16mm feature films for sale

from FICOA, The Film Instruction Company of America

(Founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1960, FICOA is, presently, a small press publisher of technical books, mainly. We are clearing out our personal collection of classic films), rare and classic

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Another Part of the Forest (sound, B&W, 107 minutes, 1948), Frederic March, Ann Blyth, Dan Duryea. Lillian Hellman's prequel to The Little Foxes of the Hubbard family of ruthless Southern industrialists who hated each other but loved money. Powerful stuff; if you liked The Little Foxes, you'll like this film, too.   $275 + S&H

The Bank Dick (sound, B & W, 73 minutes) 

 w/ W.C. Fields. Franklin Pangborn, Una Merkel, Grady Sutton, Shemp Howard. 

"Yes indeed. The great Fields is at his funniest. As Egbert Sousé [accent on the "e", pronounced "soo-say" ... not "souse"], a sort of nonentity, Fields inadvertently foils a bank heist. As a reward, he's hired as a bank guard (in order to pay off his mortgage)." - Rating the Movies by Jay A. Brown and the Editors of Consumer Guide.   

"This film, universally regarded as Fields' best feature (probably tied with It's A Gift] was written by the Great man under the nom de plume  of Mahatma Kane Jeeves and is loaded with typical Fieldsian cast titles. Examples: Egbert Sousé, Hermisillo Brunch, Filthy McNasty, J. Pinkerton Snoopington, Og Oggilby, J. Frothingham Waterbury, and A. Pismo Clam.

Fields takes on all of his favorite peeves: bratty kids, temperance, nagging wives and mothers-in-law, bank presidents, drunken movie directors, arrogant and stupid actors and actresses, and con men. Somehow, he has eluded being bitten or annoyed by small dogs in this film. 

Contemporary critics praised the film and Fields and Bosley Crowther spoke for most by concluding ' ... we recommend The Bank Dick. It's great fun.'    We do, too." - hcl   

Caveat: There is a small section of a not-too-important part where two bank robbers have a dispute over dividing up the the loot. (That's why the price is only $150.           $150 + S&H

Crime Takes a Holiday  (16mm) Columbia, 1930's crime film typical of many "B" films produced with a cast of very recognizable character actors.  $95 plus shipping.

Cyrano de Bergerac (sound, B&W, 1950, 112 minutes) w/ Jose Ferrer, Mala Powers. Directed by Michael Gordon. Drawn from the Edmund Rostand play (which is well-worth reading, as literature) (1897); Best Actor Academy Award for Ferrer. The play (and film which follows closely) is a fanciful account of the real Cyrano (1619 - 1655) who was known for his swordsmanship and long nose. The real Cyrano wrote comedy: "The Ridiculous Pedant"; tragedy: "The Death of Agrippina"; and two famous science-fiction works: "The Other World, or the States and Empires of the Moon" and "The States and Empires of the Sun". He studied science and literature after he left military life. He said that animals have intelligence and that matter is made up of atoms. It was written that he once put a hundred men to flight in a sword fight. Much of that spirit and action is found in this film along with romance and brilliant dialog.  $400 + S&H

The Devil's Disciple (sound, B&W, 1959, 82 minutes)

w/ Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier. Directed by Guy Hamilton. 

Although Stephen Scheuer [a minor-league film reviewer] sneers at this work, it will remain absolutely the best film adaptation of the George Bernard Shaw play. 

The original play leaves much of the American Revolutionary atmosphere out and due to the limitations of the stage; none of the rousing action that makes the story come to life ... as it does in this film. No one will ever make a better rendition of the Shaw work than this one! And, catch the spirit and irony as well.

