Charles Ashton and British Silent Films

British Silent Film Star – Charles Ashton

Posts Tagged ‘silent film festival

Pordenone’s Le Giornate del Cinema Muto festival pays tribute to W.W. Jacobs’ films

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The Giornate del Cinema Muto international silent film festival held in Pordenone, northern Italy, is now in its 31st year.  Within its eight day programme there were screenings of well over 300 films , plus there was screen tribute to the Wapping-born ‘storyteller’ William Wymark Jacobs (1863-1943) hence my post.  Between 1922 and 1927 several of W.W. Jacobs’ maritime novels were adapted by director H. Manning Haynes and screenwriter Lydia Hayward into popular comedy films, some of which starred Charles Ashton and were shown at the festival  – The Head of the Family, A Will and A Way (both films were also shown at the 15th British Silent Film Festival, Cambridge), Skipper’s Wooing , The Boatswain’s Mate and Sam’s Boy.   Jacobs most famous short horror story, The Monkey’s Paw, was made into at least ten films over the years including the 1923 version starring Charles Ashton and Marie Ault.  Many of Jacobs’ books are now out of print but they can be found secondhand on Amazon, eBay and through various book dealers.  Fortunately the stories have been preserved online through Project Gutenberg, and some are available on the Kindle.  Thanks to David Robinson for his notes on W.W. Jacobs and the film adaptations in Le Giornate del Cinema Muto’s 2012 programme (available as a pdf).  Jacobs’ biography can also be found on the Online Literature website

Reviews of  the films and events at the Pordenone festival can be found on Silent London blog and News from the BFI.

William Wymark Jacobs (1863-1943)  Source of image:

William Wymark Jacobs (1863-1943) Source of image:


Written by anneramsden

December 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

15th British Silent Film Festival (Cambridge)

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Charles Ashton’s film, A Will and A Way, will be screened with another Manning Haynes film, The Boatswain’s Mate, at the 15th British Silent Film Festival, Cambridge, at the Art Picturehouse on 19th April 17.30-19.00.  More information on all  the silent films to be screened at the Art Picturehouse, Emmanuel College and West Road Concert Hall will be available shortly.  See the Festival website and the Art Picturehouse pdf programme at

Written by anneramsden

March 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Brand new print of Head of the Family (1922) to be shown at The 15th British Silent Film Festival

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Imagine my surprise to see that the latest news on the programme for The 15th British Silent Film Festival shows one of the film stills from Head of the Family (Manning Haynes, 1922).  On further reading I find that the programme will include two of Charles Ashton’s rarely seen silent films, a brand new print of Head of the Family and A Will and a Way (1922) based on stories by W.W. Jacobs.   This year the Festival will take place at the Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge from 19th – 22nd April 2012.  More information will be available at the Festival website

Written by anneramsden

January 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm