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NILES RETROSPECTIVE: Mabel Normand gets day in the California sun

Retrospective will take place November 11-12
Normand helped Chaplin early on in his career

Over the years I’ve researched and written extensively ("Silent film star deserved to be heard," ScreenComment, 2012) on the underrated work of silent movie actress Mabel Normand, Hollywood’s first film comedienne and female director. I’m now happy to report that she is finally being recognized for her many accomplishments. During November 11-12 the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, located in ... more >

Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand

The case for MABEL NORMAND, Tramp-ett

The woman standing behind the legend

There has been some recent research by film historians, silent movie academics and classic comedy buffs who have explored the idea that Chaplin and his most enduring character and image, “The Tramp” may not have been his own concept. The prevailing theory is that it was, in fact, the brainchild of the most underrated film person in history, silent-movie actress and Hollywood's first female ... more >

MABEL NORMAND | Silent-film star deserved to be heard

Immortality achieved in black and white

This year the academy award for best picture was awarded to “The Artist,” an irony-free throwback to a past era. 2012 also marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Keystone Film, the studio which many believe epitomized silent film. In honor of this anniversary Turner Classic Movies has plans in September to air much of the films which not only helped define this genre but also screen comedy in ... more >