A compilation of our favorite silent film-related sites, with an emphasis on European silents and places to buy silent films on video.


—Sister Sites
—Other Pola-Related Sites
—European Silent Film Sites
—General Silent Film (And Related) Sites
—Early 20th Century Music Sites
—Places to Buy Early Silent and Talkie Pictures


Clara Bow Page – The Ultimate Clara Bow Site is our big sister site and one of the most popular silent film-related sites on the web.  It's run by Bill Cramer, one of America's top-tier Clara experts, as well as the man who first encouraged the author to begin the Pola Negri Appreciation Site.  Here you will find a detailed biography, an excellent filmography, numerous in-depth articles, and no less than thirty photo galleries of everybody's favorite flapper.  The Clara Bow Page also has a huge list of rare silent films for sale, including some very rare Pola movies!

Olga Baclanova: The Ultimate Cinemantrap – This is our little sister site, designed by yours truly and run by Paul Meienberg, the world's biggest Baclanova buff.  Olga is best known today for her roles as the trapeze artist Cleopatra in Freaks (1932) and as the Duchess Josiana in The Man Who Laughs (1928); she also appeared in the Josef von Sternberg classic The Docks of New York, and in the lost Pola film Three Sinners (both from 1928).  Her stunning beauty transcends time moreso than probably any other silent film actress—she takes the cake even by modern-day standards!  But sadly, her abilities as an actress are painfully overlooked and underrated, which is something that this site is here to rectify.

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Pola Biography on Collector's Homepage – From the autographed postcard collection site comes a short bio on Pola, complete with an autographed postcard (of course).  And yes, that frantic up-and-down scribble is what Pola's signature looks like; it got even more vertical and stenograph-looking as she got older.

Pola Negri portrait by Tade Styka – A color image of the famous painting of Pola currently held by The National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.

Pola Negri Chocolates – Did you know that Pola Negri has her own chocolates in her native Poland?  This box of chocolates comes with the Tade Styka painting on the top and contains an assortment of thirty gourmet candies.  The director of the Pola Negri documentary, who was born and raised in Poland, used to see the Pola chocolates in his homeland and tells me they are delicious.

POLA COSMETICS – And the merchandising doesn't stop with the chocolates!  Pola Cosmetics, the Japanese cosmetics company, have named their popular line of skin care and makeup after Pola Negri.  This is their Australian site, and this is their Japanese site.

Hermann Braun SiteGerman language only.  Hermann Braun was Pola Negri's leading man in her Third Reich film Die Fromme Lüge (1938), where he plays a young man in her life who we are led to believe is her young lover but turns out to be her son.   Braun also played in the Emil Jannings picture Traumulus (1936) and in the Viet Harlan-directed Jugend (1938).  He was retired from Nazi pictures because of his anti-Nazi stance, drafted into World War II, and then killed in action in 1945 at the ripe old age of 26.  There's a lot of pictures of this handsome young actor here, and if you look you'll see a number of pictures of Pola too.

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European silents (especially the German ones) are my first love in film—there is so much more where The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, Pandora’s Box, and The Passion of Joan of Arc came from!  European silents are generally very high in artistic quality, feature hauntingly atmospheric lighting and photography, and just squeeze the emotion out of the scenes and situations they present.  They are much less clichéd and paint broader and more realistic character sketches than do American silents, and they aren’t afraid of sad endings!  The big argument against them is that they are slow, but if you have at least a reasonably good attention span and don’t have to have everything spoonfed to you then you can handle it.  I’ve found a number of fascinating sites about European silent films on the web, but for some unknown reason most of the silent film sites I’ve visited do not list them.  Visit some of these sites, watch some of these pictures, and you’ll see why the Europeans gave Hollywood a run for their money in the 1920’s!

