Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies

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Overview

In the early days of cinema, when actors were unbilled and unmentioned in credits, audiences immediately noticed Mary Pickford. Moviegoers everywhere were riveted by her magnetic talent and appeal as she rose to become cinema's first great star.

In this engaging collection, copublished with the Library of Congress, an eminent group of film historians sheds new light on this icon's incredible life and legacy. Pickford emerges from the pages in vivid detail. She is revealed as a ...

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Overview

In the early days of cinema, when actors were unbilled and unmentioned in credits, audiences immediately noticed Mary Pickford. Moviegoers everywhere were riveted by her magnetic talent and appeal as she rose to become cinema's first great star.

In this engaging collection, copublished with the Library of Congress, an eminent group of film historians sheds new light on this icon's incredible life and legacy. Pickford emerges from the pages in vivid detail. She is revealed as a gifted actress, a philanthropist, and a savvy industry leader who fought for creative control of her films and ultimately became her own producer. This beautifully designed volume features more than two hundred color and black and white illustrations, including photographs and stills from the collections of the Library of Congress and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Together with the text, they paint a fascinating portrait of a key figure in American cinematic history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There are over 200 gorgeously reproduced images, in the beautiful grays of the silent era, and the richly colored lithographies of posters and magazine covers--plus the revelation of the colors in Pickford's costumes." -- Library Journal

"Exquisite and rare photographs from Pickford's archives at the Library and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and photos of her costumes now held by the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, punctuate a collection of essays on various aspects of Pickford's career." -- Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy

"With wonderful period illustrations and a crisply written text, the life and career of the most renowned female star of the silent era is fully documented. Pickford, a true icon, is celebrated in this fascinating book, fitting tribute to a woman who was both a talented actress and savvy industry leader." -- King Features

"Christel Schmidt edited this lavish exploration of one of cinema's first film stars." -- Susan King, Los Angeles Times

"This magnificent book helps to introduce Pickford to 21st century audiences. A wealth of rare photographs and original essays by A-list writers, including Oscar-winning film preservationist Kevin Brownlow and critic Molly Haskell, helps to elevate the book beyond the level of mere film biography. Indeed, it is no small exaggeration to say this is one of the most invigorating nonfiction books of 2012." -- EDGE Boston

"The handsome coffee table book Mary Pickford Queen of the Movies is another chapter in her renewal. Along with many black-and-white stills and photographs and color reproductions of movie posters are a set of essays that explore the meaning of her remarkable career." -- Express Milwaukee

"Film stills, portraits, posters and pages of Pickford's costumes in color were so beautiful that I kept touching the page--like I could feel the beading on those fancy dresses." -- Classic Movie Blog

"Christel Schmidt edited this lavish exploration of one of cinema's first film stars, who by the age of 20 had appeared in more than 100 silent movies ." -- Susan King, Los Angeles Times

" Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies is a beautiful coffee-table book celebrating the preeminent female star of the silent film era." -- Leonard Maltin

" Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies paints a fascinating portrait of a key figure in American cinematic history." -- McCormick Messenger

"An anthology of outstanding writing, past and present, about one of the most important figures in film history, addressing previously neglected aspects of her career, and adding to our overall knowledge. I think it will be an important book, both for contemporary readers and for posterity." -- J.B. Kaufman, author of South of the Border with Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program, 1941-1948.

" Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies sheds new light on Pickford's life and legacy." -- The Daily Progress

" Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies attempts to restore Pickford to the limelight with essays by film critics and scholars examining all sides of her persona. It's lavishly illustrated with more than 235 photos and images." -- Chicago Tribune

"Those who love silent films will relish Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies." -- Pittsburgh Stage and Screen Examiner

"In addition to its luscious photographs, many in color, the content is fascinating.... [T]his book is a must-read for both Pickford and silent film fans." -- City Book Review

"Schmidt's Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies is a gorgeous new coffee table book." -- The Morning Call

"In addition to its luscious photographs, many in color, the content is fascinating....This book is a must-read for both Pickford and silent film fans." -- San Francisco Book Review

Library Journal
In the pantheon of film celebrity, Mary Pickford's name should be as widely recognized as Chaplin's, yet it isn't. Pickford was the first film superstar, the first woman to earn a million dollars a year, and, for a time, the most famous face in the world. In this latest title on Pickford, Schmidt (coeditor, Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture) has brought together some of the best essays ever written about the star, along with gorgeous color images of film posters, film stills, candid photos, and rare detailed images of costumes from some of Pickford's most famous roles. Pickford reigned as "Queen of the Movies" for almost 20 years before she gradually faded into relative obscurity. VERDICT This impressive anthology belongs in the collection of any fan of silent film and perfectly showcases why Pickford was a superstar. It will interest a wide audience and is an important work on one of the leading lights of cinematic history.—Teri Shiel, Westfield State Univ. Lib., MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813136479
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 11/22/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 820,604
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Christel Schmidt is a film historian, writer, and editor. She was awarded two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her work on Mary Pickford and is coeditor of Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2013

    This is an absolutely stunning book. The definitive edition on t

    This is an absolutely stunning book. The definitive edition on the life of Mary Pickford. Glorious pictures throughout. A must-have.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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