Kirk Douglas is absolutely marvelous as "The Devil's Disciple" who finds his true calling as [... well, I better not spoil the story]. It's a great piece of work and a barrel of fun. The voice-over narration completely catches the spirit of Shaw  in his commentary on the British-American squabble! Excellent performances by Lancaster and Olivier and a fine supporting cast, including the narrator who provides the properly ironic and sarcastic commentary that would have made Shaw proud!    $375 + S&H


a W. C. Fields collection  (of features and theatrical shorts, listed below and described elsewhere)

The Bank Dick - $320 + S&H

Circus Slickers - $22 + S&H  

The Golf Specialist - $65 + S&H

The Pharmacist - $80 + S&H

Pool Sharks - $60 + S&H

end of W. C. Fields collection

The Gentleman from Nowhere (16mm, B & W, sound, 1938) Columbia. Contemporary to Crime Takes a Holiday (listed above); a perfect example of a "B" picture (w/ a limited budget), but with an excellent story, cast, and direction.  $135 + S&H

The Golden Age of Comedy  (16mm, sound, B & W) The first of several anthologies by Robert Youngson.  By the turn of the 1950s, silent comedies and silent films in general were almost completely forgotten. Only college film societies would revive an occasional classic. Silents, including the work of Chaplin, were passé. Then the works of Youngson hit the screen like a blockbuster and revived interest in the art of the early pioneers and later greats. Youngson produced several works: The Golden Age of Comedy, When Comedy Was King, and Days of Thrills and Laughter. These beautifully edited, musically scored, and narrated histories of the best of the silent era re-introduced the great art that the giants of silent comedies had produced. This film was so successful that it spawned several more by Youngson and many imitators. A real classic, a work of educational value, and an eye-opener to those whom have not had a chance to see the best of silent comedy. $245 + S&H

The Great Chase*** A compilation of old films stressing the action elements including scenes of Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish, Buster Keaton, and others. A lengthy sequence of Keaton's The General.  (77 minuytes)

Hamlet ****  (16mm, sound, B & W) The Olivier version, near mint condition. $350 + S&H

Henry V****  (16mm, sound, IB Technicolor) The Olivier version, near mint condition. $375 + S&H 

an Alfred Hitchcock collection  (of features listed below)

The Lady Vanishes $550 + S&H

The Man Who Knew Too Much   $350 + S&H

The 39 Steps  $450 + S&H

The Horse's Mouth (sound, Imbibition (IB) Technicolor, 96 minutes, excellent condition) w/ Alec Guinness.  

The cult classic drawn from Joyce Cary's book. 

The screenplay, an outstanding work of adaptation, was written by Guinness himself. 

This offering includes three theatrical posters (one at 36" high x 14" wide - called an "insert"; two (identical) at 41" high x 27" wide - called a "one-sheet") in fair condition. Sold together.       $425 + S&H or $438 shipped via UPS in the U.S.            [Note: The book from which this film is drawn is available on our Books of the Cinema web page; click-on link is found below.]

Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (sound, B&W, 1938, 96 minutes) w/ Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lucas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker. This film, along with the 1935 thriller, The 39 Steps, are rated as the best of Hitchcock's Gaumont - British period. $550 + S&H

a Laurel & Hardy collection  (of features and theatrical shorts, listed elsewhere)

Double Whoopee (silent, B&W, 1929, two reels) w/ Laurel & Hardy, Jean Harlow, Charles Hall.     $70 + S&H

Way Out West small section missing. $75

end of Laurel & Hardy collection

Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (sound, B&W, 1934, 84 minutes) w/ Peter Lorre, Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Nova Pilbean. The first version of the classic story; slightly different plot twists, but the same basic structure. Brilliant performance by Peter Lorre. $350 + S&H

The Mark of Zorro (silent, B&W, 1920, 90 minutes) w/ Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Marguerite De La Motte, Noah Beery; directed by Fred Niblo. The first swashbuckler and solid entertainment throughout; THE CLASSIC. $250 +S&H

Of Human Bondage (sound, B&W, 1934, 83 minutes) w/ Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Kay Johnson, Frances Dee; directed by John Cromwell ... one his best. Davis achieved genuine stardom in her lead role.  $325 + S&H

Phantom of the Opera (silent, B&W, 1925) w/ Lon Chaney $250 + S&H

The Pied Piper of Hamlin   (16mm, sound, B & W) with Van Johnson, Claude Rains, Lori Nelson. Near mint condition. The original was shot for TV (1957) in color. Release prints via film libraries were often made in black and white for reasons of economy (and lower, more attractive rental rates). This film, of course, won't fade!  $60 + S&H

The Scarlet Pimpernel (sound, B&W, 1934, 110 minutes) w/ Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey. The original film version of the adventure-romance; much better and more satisfying than any of the remakes (of which there are many).  $265 + S&H

Seven Keys to Baldpate (sound, B&W, 1947, 68 minutes, comedy-thriller-mystery) w/ Philip Terry, Jacqueline White, Eduardo Ciannelli, Margaret Lindsay. This very entertaining story is drawn from the George M. Cohan play of the same name; Cohan played in the original stage play. This play was filmed five times!: 1917 w/ Cohan, 1926 w/ Douglas Maclean, 1929 w/ Richard Dix, 1935 w/ Gene Raymond. It's a lot of fun; nicely staged; appropriate atmospherics.  $220 + S&H

Son of the Sheik (silent, B&W, 1924, 2290 ft. - 95 minutes at silent speed; 64 minutes at sound speed, recommended) w/ Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky. Valentino in a dual role: that of the son and the father. This is the sequel to The Sheik and is regarded by critics as a much better work.     $270 + S&H

Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (sound, B&W, 1935, 89 minutes) w/ Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll.  $450 + S&H

The Three Musketeers (silent, B&W, 1925, 105 minutes at sound speed; recommended*) w/ Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Eugene Pallette.  $250 + S&H

Tom Jones **** (16mm) Complete and in very good shape physically. Parts of the film have gone magenta while most of it shows the original subdued colors, mainly brown through mahogany. Some backgrounds lack deep blue, but it has always been this way. The cinematic content is still there.  A real crowd pleaser. $125 + S&H  or  Make offer + S&H 

a Rudolph Valentino collection  (of features described and listed above)

Son of the Sheik     $270 + S&H

end of Valentino collection

16mm Theatrical Shorts

Battle at Elderbush Gulch  directed by D.W. Griffith. B & W Silent; precursor to The Birth of a Nation; several similar scenes.  $55 + S&H

Circus Slickers (sound, B&W, 1939, 11 minutes, comedy) w/ W.C. Fields. This is a clip drawn from You Can't Cheat An Honest Man and gives a nice peek at Fields in one of his favorite roles as a circus operator. In one scene, a couple of local sharpers think that Fields has erred in making change in their favor and don't speak up ... only to discover that Fields has cheated them!  $22 + S&H

The Daredevil (silent, B&W,12 minutes) w/Ben Turpin. The life and times of a Hollywood stunt man / stand-in for the stars who takes a terrific pounding. Turpin, he of the crossed eyes, goes through thick and thin and is continually chased down and put in horrendous conditions. Well, after all (as Alfred Hitchcock used to tell his actors), "It's only a movie."  $28 + S&H

Double Whoopee (silent, B&W, 1929, two reels) w/ Laurel & Hardy, Jean Harlow, Charles Hall.     $70 + S&H

The Golf Specialist w/ W.C. Fields (16mm, sound, B & W, 22 minutes) An early sound short based on Fields' Ziegfeld Follies skit.  $65 + S&H

The Pharmacist (sound, B&W, 1933, 19.5 minutes) w/ W.C. Fields, Babe Kane, Elise Cavanna, Grady Sutton, Lorena Carr.   One of four shorts made for Mack Sennett in 1932 - 1933.   $60 + S&H 

Pool Sharks (soundtrack to enliven an original silent film, B&W, 1915, 10 minutes, comedy) w/ W.C. Fields. This was Fields' first film, made in Britain by Gaumont; his second one wasn't made until 1924. It is his pool table routine which he performed many times on the stage. He was 36 at the time. Rare! $60 + S&H

Soldier Man (silent, B&W, 1920s, 50 minutes) w/ Harry Langdon. Langdon is considered one of the top four comedians of the silent era and was once considered as a serious threat to Chaplin. This film was made as Langdon was approaching the peak of his art.  $95 + S&H

Crime Takes a Holiday  (16mm) Columbia, B &W. 1930's crime film typical of many "B" films produced with a cast of very recognizable character actors.  $95 plus shipping. 

