Cathedrals, buttressed with unnumbered tiers
Of ruddy rock, lift to the sapphire sky
A single spire of marble pure as snow;
And huge aerial palaces arise
Like mountains built of unconsuming flame.
- H. Van Dyke
Welcome to Aventuras de Tom Tyler, a fan site dedicated to the former silent film star Tom Tyler. Born Vincent Markowski in Port Henry, New York on August 9, 1903, Tom has appeared in 180 movies and television shows. He was also a champion weightlifter, and at 6'2” tall and 200 pounds of solid, sleek muscle culminating in the most agile, graceful physique (Tom moved like a cat during action scenes) I have ever seen on film combined with his strikingly handsome looks, he is still attracting the ladies well over sixty years after his death. Pretty impressive huh. Maybe it's the clothes he wears. Maybe it's the way he rides a horse. Or maybe it's his gorgeous smile. He's got a way to send my senses reeling every time he smiles. I do know this much: I saw his face and that's the last I've seen of my heart.
But then we are talking about the same man who portrayed Captain Marvel – the very first comic book superhero to make it to the silver screen – plus the Phantom. Not to mention numerous other serials he starred in. Tom Tyler was a hard working man, usually portraying heroes. He was never really typecast as a cowboy, nor superhero, nor as an extra in dramatic roles.
Tom Tyer was a silent film actor who continued well into talkies until his untimely death in 1954. He may not look like a silent film actor in the sense that he looks like he is from that era (it would not be wrong to say his attractiveness is timeless). Today's actors just don't begin to compare in looks and physique. So if you're interested in serious film star eye-candy, you have come to the right place.
There is much information about Tom Tyler online; many good articles about his life, the last years of his life, his exciting career, his battle with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease which started to ravage his body during his fourth decade. Sadly, he died from complications due to this disease at the age of 50 in 1954, a disease for which there is no cure. Very down-to-earth, sweet, somewhat shy in real life, Tom Tyler did not deserve to have this horrible disease that cost him his handsome looks, career, marriage, his life, relegating himself to the care of his sister Katherine in Hamtramck, Michigan.
Tom Tyler was a very rare breed of actor: not only was he very hard working, but by all accounts a very pleasant man to work with, according to Mike Chapman's biography of the actor. Highly professional at all times, taking his work seriously, Tom remains highly respected for his reputation to this day, not a claim that too many actors can make.
Here is a wonderful story about Tom from Hour Detroit documenting his career and last years of his life in Hamtramck, Michigan. The part I like best about the article? When he used to visit Hamtramck to visit his family during his vacation time from Hollywood, only to be walking down the street and have local women stop and stare at him, just to continue walking into phone poles, into manholes, sewers....OK so that part I made up. :) But he could stop traffic with his gorgeous looks. Sigh. It is important to remember, however, as handsome as Tom was, in real life he was a sweet, well-liked actor who was thoroughly professional on the job. He never gave his bosses nor co-actors any trouble, he worked very hard, was smart, and knew what it took to be a working actor. He never passed up a role, no matter how big or small it was. Tom was no Hollywood egotist, nor was he temperamental in any manner. A far cry from today's Hollywood, Tom Tyler was the kind of man you would want to have as a neighbor, and maybe invite you over to supper for he loved cooking gourmet.
May 26, 2019 - The May newsletter for this site in now available for reading here.
May 14, 2019 - It's that time of the year! Everyone is encouraged to send in their Tom Tyler film nominations to the National Film Registry. Please see more details, plus the nomination form, here!
May 3, 2019 - I am very happy to report the following news: Dario Lavia, a regular on the Facebook and Twitter social media pages for Aventuras de Tom Tyler, is working on a re-edition of the book “Weird Western” which includes the mention of Tom Tyler’s silent films such as “Tyrant of Red Gulch”. Many thanks to Dario for giving the credit to the blog article “Lost in translation: How ‘Tyrant of Red Gulch’ became ‘The Sorcerer’ across the pond” which he mentions in this silent film entry in “Weird Western”, as well as a link to the blog in his entry (free publicity is always welcome). For those interested in purchasing a copy of Weird Western when it is published, the information can be found here. Dario is the owner of Cinefania, a website devoted to fantasy/science fiction/horror films.
March 29, 2019 - It's finally here! "Shazam!" officially opens in theatres across the nation next weekend. For more information, the official movie site is here!
March 3, 2019 - I am very happy to announce that a new petition has been started to get "Jungle Mystery" released on DVD. It has been four years since Universal Pictures restored this film serial - let's hope 2019 will be the year it makes it to DVD. A huge thank you to everyone who signs the petition here.
February 17, 2019 - There is a new word finder puzzle on a very important subject: Tom Tyler's beautiful leading ladies of the 1920's! Grab a pencil and click here to play!
February 15, 2019 - The upcoming "Shazam!" movie released in April this year has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA. Read about it here.
February 7, 2019 - All of the movie pages for the 1920's are completed. The succeeding decades will appear a bit different but retain all images.
January 20, 2019 - The podcasts page has been updated to include two more on "Adventures of Captain Marvel".
January 10, 2019 - Happy New Year! With the start of a new year another silent film fragment has popped up: 1225 feet, or almost one quarter length of "'Neath Western Skies" (1929), at the Library of Congress. This was traced through a series of digitized 35mm frames posted at Nitrate Film Interest Group at Flickr. Tom appears in two of these frames, and you can read more about this finding here.
