic book creator

A conversation about the completing of Garen's adventure book
'The Rainbow Orchid' and his continued Adventures of Julius Chancer

With Table Chat host, Linda Wada

I'm very excited to share with you my second interview with Garen Ewing, the creator of Julius Chancer and his Rainbow Orchid comic book.

In our first interview in April 2009 (Imagination to Print), we talked about the creation and history of The Rainbow Orchid, just before Garen saw his first printed book from Egmont UK.

In this January 2013 interview, we pick-up where we left off. We talk about finishing the book, the promoting, foreign editions, special research projects, comic workshops and the future of Julius Chancer.

This interview is 1 hour and 9 minutes. So grab your favorite beverage, and have a listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, as we continued the Adventures of Julius Chancer!

A heartily thanks to Garen, for sharing his valuable time with us today, as he shares his 'adventures' in the comic book creating.  LINK TO AUDIO INTERVIEW

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Chaplin Pathéscope 'Behind the Screen'

Here's another wonderful Pathéscope 9.5 mm print version of Chaplin's 'Behind the Screen.'

This heavily re-edited film was renamed 'Movie-Making' and shows different takes of the same scenes not seen in the official well-known released film.

Overall, many of the clips are sharper and have more detail, than the official releases. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy! (about 13 minutes - Thanks to Unknown Cinema)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Easy Street from Pathéscope print

Thanks to Unknown Cinema, here is a Pathéscope 9.5mm print version of EASY STREET with Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell and Charles Chaplin.

It is about six minutes shorter than the more well known versions on DVD. But if you watch the well known versions often, you will spot differences in watching this. Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Napoléon is coming to LONDON in NOVEMBER 2013!


Abel Gance's 
Royal Festival Hall
November 30, 2013 - London, England
with Carl Davis and the Philharmonia Orchestra

RARE EVENT! Tickets on sale soon
NOW! and it appears to be nearly sold out for Nov. 30th Check this link for seats still available
(At this update, no word on an added date)

This is the trailer from last year's presentation in Oakland, California.

Check this link at Silent London and watch for more information when available.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Coming TCM silent film highlights

Get TCM USA? Here are some dates to mark on your TCM calendar for silent film and Chaplin  highlights:

TCM USA Viewers: Here are a few highlights to mark on your calendar:

January 19th
Hollywood My Hometown (1965)
Ken Murray - Documentary - Includes footage of many stars, including silent film stars like Charlie and Syd Chaplin.

February 8th
Sunrise (1927) - George O' Brien and Janet Gaynor.

Primetime showings
February 19th
The Racket (1928) - With Thomas Meighan and Marie Prevost.
Wings (1927) - With Clara Bow and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers.

March 1st
The Circus - with Merna Kennedy and Henry Bergman

And a couple 'talkie' Chaplin films:
March 1st
Monsieur Verdoux - with Martha Raye

March 5th
Limelight - with Clara Bloom and Sydney Chaplin, jr.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

GREAT - Did the Nazis ever see Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator?

Yugoslavia, 1942: based on a true and astonishing resistance story
about the Nazis and Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' film

"May 10th, 1942: a relatively minor event on the brink of world history, which, had it not really happened, would certainly be worth of being dreamt up. All of Yugoslavia is occupied by Nazi-Germany. Nikola, a young Serbian projectionist, has had more than enough.

Instead of emulating his violent Partisan friends, Nikola decides to teach the Germans a lesson all by himself. His weapon of choice: ,The Great Dictator‘ by Charlie Chaplin. His target: a cinema for German soldiers right in the heart of Serbia. What happens there, Nikola couldn't possibly have imagined in his wildest dreams.  GREAT, Facebook Fan page

GREAT (2013), the new film directed by Andreas Henn and from Dog Ear Films covers this story. It releases early this year. Here is the preview trailer. Hopefully, this will be available widely to see.

Update: According to the press kit, this is a short film (22 minutes). Hopefully, it will be available in some format for fans to see.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Caravan's Trail, Charles Chaplin's Untold Story

The Caravan's Trail, Charles Chaplin's Untold Story
by Michael Chaplin and Stany Coppet

The documentary following the trail to Charlie Chaplin's possible gypsy roots. Here is a brief clip from the current production. More about the project here from NewArts Entertainment. LINK