Feet First  with Harold Lloyd (16mm, B & W, 1930) 70 minutes. The sound remake of Safety Last, one of Lloyd's greatest films. Excellent condition; Rare! $235 + S&H


Special Insert: Classic theatrical films on standard 8mm (not super 8mm!); prints by Blackhawk

Orphans of the Storm ( standard 8mm, Blackhawk** print ) (silent, B&W, 1922, 156 minutes) w/ The Gish Sisters; directed by D.W. Griffith. the full length classic!    $137 + S&H or $148 shipped via UPS in continuous U.S. (the lower 48)

End of Classic theatrical films on 8mm

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An Editorial from an Old Exhibitor, Projectionist, Film Archivist

  Given proper care, projection prints (8mm, 16mm, 35mm, etc.) can last an indefinite period if the film base is safety film (cellulose acetate, tri-acetate,  or polyester). The manufacture of 35mm. nitrate film (cellulose nitrate) ended in 1951 in the U.S.  Nitrate film deteriorates over time and its rate of deterioration cannot be controlled.  [Films discovered in the far North, e.g. in Alaska have remained stable for very long times. However, this kind of accidental storage is rare. Most nitrate film has been stored for many years at room temperature (68 degrees F.). All U.S. manufactured 16mm film was made of the safety base developed by Kodak around 1923 for amateur use.

  Safety stock lasts very long although cellulose acetate and the tri-acetate films will do some curling and distortion due to shrinkage and decay at the molecular level. Film buffs often comment on a "vinegar smell" (a.k.a. "VS") about their films, particularly on the imbibition dye-transfer color prints produced by the Technicolor® process, "IB Tech" as it is known among some fanatics. The cellulose acetate and tri-acetate bases break down into volatile acetic acid and as these decay products evaporate, the shrinkage occurs. Thus, the film will usually curl. Newer polyester base film (developed in the 1950's) are resistant to this kind of shrinkage. Though these polyester bases (Cronar®, Estar®, etc. ... trade names) were more expensive and required tape splices rather than acetone based splicing fluid - adhesive, they are more stable and long-lasting.

  However, the greatest threat to film is mishandling (which usually adds abrasive dirt) and poor storage.

  Here are some tips to prolong the useful life of your prints, which you may be using for both enjoyment, education, and commercial use. And, as a last-resort, an archival original.

Keep your projector clean: Wipe out the gate, sprockets, and rollers or contact shoes after each reel. Use a toothbrush, dustless cloth, and light oil or silicone lubricant. This film handler (the writer) uses "Silicone Spray - Food Grade" which is formulated for anti-rust; as a lubricant; and as a release agent in food processing machinery. It comes in a pressurized spray can. Restaurant suppliers handle it.  Spray some on a clean, dust-free cloth and wipe the film as you rewind it. Don't use a metal knife or chisel on the film gate since it will scratch it. A scratch will scrape the film, putting a white line on the projected picture.  For tough build-up of film or emulsion, use a wooden chisel (You can carve one out of a popsicle stick) and use a solvent, e.g. acetone.

Keep the film clean: Wipe film after each use and inspect. (I use hand rewinds to maintain good control and feel for defects, tears, nicks, and bad splices.)

Repair torn film immediately and preferably with commercial tape splices.

Store film is a cool place with humidity at around 40%. Many basements are surprisingly dry, but check the humidity with a humidity meter ... borrow one from one of the heating and ventilating business folks.

Store film in cans or, at the very least, wrapped in plastic to keep the dirt out.

Organize your storage and keep a good inventory record. This writer has overlaid a grid on the archival storage facility by  using the alphabet between joists (South to North) and distance (in feet, West to East).

When loaning film out, keep a record by noting it in your inventory folder. Loan film only to people that you know very well and that you are sure that they know how to handle film. [Even then, you may not get your film back ... it happens!]

