Designing for the Movies: The Memoirs of Laurence Irvingby Laurence Irving
Pub. Date: 10/28/2005
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Laurence Irving came from a prominent British theatrical family. He was the grandson of the legendary Sir Henry Irving and the son of actors H.B. Irving and Dorothea Baird. Unlike his forebears, however, Laurence chose not to enter the acting profession, but gained an international reputation as an artist, set designer and art director. In this memoir, Irving recounts his World War I flying career, his art studies and painting in the early 1920s - up to the moment in 1927 when Douglas Fairbanks asked him to design The Iron Mask in Hollywood. In Designing for the Movies, Irving vividly recounts working in Hollywood for such distinguished figures as Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and William Cameron Menzies. Upon his return to the United Kingdom, he worked on other notable films including Moonlight Sonata and George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Irving's time in Hollywood marked the end of the silent film years and this memoir depicts the effect on all those concerned, with astute and penetrating portraits of the professionals who felt this change so dramatically. Anyone with even the slightest interest in the history of filmmaking and the early characters involved with it will not want to miss this insightful account.
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