December 10, 2018 - A number of scanned images are from film booklets manufactured on newspaper-quality paper, such as those for "Tyrant of Red Gulch". However, these do serve as a valuable tool for identification purposes should one of Tom Tyler's lost films suddenly surface. Please keep in mind that many film archives around the world contain reels of unidentified films in storage, many of which are American origin. Also, these images can also help identify a previously misidentified film, as in the case of "Lightening Lariats" at Gosfilmofond.
In many cases an American film released overseas will be given a new title in that nation's language, or the title frame of the reel is missing, or film fragments are missing (on average, an FBO Tom Tyler silent film consisted of about five 35mm reels). Yes, even film archives employees will use the Internet to help ID an unidentified reel of film! So while you may appreciate the material that is available through this site, in addition to being a cybershrine to Tom Tyler, his silent films can hopefully be easily identifiable when they do surface.
December 1, 2018 - Many of the main pages have been updated on the site, as time permits, with lots more material to come. Regarding Tom Tyler's rediscovered lost films, hopefully I will have more good news regarding them very soon. So sit tight, and as usual, enjoy the site. Soon we will be celebrating four years online, and the site has evolved quite a bit since its origin, and for the better. Tom Tyler is in the driver's seat on this project - I just code it.
October 20, 2018 - The site update is moving slowly but surely - "The Desert Pirate" hit a snag due to lack of material available in English, so a film booklet from Spain, El Pirata del Desierto, #13 “Los Films del Far-West”, was translated by me for plot information. Yes, these film booklets are wonderful collectibles and handy as research and writing tools. Enjoy all site updates!
Don't forget to check out the official trailer for "Shazam!" starring Zachary Levi as Captain Marvel here at Youtube!
September 6, 2018 - It's that time of the year again! There is a dearth of film serials in the National Film Registry, "The Perils of Pauline" 1914 being the only one on the list. We are pushing to have "Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941) and "The Phantom" (1943) added to the National Film Registry. Of course you can also nominate any Tom Tyler film you like, keeping in mind that "Stagecoach" (1939) and "Red River" (1948) are already on the list. I can also recommend nominating the following: "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949), "San Antonio" (1945), and "The Westerner" (1940). Deadline for nominations is September 15, 2018. Public nominations play a vital role in the selection of titles to add each year. The nomination form link is here.
August 14, 2018 - The green animated star above now has its link to Tom's dramatic roles! Click on the star to read about these roles, which help make Tom Tyler the well-rounded actor he was.
July 30, 2018 - A new podcast about "Adventures of Captain Marvel" has been added to the podcasts page here.
July 22, 2018 - The official teaser trailer for "Shazam!" starring Zachary Levi as Captain Marvel has been released by Warner Brother Pictures! You can view the trailer here! It looks great and with any luck, the millenials who will be watching it when it's released in the cinemas, will also become interested in Tom Tyler's version of Captain Marvel in the 1941 film serial by Republic!
July 10, 2018 - Tom's first eleven starring role silent film pages are completed and looking great so be sure to check them out!
Here is a Tom Tyler movie poll that someone made at Ranker - no account is required to rank your favorite films.
If you are looking for some beautiful western-style artwork for your home or office, this gorgeous art print of Tom Tyler by Frank Falcon will fit the bill. The colors emulate the old west in rich leather tones, golds of the burning hills, and orange sunsets. A wide variety of items are available from Fine Art America, including but not restricted to the following: greeting cards, metal/wood/acrylic prints, framed prints, shower curtain, phone case, or duvet cover. Prices are listed here. Whatever you decide to buy, enjoy, and you can have Tom Tyler living in your home.
Someone recently asked me about the costs in running this massive website. I will just say I have a very good web service plan, and it is coming out of my own pocket. In other words, you never never see any sort of solicitations of any kind on Aventuras de Tom Tyler/Trigger Tom.com in order to keep this site going.
The hunt for Tom Tyler's lost talkies and late silent films (plus his early silent films) is still active and I am very happy to report that one of his previously thought-lost late silents for Syndicate/J. P. McGowan Productions has in fact been located and is residing at a well-known film archive in the United States (nope, it is not at the Library of Congress). In true film serial cliffhanger form, I will post more about this later, including the title, and its restoration status. Thank you all for your patience!
Not really news, just something worth mentioning:
One thing I have noticed since the inception of this website in early 2015 is its growing reach. Google Analytics is used to track this site but it is worth mentioning that periodically web materials have their way of literally traveling around the globe. If you are a visitor to this site and are writing an article or blog entry about Tom Tyler and decide to use an image or two from this site, I would like to ask that you please sign his FBO film digitalization petition in return. If you like you can certainly mention the name of this site in your article or blog entry but on a personal level, I feel that it is more important to garner as much interest as possible to encourage the copyright owners of Tom's FBO silent films (Turner Entertainment/Warner Brothers) into digitalizing and distributing them on DVD. It's more productive, you know. Thank you!
Now that the screening of "Jungle Mystery" was shown at Cinecon 52 - which I understand was a total success, and a moving tribute to the late Bob Birchard who was chairman of Cinecon - the obvious question is: Will this serial be available on DVD any time soon? To my immediate knowledge - the answer is no. Of course that can always change. The important thing is this: "Jungle Mystery" has been restored by Universal's preservation department, is in their possession, and may eventually be released on DVD (unofficial release) by another company. Sit tight for further news about "Jungle Mystery" for if a DVD release is made - it will definitely be mentioned here!
This site has been last updated on: May 26, 2019
No copyright infringement upon Tom Tyler's handsome face and gorgeous physique is intended. Neither is one intended upon his work. This website will always be ad-free and affiliate-free.
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