Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand

This is off topic but not really as we are all subjected to the copies of copies of copies of silent films; don’t get me wrong, in most cases I am just happy that the film still exists.  The realization the there are negatives sitting at the Library of Congress, remember the breathtaking screen captures of Raggedy Rose (Roach 1926) that George Willeman, the nitrate film manager at Culpeper Library of Congress did from the camera negatives, he discovered? 


And now another example; most of the DVD and other formats we own are poorly cropped or as Geo calls them “Ugly Cropping.” Just knowing that there are good prints at the archives like James Kirkwood reading a letter, makes me happy. Geo points out how much is lost from the top and also the woman standing in the left opening, who is barely visible in the cropped copy. 


The preservation of these treasures and the restoration when necessary is so important. There is beauty hiding and we need to support the people who day after day get yelled at for not getting this material done faster and cheaper.  


Marilyn Slater

Looking for Mabel

June 18, 2013



Raggedy Rose screen captures