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Thames Silents is a series of releases (theatrical, broadcast and home video) of films from the silent era produced by the British ITV contractor Thames Television. The key figure behind these efforts were noted film historian and documentarian Kevin Brownlow and his associate David Gill.
Thames' first venture into the genre was Hollywood, a thirteen part documentary series first shown on the ITV network in 1979. It was an enormous success, and generated a degree of renewed interest in silent cinema. Subsequently, Thames produced three television series, Unknown Chaplin, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow and Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius examining the production of silent comedy.
In conjunction with several US organisations, Thames Silents re-released full-length silent films, often for cinema distribution. Most notably this included Abel Gance's Napoléon as well as Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd comedies, and films by other notable silent film figures such as Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Erich von Stroheim, Rex Ingram, and D.W. Griffith. Napoleon was one of Channel Four's earliest broadcasts, and many of the films were released on home video. The composer Carl Davis became strongly associated with the series, composing new scores for almost all of the releases.
Thames Silents continued after Thames Television lost its ITV franchise in December 1992, however it is no longer used as an imprint by its parent organisation FreemantleMedia. Brownlow has continued documentary production and film restoration under his Photoplay Productions.