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"A collection of fascinating, stellar essays on the emerging culture of celebrity during the 1920s. Highly recommended."
Bringing together the best new work on cinema and stardom in the 1920s, this illustrated collection showcases the range of complex social, institutional, and aesthetic issues at work in ...
Bringing together the best new work on cinema and stardom in the 1920s, this illustrated collection showcases the range of complex social, institutional, and aesthetic issues at work in American cinema of this time. Attentive to stardom as an ensemble of texts, contexts, and social phenomena stretching beyond the cinema, major scholars provide careful analysis of the careers of both well-known and now forgotten stars of the silent and early sound era—Douglas Fairbanks, Buster Keaton, the Talmadge sisters, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Colleen Moore, Greta Garbo, Anna May Wong, Emil Jannings, Al Jolson, Ernest Morrison, Noble Johnson, Evelyn Preer, Lincoln Perry, and Marie Dressler.
Introduction: Stardom in the 1920s Patrice Petro 1
1 Douglas Fairbanks: King of Hollywood Scott Curtis 21
2 Buster Keaton: Comic Invention and the Art of Moving Pictures Charles Wolfe 41
3 The Talmadge Sisters: A Forgotten Filmmaking Dynasty Lea Jacobs 65
4 Rudolph Valentino: Italian American Amy Lawrence 87
5 An Appetite for Living: Gloria Swanson, Colleen Moore, and Clara Bow Mary Desjardins 108
6 Greta Garbo: Fashioning a Star Image Lucy Fischer 137
7 Anna May Wong: Toward Janus-Faced, Border-Crossing, “Minor” Stardom Yiman Wang 159
8 Emil Jannings: Translating the Star Gerd Gemünden 182
9 Al Jolson: The Man Who Changed the Movies Forever Krin Gabbard 202
10 African American Stardom Inside and Outside of Hollywood: Ernest Morrison, Noble Johnson, Evelyn Preer, and Lincoln Perry Paula J. Massood 227
11 Marie Dressler: Thief of the Talkies Joanna E. Rapf 250
In the Wings Patrice Petro 270
Works Cited 285
Posted May 20, 2012
I have to give this book a negative review due partly to the poorly referenced essay by Lea Jacobs. Her main source of facts is Greta de Groat who is an over-the top fan of the Talmadge sisters. Her writings are largely apocryphal and hardly scholarly. Jacobs (and de Groat) argue that the Talmadges are unfairly described by modern day scholars as bad actress. How does she prove these charges unjust? She quotes film critics from the silent era describing the sisters as bad actresses. This is a really silly essay which ruins an otherwise interesting book.
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