The German-Hollywood Connection
– this detailed English language site discusses German movie people and organizations, new and old, who are associated with Hollywood films.  The German-Hollywood Connection will be your best starting point in getting to know the people in early German pictures, because it expounds upon German appearances in films you are already familiar with, such as Casablanca, The Blue Angel, Metropolis, and The Sound of Music, and then begins dropping important names like UFA, Max Reinhardt, Karl Freund, and Erich Pommer as it goes along, all in a communicative and pedestrian-friendly writing style.  Includes a list of German-Hollywood film people with capsule descriptions of these film folks’ achievements here and abroad. – This dual-language (German/English) site is easily my favorite site about German silents.  It picks up where The Haunted Screen and From Caligari to Hilter, the two sacred texts on early German film, leave off, providing rare information on rare films like the Caligari sequel Genuine (1920), on lost films like F.W. Murnau’s Der Januskopf (1920), and on unknown actors and actresses like Gilda Langer, the first choice for Lil Dagover’s role in Caligari, who died soon after Caligari’s general release in 1920.  Amazing stuff!

Collector’s Homepage by Thomas Staedeli – This great bilingual (German/English) site is probably the best place on the web for learning about the big names of the early German film.  You’ll get short bios on many of the great early German stars along with a photo from the picture postcards that were so popular at that time (the author of that site collects autographed picture postcards as a hobby, hence the name).  The site also includes write-ups on Max Linder, Metropolis, the Munsters, and even some sumo wrestlers—as long as it’s related to autographed postcards, it gets covered. 

Steffi’s Gallerie: Die Stars der Leinwand (sound era)German language only.  Contains biographies on many German stars from the early talkie era.  Sadly, there are no pictures to accompany them because apparently Steffi was sued by somebody who claimed copyright ownership on a few of the 70-year old photographs she was using to illustrate these pages.  Yet another reason we need to repeal bad copyright laws.

Steffi’s Gallerie: Die Stars der Leinwand (silent era)German language only.  Some more bios on German stars, this time featuring stars from the silent era.  There are bios on Pola Negri, Asta Nielsen, and Henny Porten, as well as Pola’s leading man Harry Liedtke and the forgotten actress Ossi Oswalda, who appeared in several of Lubitsch’s German comedies, such as Die Austernprinzessin (The Oyster Princess), Die Puppe (The Doll) and Meyer Aus Berlin (Meyer from Berlin) (all from 1919).

Asta Nielsen: The Talking MusePoint of No Return Productions (Denmark) has released to European television an excellent feature-length documentary on the great Asta Nielsen, Europe's first film superstar.  Entitled Asta Nielsen: The Talking Muse, this Danish language, English-subtitled documentary centers around a newly-discovered stash of phone conversations with Asta dating from the 1950’s, which provide a previously unseen glimpse into the otherwise notoriously impenetrable heart and soul of Die Asta.

German Archives listGerman language only.  if you ever need to do more in-depth study of early German pictures you may eventually find yourself having to go directly to the German archives for information.  This little directory is a one-stop shop on all the public archives in Germany with contact information and a summary of what their holdings are and what they specialize in.

Films de France – I love this site!  This bilingual (French/English) site is by far the most comprehensive site about French films on the web.  Here you will learn about all the important (and some of the not-so-important) films, actors, and directors of la cinema français, old and new—and all guaranteed pretension-free (pretentious commentary is a common problem in researching French pictures, especially from the early talkie era).  

Fantômas Lives – The great French anti-hero Fantômas began as the ultimate anti-hero in a series of turn-of-the-century French pulp novels.  This almost supernaturally evil character was then immortalized on the screen in the 1913-1914 Louis Feuillade serial of the same name, which has since been hailed at the first great cinematic experience in the history of film.  The Fantômas Lives site discusses all of the film incarnations of Fantômas, including the Feuillade serial, the 1960’s Fantômas revival pictures and the 1932 Paul Fejos-directed sound feature, which has just been reissued by Sinister Cinema (see below).  If you like serialized heroes and anti-heroes like Philo Vance, Charlie Chan, Fu Manchu and Dr. Mabuse, then you have another one to dig into with Fantômas.

Lil Dagover: SchauspielerinGerman language only. A timeline covering the history of Lil Dagover, following The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari director Robert Wiene's discovery of her in 1916, her early successes in Caligari and Destiny, her work in Nazi films (which landed her the dubious honor of “Actress of the State” in Nazi Germany), her post-war successes, and finally the release of her autobiography Ich War die Dame ("I Was the Lady") before her death in 1980 at the age of 93.

