Guide To The Silent Years Of American Cinema

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The latest offering from the Reference Guides to the World's Cinema series, this critical survey of key films, actors, directors, and screenwriters during the silent era of the American cinema offers a broad-ranging portrait of the motion picture production of silent film. Detailed but concise alphabetical entries include over 100 film titles and 150 personnel. An introductory chapter explores the early growth of the new silent medium while the final chapter of this encyclopedic study examines the sophistication of the silent cinema. These two chapters outline film history from its beginnings until the perfection of synchronized sound, and reflect upon the themes and techniques established with the silent cinema that continued into the sound era through modern times.

The annotated entries, alphabetically arranged by film title or personnel, include brief bibliographies and filmographies. An appendix lists secondary but important movies and their creators. Film and popular culture scholars will appreciate the vast amount of information that has been culled from various sources and that builds upon the increased studies and research of the past ten years.

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Editorial Reviews

A critical survey of key films, actors, directors, and screenwriters from the development of silent films in the last decade of the 19th century to the birth of sound film in the late 1920s. An introductory chapter explores the early growth of the medium, and a final chapter examines the sophistication of silent cinema in the final decades of its dominance. Between them is an alphabetic directory of films and personnel, including synopses, evaluations, peculiar features, brief bibliographies, and filmographies of varying scope. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

DONALD W. MCCAFFREY is Professor Emeritus of the University of North Dakota. He has written numerous articles about the silent and sound cinema. His first major work was 4 Great Comedians: Chaplin, Lloyd, Keaton, Langdon (1968); his most recent book length publication is Assault on Society: Satirical Literature to Film (1992).

CHRISTOPHER P. JACOBS is a part-time film lecturer at the University of North Dakota and the Movies Editor for the High Plains Reader, a weekly regional entertainment newspaper. In the fall of 1998, he was Script Supervisor for the independent feature film, Dead Dogs.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
The Development of the Cinema: From Scientific Novelty to a New Art and Entertainment Industry 1
Films and Filmmakers 15
The Legacy of the Silent Screen and the Birth Pangs of the Sound Film 305
Appendix: 160 Additional Films and Filmmakers of Note from the Silent Era 319
Selected Bibliography 323
Index 327
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