On Handling and the Use of Leaders: "Leaders" are the pieces of film that are attached to both ends of a reel of film. The "head end" leader is often, or ought to be marked clearly with "H" and the number of the reel, e.g., "H1" would be the head end of Reel One. The "tail end" leaders should be marked with "T" and the reel number, e.g., "T3" for the tail end leader of Reel Three. 

Not one amateur projectionist in fifty handles leaders properly and this mishandling causes a lot of wear and damage to both ends of each reel of film.

Leader should never be allowed to be dropped on the floor; it gets stepped upon and picks up abrasive dust and dirt. This dirt gets into the film gate and produces visible scratches in the picture.

Leader should be run through the projector to ensure that the threading is proper, rather than dropped upon the floor or rolled upon the takeup reel, just to save a few seconds.

When leader is damaged, it should be promptly repaired or, better yet, replaced. It is the leader that should take the damage when starting, ending, or rewinding film, not the image and sound track part.

Anecdotes:      A corporation loaned a promotional film out of its main office and got less than fifty (50) uses or exhibitions. The film was turned into scrap in that short time. When they turned the loan operation over to a film rental library, the life of prints became indefinite. The library cleaned and repaired each print after each loan-out.                           When Universal Pictures informed us that It's a Gift was the only print in existence and that it was in bad shape, we became quite concerned. After inspection, wiping it clean, and fixing just one splice, the print ran perfectly for a four-day weekend run. The print was between 30 and 50 years old, at least.

* * * * * * * * * * * *


16mm Non-Theatrical & Documentary Films  (Look to C 18 for silent shorts)


8mm and Super 8mm Non-Theatrical, some Theatrical,  & Documentary Films

Cameos of Comedy (1909 - 1922) Highlights from Mr. Flip, Goodness Gracious, Tillie Wakes Up, The Butcher Boy, & The Counter Jumper.  B & W, Silent,  Standard 8mm, 22 minutes, 300 ft., $5 + S&H  or  $7.25 postpaid in the U.S.

Deadly Turning  A chapter from The Perils of Pauline, A racing car chase. 15 minutes, 200 ft.,  Standard 8mm,  $4 + S&H  or  $6.25 postpaid in the U.S.

Dempsey vs. Tunney -Both the 1926 and 1927 Bouts in one Film, 9 minutes, 165 ft. Super 8mm,  $4 + S&H  or  $6.25 postpaid in the U.S.

The New York Hat (12 minutes, Standard 8mm) Mary Pickford's last film with Biograph; opposite Lionel Barrymore. $14 postpaid in the U.S.

The Tragic Plunge  (1914) A chapter from The Perils of Pauline, A woman spy is out to capture inside information on U.S. submarines. B & W, Silent,  33 minutes, 450 ft., Standard 8mm, $5 + S&H  or  $7.25 postpaid in the U.S.


Theatrical Posters:

The Adventures of Quentin Durward a "one-sheet" (27" wide x 41" tall) in excellent, near-mint condition. The film starred Robert Taylor, Kay Kendall, Robert Morley; color & CinemaScope; an excellent film (based upon the Sir Walter Scott story) and hard to come by in DVD's or videos. 

[This writer showed the film twice as a projectionist and the title was simply "Quentin Durward". Some publicist may have thought that "The Adventures of" was needed. The poster may be rare, but I doubt it. - hcl]  

$5 shipped postpaid anywhere in the U.S.   E 10 ovh

The Gentleman from Nowhere a lobby card (11" x 14")in fair condition. a Columbia 1948 "B" picture with Warner Baxter; in color although the film was in black and white $1.50 + S&H  (We will not ship this item rolled up; via 1st class USPS, it will probably take $2.00 for postage)  E 10 ovh

The League of Frightened Men w/Walter Connolly as Nero Wolf  (reduction b&w reproduction; lobby card) $1.50 postpaid   E 10 ovh


Shipping and Handling: Since the items on this web page vary in size and weight and will be sent various distances, a $3  handling (packaging and moving to a shipper i.e., USPS or UPS) plus whatever shipping fee is required. For single items, we estimate the shipping by USPS and may place an alternate price "Postpaid in U.S.".  "Postpaid" means that we have included the handling and shipping (by U.S. Mail/USPS) in the quoted price.