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Golden Silents
– A beautiful and comprehensive site about American silents and the stars we all adore.  This is really the first site to go to if you're new to silent movies and want to know more about them.  You'll have hours of fun absorbing information and finding out who's who.  The webmaster did an exceptional job illustrating this site, using vibrant color and artistic flair to bring these stars back to life.  You also get to see exclusive clips of many silent films from frame-by-frame digital restorations the webmaster did herself.  All in all one of the very best silent film sites on the web; I just can't recommend it more. – My favorite general silent film website keeps abreast of new happenings in silent pictures, namely DVD and book releases, film festivals, and the discovery of lost films.  Their DVD and book reviews are detailed, honest, and reliable concerning issues of content and quality (check out their deservedly brutal review of the book Love Rules!), and their Progressive Silent Film List, although far from done, is already proving to be a great resource on the films that it covers.

Internet Movie Database (IMDb) – I really don’t need to say much about this resource, as it is undoubtedly the biggest and best site for film research on the web.

Movie Review Query Engine (MRQE) – The MRQE (pronounced "Marquee") dates back to 1993, making it one of the oldest sites on the web.  This established and comprehensive site is practically a one-stop shop for seeing what the experts have to say about the movies you are wanting to watch.  And yes, that does include many silent movies, including vintage reviews from Variety and The New York Times as well as current reviews.

Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen – Silent film historian Greta de Groat and the author of this site are two of a minority who share a passionate love for silent drama, and Greta  has created this page to celebrate the great drama queens of the silent era.  She covers all the big names, offering short biographies and giving plenty of links with which to research these great ladies further.  And appropriately, Pola Negri is included toward the top of the list!  Of particular interest here is Greta's amazing Norma Talmadge website, a much-needed tribute to one of silent cinema’s best and most unjustly forgotten dramatic actresses, as well as her similar websites for the similarly great actresses Pauline Frederick, Clara Kimball Young, and Alice Joyce.  In other words, the Unsung Divas site is silent drama queen heaven!

Welcome to Silent Movies – This is one of the original websites about silent pictures, as well as the first to start promoting the Pola Negri Appreciation Site.  Here you’ll find a healthy smattering of enjoyable tidbits and articles about silent pictures, including the article “The Speeding Sweethearts”, a full calendar of birthdays and dates of passing from all the stars (who shares a birthday with you?), and a lexicon of 1920’s lingo.  Fun, fun, fun!

Silent Ladies and Gents – a gigantic photo gallery featuring scads of photos of all the silent stars you can think of.  And yes, Pola Negri gets a generous representation here, with no less than seven galleries to her name!

The Vitaphone Society is an organization dedicated to recovering and restoring early sound-to-disc sound features and shorts and their accompanying sound discs.  They publish a bi-annual newsletter that is loaded with great information on these early pictures.  It is so nice to be able to read about these pictures and that fragment and those sound discs being found, and makes me suspect that the reason many silent and early talkie pictures may be lost is because nobody’s bothering to look for them.

Matsuda Films – Matsuda is an organization in Japan that is keeping Japanese silent film alive, complete with traditional Benshi narration.  In Japan and elsewhere in the Orient, the silents and the talkies got to co-exist throughout most of the thirties because of protests from Benshi and musicians’ unions—too bad they didn't get to co-exist in the West too!  You’ll get a good primer here about Japanese silents, and you can purchase a handful of Japanese silent pictures here as well, only beware—the prices are astronomically high.

Classic Images magazine – this Iowa-based monthly is the most prestigious and widely read classic movie fanzine in the States.  In their magazine you will find articles on every imaginable topic related to classic movies, biographies on everyone you can think of, and classic movies galore for sale.  And yes, the author of this site has contributed a couple of those nit-picky articles.  The magazine's website will give you a thorough introduction to this print monthly, with many of the biographies from past issues available on the site.

The Lon Chaney Home Page – silent film pianist Jon Mirsalis has created this detailed site on silent film's greatest character actor.  Much of the information presented here was created for a never-released book called The Films of Lon Chaney, offered to but rejected my Citadel Publications.  Mirsalis gets down to such fine details as what the budget was for each MGM Chaney film and how much money each one made—wow!  And yes, London After Midnight (1927) gets covered here too, and no, it has not been found yet.

