Silent Feminists

Overview

American women who contributed their talent to the silent film industry are still largely unrecognized today. In The Silent Feminists, Anthony Slide shows how "[d]uring the first three decades of its existence, the American film industry was, in many ways, a woman's world." His work documents the lives and careers of America's first women directors and provides an introduction to the subject of women in the American silent-film industry. He highlights a number of female pioneers, including Alice Guy Blach?, Lois ...

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Overview

American women who contributed their talent to the silent film industry are still largely unrecognized today. In The Silent Feminists, Anthony Slide shows how "[d]uring the first three decades of its existence, the American film industry was, in many ways, a woman's world." His work documents the lives and careers of America's first women directors and provides an introduction to the subject of women in the American silent-film industry. He highlights a number of female pioneers, including Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Margery Wilson, Mrs. Wallace Reid, Frances Marion, and Dorothy Arzner. With this book he continues to unveil the history of the women who, with little recognition, helped pave the way for females in the film business today.

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Editorial Reviews

Feminist Collections: A Quarterly Of Women's Studies Resources
Slide gives voice to, contextualizes, and documents the lives and accomplishments of these no-longer-silent feminists.
Choice
...expertly marshals historical data to offer a persuasive perspective on the active and dynamic roles that women performed in the evolution of the art of film. This tight, succinct, cogent volume shines a deserved light on talented but neglected auteurs...and by so doing reveals priceless treasures of the silver screen.
Feminist Collections: A Quarterly Of Women's Studies Resources
Slide gives voice to, contextualizes, and documents the lives and accomplishments of these no-longer-silent feminists.
CHOICE
...expertly marshals historical data to offer a persuasive perspective on the active and dynamic roles that women performed in the evolution of the art of film. This tight, succinct, cogent volume shines a deserved light on talented but neglected auteurs...and by so doing reveals priceless treasures of the silver screen.
Choice
...expertly marshals historical data to offer a persuasive perspective on the active and dynamic roles that women performed in the evolution of the art of film. This tight, succinct, cogent volume shines a deserved light on talented but neglected auteurs...and by so doing reveals priceless treasures of the silver screen..
Feminst Collections
Slide gives voice to, contextualizes, and documents the lives and accomplishments of these no-longer-silent feminists..
Library Journal
Slide's history of women directors in American silent film is a companion to the eponymous video (LJ 10/15/94) and a follow-up to its forerunner, Early Women Directors (1977). With the exception of two new chapters, the outline follows the earlier edition verbatim. Slide's biographical approach, while heartfelt, is outmoded. Critical insight is confined to contemporaneous reviews. Inadequately broached are the reasons why the silent period was such a fruitful one for women; sociocultural ramifications are dully suggested. The author's rubric for a feminist director is ill defined, and his use of the term is problematical: Was Dorothy Arzner more of feminist than the socially aware Lois Weber merely because she featured women in dominant roles? Reprinted selections by Alice Guy Blanch and Ida May Park are interesting, if incidental, padding. Foibles aside, the publication of this derivative work says more about the dearth of scholarship than it does about its egregiously neglected subject. Only for film history collections lacking any material on the subject.Jayne Kate Plymale-Jackson, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810830530
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Slide has published over fifty pioneering works on film history, among them the first volumes dealing exclusively with early American cinema, the Vitagraph Company, the Fine Arts Company, filmmaking in Ireland, and film preservation. He edits the Scarecrow Filmmakers Series and has produced a series of documentary films on silent screen personalities. In 1990 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Bowling Green University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rediscovering America's First Women Directors
1 Women and the American Silent Film Industry 1
2 Alice Guy Blache 15
3 Lois Weber 29
4 The Universal Women 41
5 Vitagraph's Women Directors 61
6 Margery Wilson 71
7 Mrs. Wallace Reid 83
8 Frances Marion 97
9 Dorothy Arzner 103
10 An Ever-Increasing Number 117
Appendix A "Woman's Place in Photoplay Production" 139
Appendix B "The Motion Picture Director" 143
Bibliography 147
Index 153
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