Gilda's Blue Book of the Screen


Welcome! My name is Gilda Tabarez. I am an avid fan of silent films. I have been watching silent films since I was a small child. My father used to take me to silent film revivals at the now- defunct Avenue Theatre here in San Francisco during the late sixties through to the early eighties. There I enjoyed a great many silent films accompanied by the magnificent Wurlitzer pipe organ. That wonderful theatre is now closed, probably forever, but I will never forget the beauty and magic of the silents which I experienced there. The purpose of this Web site is to share with you some articles and links about silent films, in the hope that you will come to appreciate silent cinema as I do. 

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Silent Film Links

Other favorite sites:


Favorite silent film book:
Silent Films, 1877-1996 : A Critical Guide to 646 Movies  by Robert K. Klepper


Favorite theater organ and organist:
Alex Santos at the Wurlitzer pipe organ, San Francisco.

Alex Santos at the Avenue Theatre, San Francisco.

NEWListen to Alexander Santos play the refrain from 
"The Perfect Song" on the mighty Wurlitzer organ
Recorded at the Avenue Theatre in San Francisco (which, sadly, is no more).
Requires FREE RealPlayerto listen.

Click here for the sheet music
"The Perfect Song"
{Love strain from D.W. Griffith's gigantic spectacle "The Birth of a Nation" (1915)}

The day is grey, And the way is drear and lonely 
Though together, side by side, through life we go
Without the light of love To shine upon our path
We cannot know a friend or foe Where all is dark 

And yet, amid the throngs That pass and mingle 
Are hearts that ache For sympathy and love
A look perchance, A word of tender meaning,
Lo! two happy hearts are one!

Perfect song of loving hearts united, 
Golden dream of heaven 
Melting into day!

Perfect love of hearts forever plighted!
Joy with summer blends
And winter ends
In perfect love's June day!

Click here for a complete midi version of this song by an unknown artist.

More silent film organ music.....

     Silent films were never intended to be silent.  They were almost always accompanied by music, usually performed on a piano, organ or by an orchestra.  The Wurlitzer pipe organ provided the most popular accompaniment during the heyday of the great silent movie theaters.  For your listening pleasure, below are a few more musical selections, all popular favorites of the silent era, performed by Alex Santos on the Avenue Theatre Wurlitzer Organ.  At the time it was billed as the largest theater pipe organ west of the Mississippi.  Incidentally, this same wonderful organ was later installed at the Towne Theatre in San Jose, California.   After the Towne Theatre changed management, the organ was placed into storage for a number of years.  As of October 2005, the mighty Wurlitzer now has a new home in Florida where it is currently being installed.  (These audio samples were recorded during a private practice session -- please pardon the missed notes.)  Requires FREE RealPlayerto listen:

Wedding of the Winds
Concert Waltz by John T. Hall 
Usually performed before the main feature or during intermission.

(I'm in heaven when I see you smile;  smile for me, my Diane....)
by Erno Rapee & Lew Pollack 
Theme song from "Seventh Heaven" (1927) starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell.

Kashmiri Song
(Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar....)
by Amy Woodforde-Finden
Theme used in "The Sheik" (1921) starring Rudolph Valentino.

(Little Star of the distant sky.....)
"Little Star" by Manuel Ponce
Old song from Spain used in any number of silent features with a Spanish or Mexican setting.

by Rimsky-Korsakoff
Classical theme used in "The Thief of Bagdad" (1924) starring Douglas Fairbanks.

Organ Recordings Copyright © Alexander Santos. 
All rights reserved.  Used by permission. 

Lars Hanson and Lillian Gish in The Scarlet Letter (1926)


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In Memoriam
This site is dedicated to the memory of Robert K. Klepper 
 a remarkable man and a gifted writer .
He was a champion of silent film preservation and presentation. 
I will always be grateful for his kindness 
and for the articles he graciously contributed to this website.
He is sorely missed.


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Site last modified February 17, 2008 by Gilda Tabarez at
Images and texts on these pages are intended for research or educational use only.

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