The cheapest method may be to pick the item up here, at our base, in Wauwatosa (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) since there would be no handling or shipping cost. And, you can examine the item of interest.

We ship feature films via United parcel Service (UPS) or United States Postal Service (USPS), insured, unless another method of shipping is specified by the customer.

To determine the actual shipping cost, drop us an e-mail and we will find out, based upon your preference of transport, and provide your ZIP code.


Contact Us at:  FICOA, 5928 W. Michigan St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-4248


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                                           phone:   (414) 258 - 6492   ... ask for Hank

This web page is part of the ficoa.biz website.

Books of the Cinema  Books, new and used, covering all aspects of motion pictures: personalities, films, production, directors, authors, etc.  [Several hundred items are listed; by author, title, subject, personality.]

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MovieStuff A web page dedicated to that intrepid band of movie buffs, moviemakers, and film students that have equipment and materials that they want to sell or give away or things that they are looking for.

*  As the motion picture industry moved into the 1920s, the camera speeds increased progressively to about 24 frames per second. There was no standard camera or projector speed until the advent of sound which is standardized at 24 frames per second (fps). Research conducted in the 1970s which focused on the music composed for the major silent films revealed that the projection speeds (based upon camera speeds) were, indeed, 24 frames per second or very close to it. Between 1920 and 1925, the picture taking speed moved from about 20 fps to 24 fps as the studio cameras were converted to electric motor drive. [There may have been some moves, among the major production studios, towards standardization, although this is speculation.]

   Early films and those made into the late nineteen teens were photographed at speeds of about 16 frames per second ... remember, there was no standardization at that time .  The silent projection speed standard of 16 fps was set (as a widely accepted standard) in the 1920s to provide an economical film consumption rate for amateur movie makers and for silent industrial film production. The silent film speed standard continued well into the 1950s in specialized industrial motion picture operations, particularly in work analysis and measurement ... time and motion study. The silent projection speed standard was useful since the 16 fps equaled 960 frames per minute or roughly equal to one one thousandths (.001) of a minute per frame. The time study folks could then assume .001 minutes per frame. Not exact, but good enough.

[Incidentally, the use of silent projection speed in time study films, particularly in the MTM system, has caused no end of confusion. The films were often run at sound speed and later when some of these, copied illegally, were put on video tape produced displays of excessively fast work motions. The camera speed was at 16 fps (for economy sake) while the projection speed (for transfer to video via "film chain") was at 24 fps.]

That is why every sound movie projector has the two-speed feature while practically no one uses the silent speed setting.

About reels and running times: The term "reel" indicates a 1,000 foot long piece of 35mm. film, which if in actual full length of 1,000 feet will run 11 minutes. Most reels, as they come out of the camera, have less than 1,000 feet of exposed negative. The usual rule is that one reel is about 10 minutes of screen time at sound speed and about 15 minutes at silent speed. Most reels are less than 1,000 feet. A 16mm. reel of 400 feet is equivalent to the 35mm. 1,000 foot reel and at sound speed will run 10 minutes; 15 minutes at silent speed.

**Blackhawk print: For those too young to remember, a company known as "Blackhawk Films (The Eastin - Phelan Corporation) of Davenport, Iowa sold 8mm. and  16mm. prints (and slides) of railroad films, theatrical shorts, and classic theatrical movies. Blackhawk prints are usually regarded by collectors as the top-of-the-line, in quality, prints. Blackhawk prints were not inexpensive, but were not, on the other hand, over-priced. Occasionally, they would offer films on sale [probably remainders, i.e. excess production and not sold out during the expected time] and at very reasonable prices ... these would be bargains. So, if a print is marked "Blackhawk", it is usually the mark of top quality.

Blackhawk (of Davenport, Iowa) is now out of business now, although the trade name still exists and can be found on the world wide web. This writer is not familiar with the new organization or its products.