“Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy” Book Giveaway (June 26 – July 29)

“Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy”
We have TEN Copies to Give Away in July!

It’s time for our next book giveaway! And, I am delighted to say that this time, we’ll be celebrating the women of silent comedy (and yes, it’s about time!). That said, we’ll be giving away TEN COPIES of “Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy” by early American film scholar and historian, Steve Massa, courtesy of Bear Manor Books.

Before we start the giveaway, I just want to say that “Slapstick Divas” is a 600+ page treasure trove of information! Not only does it provide a chronological study of the pioneering women of the silents, it also includes over 450 mini-biographies, and over 440 wonderful pictures (most of which I’ve never seen before). It was such a pleasure to learn about these fascinating women, many of which have been forgotten over time — until now!

That said, let the contest begin!

In order to qualify to win one of these books via this contest giveaway, you must complete the below entry task by Saturday, July 29 at 9PM EST. However, the sooner you enter, the better chance you have of winning, because we will pick two winners on five different days within the contest period, via random drawings, as listed below… So if you don’t win the first week that you enter, you will still be eligible to win during the following weeks until the contest is over.

  • July 1: Two Winners
  • July 8: Two Winners
  • July 15: Two Winners
  • July 22: Two Winners
  • July 29: Two Winners

We will announce each week’s winner on Twitter @ClassicMovieHub and/or right here on this Blog in the comment section below (depending on how you entered), the day after each winner is picked at 9PM EST — for example, we will announce our first week’s winner at 9PM EST on Sunday July 30.

Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy


ENTRY TASK (2-parts) to be completed by Saturday, July 29 at 9PM EST — BUT remember, the sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win…

1) Answer the below question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog post

2) *Then TWEET (not DM) the following message (if you don’t have twitter, see below):
Just entered to win the “Slapstick Divas” #BookGiveaway courtesy of @ClassicMovieHub and @BearManorMedia

Who are some of your favorite silent comediennes and why? And, if you don’t have any favorites, why would you like to win this book?

NOTE: if for any reason you encounter a problem commenting here on this blog, please feel free to tweet or DM us, or send an email to clas@gmail.com and we will be happy to create the entry for you.

*If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still enter the contest by simply answering the above question via the comment section at the bottom of this blog — BUT PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU ADD THIS VERBIAGE TO YOUR ANSWER: I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

Click here for the full contest rules and more details. 

Please note that only Continental United States (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Puerto Rico) are eligible.

And — BlogHub members ARE eligible to win if they live within the areas noted above.


About the book: Funny girls, those comediennes from the silent movies, knew shtick from slapstick. Mabel Normand, Marie Dressler, Bebe Daniels, Dorothy Gish, Constance Talmadge, Marion Davies, and Colleen Moore brought riotous laughter to millions around the world, yet their hilarity may seem hidden to those only familiar with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and Harold Lloyd. Discover the women of wit, from the supporting players to the stars. Author Steve Massa covers their contributions to comedy with in-depth analyses of the most hilarious heroines of humor, followed by 459 biographies of other droll divas from the famous to the forgotten. The book contains 440 rare movie scene shots, formal portraits, candid behind the scenes photos, film frame enlargements, trade magazine advertisements, lobby cards, stage photographs, artist’s renderings and caricatures, and casting guide entries.

About the Author: Steve Massa is the author of Lame Brains and Lunatics: The Good, The Bad, and The Forgotten of Silent Comedy and Marcel Perez: The International Mirth-Maker. He has organized and curated comedy film programs for the Museum of Modern Art, The Library of Congress, The Museum of the Moving Image, The Smithsonian Institution, and The Pordenone Silent Film Festival.


If you don’t want to wait to win, you can purchase the book by clicking here

Good Luck!


–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub

This entry was posted in Books, Contests & Giveaways, Posts by Annmarie Gatti and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to “Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy” Book Giveaway (June 26 – July 29)

  1. Vickie Gleasin says:

    I love 40s and 50s but the Silent era I’m just beginning to appreciate and explore so this would be perfect for me!!!

  2. Scottie Hexter says:

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.
    I need a laugh because of all the bad news for so many months. Since I don’t have any favorite comediennes (due to the fact that I’m not familiar with their work), I figure that a book about them will awaken an appreciation for their art form, and I’ll make an effort to watch old, silent movies more often, particularly ones featuring famous (or not-so-famous) comediennes.