Arbucklemania – Ever want to know what really happened to poor old Fatty Arbuckle?  Arbucklemania sets the record straight once and for all!  No, Virginia Rappé was not Virginia Rapee, and yes, the Hearst newspapers lied to the hilt about this man, unfairly and prematurely ruining his career.  This site will give you the dirt about the dirt concerning this loveable fat man.  From the makers of Silent Ladies and Gents. – Annette d’Agostino Lloyd, Harold’s biographer (no relation), runs this site.  Annette is one of my favorite writers and her love affair with Harold is absolutely contagious.  There are essays galore to read here, mostly gathered from the wonderful Harold Lloyd fanzine Mrs. Lloyd published in the early and mid-1990's.

Louise Brooks Society – Louise Brooks is probably the only silent film actress whose popularity is more widespread today than it was in her heyday.  Lulumania started in the 1950's with the rediscovery of Pandora's Box (1928), and turned into a full-fledged revival of interest in the 1980's, when most other silent pictures (minus Metropolis) were still almost completely ignored by the movie-watching populace.  There’s plenty to read, watch and listen to here concerning the girl with the black helmet, including an in-depth filmography, a complete list of video sources (both in and out of print), twenty-four picture galleries, a bibliography, vintage articles, and Lulu Radio.

Remember Vilma Banky?! – an affectionate and detailed tribute to one of the most ravishingly beautiful actresses of the silent screen, best known for her appearances as Rudolph Valentino’s leading lady in The Eagle (1925) and The Son of the Sheik (1926).  The story of the actress’ discovery in her homeland of Hungary is one of those amazing twists of fate that sounds like something out of a movie—you’ll get to read all about it here.  Great filmography, too! 

Alfred's Place – Everything you ever wanted to know about the Master of Suspense, including a summary every one of his surviving feature films, information on Alfred Hitchcock mystery novels, a listing and description of all of Hitchcock's famous cameos in his own films, and complete feature film and  Alfred Hitchcock Presents scripts (including several of the latter not actually filmed) and even super rare Hitch silents and early talkies available for sale! 


Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy: A Tribute – Eleanor Knowles Dugan, one of the world's foremost authorities on Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, assembled this beautiful and easy-to-navigate treasury of information on the most famous musical duo of the 1930's.  Knowles is also author of The Films of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy,Description: the massive and amazing 636-page tome on the duo that is now in its second edition and which I'm proud to say I had a hand in bringing into existence.  

Hommage à Hedy Lamarr – a very nice bilingual (German and English, despite the French name) site about Austrian/German actress Hedy Lamarr.  At this site you’ll get a good read on the life and times of this lovely and intelligent actress, and get a look at her invention for the American war effort, which ended up being the pioneering technology behind cell phones!

Hedy Lamarr Foundation – Hedy died in the year 2000, and this Foundation was set up in her memory.  This site gives an overview of her life story and offers a little memorabilia for sale.

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International Al Jolson Society
– Al Jolson was by far the greatest musical entertainer of the early 20th Century.  In addition, he has a supplementary claim to fame as the man who accidentally killed silent pictures in 1927 with the breakthrough part-talkie The Jazz Singer.  Considering that we live in a day when rock music and terrible derivatives thereof have a stranglehold on pop culture, and considering that most of the musical artists that date before Frank Sinatra are completely ignored by the general public, it is no wonder the Al Jolson Society has sprung up to preserve the memory of this great entertainer.  Of particular interest on this site are a series of remastered CD releases of Al’s work that are only available to members of the Al Jolson Society, a reason in and of itself to join this organization.

