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W.H. Tilley Collection, no. 3 - 1950s

Susan T. Solomon

Silent | 1950s

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Index of Intertitles
  •  Coney Island 
  •  Free Beer and Hot Dogs 
  •  Top of the Empire State Building  
  •  Battery Park  
  •  Music Mad 
  •  What is Rarer Than a day in June? 
  •  The Tilley residence, located at the corner of 37th and Speedway in Austin 
  •  Paramount Theatre 
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  • About the video
  • Wesley Hope and Pau... Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley
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This collection of 16 mm clips was originally shot and compiled in the 1950s by W.H. Tilley, and includes a trip to New York City as well as home footage from Austin. The New York City material features shots of W.H. Tilley, his wife, and group at Coney Island, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, as well as views from the Empire State Building. The Austin material includes a humorous sketch, "Music Mad," starring W.H. Tilley's wife Helen as a harried music instructor. "Music Mad" features various shots around Austin (including the Tilley home, Congress Avenue and the Capitol grounds), as well as a drive up Congress Avenue towards the Capitol. The Austin material concludes with clips of W.H. and Helen watering their lawn and playing with their dog.

Brothers Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley can be counted among Texas' pioneering filmmakers. Their movie work extends at least as far back as 1910.

In addition to their short subjects (as for-hire filmmakers) and early documentary movies of Texas, the Austin-based Tilleys made cartoons, titles, slides, advertisements, newsreels, and comedy features. The brothers were also involved in the turn-of-the-century amusement business as carnival music producers and for-hire projectionists.

The Tilley brothers are best known, however, for their three commercial narrative features: Mexican Conspiracy Outgeneralled, Their Lives By a Slender Thread and The Kentucky Feud. These films were produced in 1913 around central Texas (as well as Mexico) under the auspices of their Satex production company and film lab, one of the first of its kind in Texas.

W. Hope Tilley eventually pursued his music-related activities full-time, remaining in Austin. Paul Tilley later worked with another fellow Texan in Hollywood, film director King Vidor.