  3. Bruce Baldwin says:

    Marion Davies is my favorite silent movie comedienne (and one of my top ten dinner guest invitees). She was self-deprecating, brave, instrumental in saving WRHearst when he needed can, generous, sweet and entirely under appreciated. Marion Davies would be someone with whom you could laugh, confide your secrets, and tell funny stories, and she was brave, a great hostess, and fun. Who could ask for more?

  4. Ana Roland says:

    This book sounds like such a fun read! One of my favorite comediennes from the silent movies is Polly Moran. Just her facial expressions are amusing to me. She’s brash and loud (even in a silent film…) She got her start in vaudeville and later joined Mack Sennett. She just excelled at slapstick. She and Marie Dressler were a good team. Their films usually found humor in conflict.

  5. I need this book because I need to know more about Slapstick Divas. Sure, I’ve seen bits and pieces of Bebe Daniels, Mabel Normand and Colleen Moore, but the only divas who’ve delivered belly laughs to me were Marion Davies and Martha Sleeper, probably because I saw their films with a live audience. I want to know more about the women who really wanted to be funny. (BTW, I think Sybil Seely, Marion Mack, and Vivien Oakland are examples of actresses who might not be slapstick divas, but knew what it meant to be a great foil.)

  6. mike paradise says:

    My favorites are Thelma Todd, Muriel Evans, Anita Garvin, and Gale Henry.

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi Mike, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted, or let me know here if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  7. Mary Mallory says:

    I have several silent film comediennes. Bebe Daniels is gorgeous but not afraid to get herself dirty, flirty and fun. Colleen Moore has that sparkle and verve. Mabel Normand is gorgeous but one of the guys, great at action and a scene stealer. Dorothy Gish is sweet but spunky.

  8. Joe Migliore says:

    Alice Howell had a great look for silent comedy, but my favorite is Gale Henry; she was funny solo, and also when appearing in the works of other comedians, Charley Chase particularly. I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  9. Trish Walters says:

    My favorite silent comediennes are:
    1) Mabel Normand — because of her pluckiness and independent spirit, and the fact that she’s just plain adorable;
    2) Marion Davies — because of her wonderfully expressive face, which she subtly used to great comedic effect;
    3) Marie Dressler — because of her beautifully expressive face and body language, and imposing presence, she owned every scene she was in. And she makes me laugh out loud!

  10. Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew, Wanda Wylie, Lupino Lane.

    I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  11. Jim Reid says:

    My favorite silent comediennes are the Hal Roach team of Anita Garvin and Marion Byron. Although they made few films together, I really enjoy them. Anita with the scowls and stern looks and cute Marion usually getting them into all sorts of scrapes! I feel there’s so much about the ladies of silent comedy that I don’t know. I’m really looking forward to Steve’s book!

  12. Howard B says:

    I am not familiar with any silent comediennes but I am a big fan of modern comedies as well as classic comedies and would be interested in hearing about the people who made the first steps.

  13. Colleen Moore, Marion Davies, Dorothy Gish and Bebe Daniels are my favorites.

  14. Annmarie Gatti says:

    Posting on behalf of Phil who could not post:
    Mabel Normand, Marie Dressler, Gloria Swanson, Marion Davies and Anita Garvin. Why? Because they were damn funny, that’s why!

  15. Carl says:

    The first name that pops into my mind is Mabel Normand, and while checking the spelling I learned a bit more about her too. I had no idea that besides being an actress she also wrote, directed and produced films. I’m very much looking forward to this book, thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  16. Charlie Morrow says:

    I have many favorite comediennes from the silent era, but Marion Davies is a special favorite — particularly in Show People and The Patsy — because seeing her best work came as such a pleasant surprise. Before I was able to view these films I’d encountered some negative feedback about her abilities, so it was a revelation to discover how gifted she was, and how funny she could be. In retrospect, I think the bad-mouthing came from people reacting to Davies’ unconventional private life. Who knows if they’d even SEEN her films? P.S. I do not have a Twitter account, so I am posting here to enter but cannot tweet the message.

  17. Stan Taffel says:

    My favorite silent film comediennes are Martha Sleeper, Anita Garvin, Marion Byron, Gale Henry, Colleen Moore and Mabel Normand. There is so little information on these women in print and many of their films have vanished so the information contained in this book is a vital key to unlock the mystery of these and many more pioneer women of silent films. Their lives and work are almost completely unknown to us; at last there is a place to find out about who they were and why they should be remembered now and in the future.