Vintage Jazz and Dance Band Music on 78 rpm Resource Site – If you are interested in collecting 78 rpm records but don’t know where to begin, then this is the perfect site for you!  It covers just about every topic that a collector or enthusiast of early 20th Century music would want to know about.  When Pola Negri’s film The Woman He Scorned (1929) was discovered and released on video, it was John A. B. Wright, creator and webmaster of this site, who told me about Fred Elizalde, the composer of the film's original soundtrack; his Fred Elizalde page will add more details about Elizalde and The Woman He Scorned soundtrack that I couldn’t get to in my Classic Images article on The Woman He Scorned. are making many obscure recordings from the acoustic era available on compact disc for the first time, including 20’s jazz, vaudeville and comic tunes, ragtime, and opera.  Their knowledge and concern for the music of that era and commitment to making it available again is sorely needed, and their catalog is nothing short of fascinating.


A-1 Video – Lots of rarities for fans of silent comedy here, including a nice selection of Buster Keaton television appearances and  a myriad of rare shorts from Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chase, Lupino Lane (five volumes of material from him!), Our Gang, Larry Semon, and many, many more.

Alfred's Place – I mentioned this incredible Alfred Hitchcock fan site earlier, but must mention it again here because they are the only place you will find the rare Hitchcock titles The Pleasure Garden (1925), Elstree Calling (1930), Mary (the German-Language Murder! featuring Alfred Abel of Metropolis fame) (1930), and Le Chant du Danube (the French-language version of Waltzes From Vienna) (1933) for sale.  They also have the silent Blackmail (1929) for sale, but you can also get those on the German DVD release of Blackmail. – The Great Lakes Cinephile Society sponsor a cinema festival every year. They tape the live screenings of some of the rare silent and early talkie films they have screened in the past and sell them to fund silent film preservation.  Some of the films they have for sale include the early Maurice Tourneur effort The Cub (1915), A Pair of Silk Stockings (1918) featuring Constance Talmadge, and The Talk of Hollywood (1929), the earliest spoof of talkie films.’s “films for sale” page – In addition to having a huge collection of Clara Bow films (including most of her talkies), The Ultimate Clara Site also has a small but impressive collection of rare (and I do mean rare) Pola titles like Mazurka, Barbed Wire, The Yellow Ticket, Moskau-Shanghai, Tango Notturno, and an English-subtitled and a French-subtitled version of The Woman He Scorned. Wow!

Edition FilmmuseumPAL format only.  This organization is releasing DVD's of film museum restorations of rare and early European films, as well as distributing independently released DVD's from European film museums, including the Danish Film Institute's releases of rare silents by Asta Nielsen, Carl Dreyer, and Benjamin Christensen.  They are also releasing the restored version of The Joyless Street on DVD!  Hooray!

Facets Multimedia - if you’ve got money to burn a just have to have that rare film right now, try Facets.  But beware - most of these are available for less elsewhere!

Flicker Alley specialize in professional-quality video releases of silent movies.  Their first release was of Corrine Griffith's The Garden of Eden (1928), which proved to be successful enough that they followed it up with a much-needed reissue of the 1916 French Louis Feuillade serial Judex and the rare F.W. Murnau film Phantom (1922).   They also restored three rare silents produced by none other than Howard Hughes.  And it's getting better as it goes!
Grapevine Video  This marvelous company was the biggest and best of all of the public domain silent film distributors before they went out of business in late 2003.  In 2004 they reopened the business, and have since rebuilt their repertoire with an excellent selection of DVD-only silent and sound titles from America and Europe, as well as a gorgeous limited-edition commercial DVD release of the legendary Pearl White serial The Perils of Pauline (1914).  Their catalog includes seven Pola Negri titles and a nice selection of European silent titles.

International Historic Films have a large selection of German-related documentaries and feature films, many related to World War II and Nazi Germany.  Some of their film treasures include Gloria (1931), which reunited stars Gustav Frölich and Brigitte Helm of Metropolis fame;  Der Verlorene (The Lost One) (1951), Peter Lorre’s German film noir and only directorial effort (with English subtitles, at long last!); and You Don't Forget A Girl Like That (1932), starring Willi Forst, who later directed Pola Negri’s celebrated German talkie Maurka (1935).

