A Collector’s Treasure Box: Four rare silent films available for free & legal viewing

Starting about a year ago, I have been collaborating with collector Christopher Bird on some rare silent film releases. The plan is simple: he has the prints, I have the platform and the public gets to enjoy films that have been unavailable or hard to see for decades.

Well, we’re at it again and I think you’re going to love what we have in store! Upcoming films include a rare Harold Lloyd comedy and a lost and undocumented early starring role for Fay Wray. Titles will be announced at a later date.

We’re going to be sharing our latest project this coming Tuesday but in the meantime, here are the four films that Mr. Bird has already uploaded to YouTube. They are scanned from 9.5mm prints in his collection and some have never before been released to the general public. (9.5mm was basically the VHS of the silent era because it was safe, affordable and easy to use but the films were usually abridged. However, some silent films survive ONLY in this format.) Some of the films have been supplemented with additional footage from Dino Everett’s collection. He also transferred everything with the exception of The School for Scandal.

The School for Scandal

Basil Rathbone’s earliest film role that is known to survive! This English production features lavish costumes and Baz in knee breeches. What more do you need?

Read my review here.

The Captive God

William S. Hart in a native South American story. Um… This is a real oddball of a picture but worth seeing because of its nuttiness.

Read my review here.

Tales of the 1001 Nights

Absolutely gorgeous French/Russian production filmed on location in Tunisia. The lighting, costumes and scenery are breathtaking.

Read my review here.

The Child of the Carnival

Ivan Mosjoukine wrote, directed and starred in this little bittersweet comedy gem. I think you will be delighted.

Read my review here.

…and as a special bonus, here is the opening scene from Michael Strogoff, my favorite silent film of all time and, alas, unavailable on home video.


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  1. Birgit

    This is great that the average Joe…or Josephine can see these films. hart as an Indian makes me laugh and the images are fun. Great to see these films

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