Skip to main content

Silent Feature Films at the Leavey Library (DVDs): Books About Silent Cinema

Books About Silent Film (Selected Titles)

European Silent Films on Video: A Critical Guide
"This book is a critical encyclopedia of silent European films currently available on DVD, laser disc, and VHS. It provides concise and accurate summaries of the films, evaluates the quality of the prints, discusses the changing reputations of both films and filmmakers, and considers how the techniques developed during the silent period continue to influence filmmaking today. The book cites contemporary and recent criticism of the films and includes an extensive bibliography as well as a list of films by director. Numerous photos are also included."

The Silent Cinema Reader
"...a comprehensive resource of key writings on early cinema, addressing filmmaking practice, film form, style and content, and the ways in which silent films were exhibited and understood by their audiences, from the beginnings of film in the late nineteenth century to the coming of sound in the late 1920s. The Reader covers international developments in film aesthetics, the growth of the American film industry and its relationship with foreign competitors at home and abroad, and the broader cultural, social and political contexts of film production and consumption in the United States as well as Britain, France, Russia and Germany. The Reader includes in-depth case studies of major directors and stars of the silent era, including Cecil B. DeMille, Eisenstein, D. W. Griffith, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino..."

Silent Comedy
"On the surface it may seem slightly surprising that a master of verbal humor should also be a devotee of silent comedy, but Paul Merton is completely passionate about the early days of Hollywood comedy and the comic geniuses who dominated it. His knowledge is awesome, his enthusiasm is infectious-and these qualities are to be found in abundance in his new book. Starting with the very earliest pioneering short films, he traces the evolution of silent comedy through the 1900s and considers the works of the genre's greatest exponents-Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and Harold Lloyd-showing not only how each developed in the course of their career but also the extent to which they influenced each other. At the same time, Paul brings a comedian's insight to bear on the art of making people laugh, and explores just how the great comic ideas, routines, gags, and prat-falls worked and evolved. His first book for10 years, this richly illustrated history of silent comedy is destined to be a classic."

Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture
"A gorgeous, lavish history of silent movies - with more than 400 amazing images - captures the birth of film and icons like Chaplin, Garbo, Clara Bow, and Valentino. Drawing on the extraordinary collection of The Library of Congress, one of the greatest repositories for silent film and memorabilia, Peter Kobel has created the definitive visual history of silent film. From its birth in the 1890s, with the earliest narrative shorts, through the brilliant full-length features of the 1920s, Silent Movies captures the greatest directors and actors and their immortal films. Silent Movies  also looks at the technology of early film, the use of color photography, and the restoration work being spearheaded by some of Hollywood 's most important directors, such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Richly illustrated from the Library of Congress's extensive collection of posters, paper prints, film stills, and memorabilia-most of which have never been in print- Silent Moviesis an important work of history that will also be a sought-after gift book for all lovers of film."