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Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers

Overview

The pioneers of the motion picture industry were a group of uncommonly talented men, women, and children. Many of their films have now vanished or disintegrated, and the only evidence of them is in the memories of their creators. The twelve men and women featured in this collection of interviews share their memories of the early days of filmmaking, from the technicalities of lighting and production, to celebrities they encountered. The interviewees include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Virginia Cherrill, child star ...
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Overview

The pioneers of the motion picture industry were a group of uncommonly talented men, women, and children. Many of their films have now vanished or disintegrated, and the only evidence of them is in the memories of their creators. The twelve men and women featured in this collection of interviews share their memories of the early days of filmmaking, from the technicalities of lighting and production, to celebrities they encountered. The interviewees include Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Virginia Cherrill, child star "Baby Peggy," director Andrew Stone, and original "Our Gang" member Jean Darling. Their stories of what it was like to make a movie in the silent era are illuminating glimpses into an era that fades with every passing year. Each interview is accompanied by a comprehensive filmography, and dozens of photographs of these celebrities and their associates are also included.

Author Biography: Tony Villecco writes for such publications as Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Silent Film Monthly. A classical tenor soloist, he lives in Port Crane, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Villecco, a writer for publications including , interviews 12 actors about what it was like to work and be a star in the early days of movie making. Interviewees (with filmographies for each) are: Baby Peggy (Diana Serra Cary), Priscilla Bonner, Virginia Cherrill, Pauline Curley, Jean Darling (an original member), Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Francis Lederer, Molly O'Day, Anita Page, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, David Rollins, and director Andrew Stone. The earliest silent film covered was made in 1915, and the latest<-->Chaplin's <-->in 1931. Includes many b&w publicity stills. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786408146
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/29/2001
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Villecco writes for such publications as Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Silent Film Monthly. A classical tenor soloist, he lives in Port Crane, New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Baby Peggy 3
Priscilla Bonner 22
Virginia Cherrill 39
Pauline Curley 47
Jean Darling 64
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. 88
Francis Lederer 101
Molly O'Day 120
Anita Page 132
Charles "Buddy" Rogers 148
David Rollins 162
Andrew Stone 173
Index 191
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    ATTENTION SILENT FILM FANS! DON'T MISS THIS ONE!

    Tony Villecco's interviews with the stars from the silent film era supplies the reader with a wealth of information about this wonderful period of time that many of us have not forgotten. He gives us an extremely accurate account of what went on during this time and the information on how many of these stars transitioned (or could not transition) over into the talkies was very interesting. The several beautiful black and white photos of these stars keeps the reader interested throughout the book. People who enjoyed this era as well as those who were not around then will love and treasure this wonderful narrative. The fact that this book is based on actual interviews with the silent film stars adds to the excitement and interest of the reader because the book is comprised mainly of actual quotations from these cinema pioneers. The cover itself will grab your attention -a beautiful black and white photo of Anita Page. No one should pass up the opportunity to read this wonderful informative and very interesting book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2003

    Silent Film Fans Rejoice!

    This book has captured the last of cinema's silent stars. I was reading the journal Film and History when I saw the book review for Villecco's book. It is fascinating. Such rare and now forgotten glimpses into the magical silent days. This belongs on your shelf or nightstand. An easy read with great pics and filmogs. 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2002

    This book is remarkable

    Can you believe the author actually located and interviewed silent film stars from the early Hollywood days?! Amazing. Wonderful stories and exceptional pictures. This goes to the top of my current reads.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2001

    Facinating & Important History On Early Films

    This book is a great read. It gives voice to those who were early pioneers in films. A lot of rare photos and complete films of these pioneers are listed. After reading it, one can only hope the author gets a chance to interview others from the era and even a little later on as we need to preserve more than the films, we need to know the eyewitness accounts. Great job Anthony. Bravo!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2001

    Great History of early Hollywood combined with wonderful photos

    This book is a 'must read' for any serious cinephile. Villecco's research and insightful conversations with these cinema greats of yesteryear is both inspiring and thought provoking. A nice bonus is some wonderful and I suspect rare photos which only add another layer to this well developed and important book for the film buff. We finally have a look at the 'real' Hollywood by the people who created it. How rare. How wonderful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    A Nostalgic Must For All Movie Buffs

    Villecco does a fantastic job of mixing top-notch research with warm, human portrayals of these legends through some really fine interviews- Not just for silent film fans; ANY follower of show business would benefit from this fascinating read- I rate it: FIVE STARS

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2001

    AT LAST A TOP NOTCH BOOK ON SILENT STARS

    Mr. Villecco has done a top notch and very cridible job in his book 'Silent Stars Speak' which was just released. He writes with genuine interest and facts are well explored. At last I realize that someone other than myself heard of Baby Peggy! For years, I'd mention her name to various colleagues and I'd get a blank stare and often reply of 'Who, what? Baby Peggy??? Who's that, never heard of her'. Finally Mr. Villecco has given me proof in writing of the existence of this woman and a wonderful look at her. He includes some great photos. I give the book a FIVE star rating and think McFarland needs to put it in hard cover. I wish Mr. Villecco would do a story on two of the meanest women to follow the silent screen, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis! Boy, what a book that would be. Those were two hard women who both disliked each other. They should have perhaps been silent stars! I recommend this book to all cinema aficionado's.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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