  18. I love so many funny ladies of the silent era: Mabel Normand, Louise Fazenda, Gale Henry, Alice Howell…the list goes on and on.

    But the reason why I’d love to win a copy of this book is that Massa’s previous tome, LAME BRAINS & LUNATICS, is a must-read for fans of silent comedy.

  19. Shawn D Moore says:

    I confess some deficiency in my exposure and education of silent comediennes as the only one that is prominent in my mind is Mabel Normand, and I have mostly seen her based on my love of Chaplin and Arbuckle. So I need this book to fill a broad gap (pun intended!). 🙂

  20. Kristy Dalton says:

    I’ve always liked Marie Dressler. So much so I’m basing one of the characters in the novel I’m writing on her. I would like to learn more about the comediennes of the Silent Era since I already know everything there is to know about the gentlemen of the time, so I hope I get a chance to read this book.

    I do have Twitter. My username is @zepporella.

  21. I’ve certainly seen and enjoyed some of the work of Mabel Normand, Marion Davies, Thelma Todd, Colleen Moore, and Edna Purviance (who, on occasion got to be funny, such as in A DOG’s LIFE), but I know I’ve only scratched the surface of women in comedy in the silent era. LAME BRAINS & LUNATICS was a treasure trove of information on silent comedy, so I’m looking forward to the new information on comediennes of the silent era that Steve Massa brings to light.

    By the way, I’ll post with my new Twitter handle (@bttmshlfmovies).

  22. Paul Gray says:

    My two favorite comediennes from the silent era are Thelma Todd and Anita Garvin. They often played opposite my favorite duo, Laurel & Hardy. No matter what The Boys did, those two gals always got the better of them! Anita Garvin especially, I considered the female version of Edgar Kennedy. She could do a slow burn like no other silent actress!

  23. Mary Alletto says:

    Mabel Normand because she could take a pie just as good as the Male silent comics.

  24. Nicole says:

    I’d love to win this book because I’ve been itching to learn more about the known and unknown silent comediennes.

  25. John Barger says:

    Mabel Normand!!! Not only did she hold her own alongside some of the greats…she also became very involved in the industry. An icon indeed…and a cutie!

    • Annmarie Gatti says:

      Hi John, I can’t seem to find your tweet. Could you please confirm that you tweeted, or let me know if you don’t have a twitter account. Thanks!

  26. Sara Stewart says:

    Oddly enough, I can’t think of the name of one silent film female slapstick comedian, and I would love to be able to learn more about them.

  27. My favorites is more of a list! My favorite silent film comediennes include Colleen Moore, Mabel Normand, Marion Davies, Bebe Daniels, and Marie Dressler. Next on my list to see more of and learn more about is Alice Howell.

    The why is easy! These are a very talented group of women. To elicit real laughs and not just a smile is one of the hardest feats for any comedy actor to perform. All of these women have made me giggle or chuckle or roar with laughter.

  28. Mark PAGAN says:

    Gots to get edge-a-ma-cated! As this is clearly a gaping maw (Ma?) in my film knowledge.

  29. Rudy Cecera says:

    Not to jump on the bandwagon of the other comments but I am not only a HUGE Mabel Normand fan, but I’ve written and produced two short films on her life and career which have both made various film festivals (see website). I have also written a screenplay on Mabel so love to do as much research on her and the era as possible and this book sounds like a great resource! For the record, I am also a fan of Anita Garvin, Marion Davies and lesser known Dorothy Coburn (frequent Laurel & Hardy pie target).

  30. Christian Ramos says:

    I do not have a favorite female silent comedy star mostly because I do not know any! Sure I know of the silent film stars of yesteryear, but I am not familiar with many of those who had works of comedy. I would love to win this to add it to my film book collection and to also read up on these ladies. This is a topic now that I think of it, I would have loved to have taken in my film studies classes. Thanks!

  31. Bruce Baldwin says:

    Marion Davies is much, much more than a silent movies comedienne: she knew everyone, was a consummate hostess for WR Hearst, helped rescue him by returning jewels when he had money troubles, and kept some of Hollywood’s deepest secrets. She deserves an opera about her life!

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