Kino International have gone to an amazing amount of trouble over the years to make many rare and important silent and early talkie pictures available.  This company has single-handedly filled public demand vacuums and revived the reputations of important pictures with releases such as the restoration of the prototypical Universal horror picture The Man Who Laughs (1928) and an exquisite 2-DVD reissue of the German- and English-language versions of The Blue Angel (1930).  Of interest to Pola Negri fans will be their reissues of the F.W. Murnau Stiftung restorations of Die Bergkatze (1921; aka The Wildcat) and Sumurun (aka One Arabian Night).  These folks work like no other video company anywhere to keep their back catalog in print, even if the said titles only sell a few copies per year.

Life is a Movie have an amazing collection of rare silent and early talkie titles, many of them at around $15 US each!  Christine, the owner, is a very nice lady and you will get excellent service from this fascinating online store.

Milestone Films have been just as diligent as Kino and Flicker Alley in providing professional reissues of silent pictures.  Their over-the-top reissue of The Phantom of the Opera (including the 1925 and 1929 versions, with the 1929 version being shown with the recently-discovered Vitaphone sound discs for the first time!) rendered all of the previous editions of this classic practically worthless.   They are also reissuing the Mary Pickford catalog with gracious assistance from the Mary Pickford Foundation, and have also released a restored version of E.A. DuPont’s British silent masterpiece Piccadilly (1929).  Bravo, Milestone!

Movies Unlimited have been around forever and have all kinds of rare items in their massive catalog.  Type in a name or movie in their search option and you may well be surprised at what will come up.

Nostalgia Family Video are another one of the old timers and have plenty to offer as always.

Reel Classic DVD are the public domain video company to end public domain video companies—literally.  They are distinguishing themselves by offering well-known public domain titles in high quality direct transfers from original prints instead of the lousy transfers that bargain-bin companies like Alpha Video are notorious for.  They offer a good number of titles of silent interest, including Roscoe Arbuckle's 1922 film Leap Year, a compilation of Laurel of Hardy rarities, two volumes of Buster Keaton Educational shorts, and the rare talkie version of the 1932 Douglas Fairbanks film Mr. Robinson Crusoe.

The Serial Squadron has released a deluxe-edition DVD of the silent serial The Adventures of Tarzan (1921) starring Elmo Lincoln and the rediscovered William Randolph Hearst-financed serial Beatrice Fairfax (1916), and will soon be following this up with a reissue of the just-recently unearthed Arrow serial The Masked Rider (1919).  It's a near miracle that complete- or near-complete silent serials are being unearthed and released on video, and it makes you wonder what other lost film treasures are in hiding and  waiting to be uncovered (although their 2-DVD Lost Serial Collection, a compilation of surviving clips from otherwise lost serials, makes you wince in pain at just how much is missing).

Sinister Cinema specialize in horror, sci-fi, western, jungle, and sword and sandal films from the 1910’s to the 1970’s.  And boy can they find some rare stuff.  Some of their recent finds include the 1932 French film Fantômas directed by the great Paul Fejos, and the British version of the noir-film Gaslight (1940)—the one that M-G-M didn’t want you to see!  

Sunrise Silents are a newer company who offer a number of desirable titles, including the rarely-seen classic Stella Dallas (1925), the Mary Miles Minter feature The Eyes of Julia Deep (1918), and the Louise Brooks titles Love 'Em And Leave 'Em (1926) and The Canary Murder Case (1929).  They are also beginning to release complete movie fanzines on CD-R, most notably the April 1925 Motion Picture magazine with Pola Negri on the cover, the  feature article "The Mystery of Pola Negri" by Harry Carr, and a review of Pola's then-current movie East of Suez.

TVideo are based in my hometown of Denver, CO and carry a pretty large selection of rare public domain silents.  Scroll down this list and be amazed.

VCI Entertainment are renowned for the impeccable quality and beautiful packaging of their public-domain titles, and stock many rare early talkies and serials at exceptional prices—browse their catalog and you'll see what I mean.  Your choices of silent-related titles at VCI are The Birth of a Nation, Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy, Fractured Flickers: The Complete Collection (the latter two being documentaries from the 1960's about silent pictures), the silent Universal serials Tarzan the Tiger and Tarzan the Fearless, and, best of all, The Great Train Robbery: 100th Anniversary Special Edition on DVD, which includes two versions of this pioneering film, with three early silent Westerns as extras!

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