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Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses
     

Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses

by Anthony Slide
 

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From his unique perspective of friendship with many of the actors and actresses about whom he writes, silent film historian Anthony Slide creates vivid portraits of the careers and often eccentric lives of 100 players from the American silent film industry. He profiles the era's shining stars such as Lillian Gish and Blanche Sweet; leading men including William

Overview

From his unique perspective of friendship with many of the actors and actresses about whom he writes, silent film historian Anthony Slide creates vivid portraits of the careers and often eccentric lives of 100 players from the American silent film industry. He profiles the era's shining stars such as Lillian Gish and Blanche Sweet; leading men including William Bakewell and Robert Harron; gifted leading ladies such as Laura La Plante and Alice Terry; ingénues like Mary Astor and Mary Brian; and even Hollywood's most famous extra, Bess Flowers. Although each original essay is accompanied by significant documentation and an extensive bibliography, Silent Players is not simply a reference book or encyclopedic recitation of facts culled from the pages of fan magazines and trade periodicals. It contains a series of insightful portraits of the characters who symbolize an original and pioneering era in motion history and explores their unique talents and extraordinary private lives. Slide offers a potentially revisionist view of many of the stars he profiles, repudiating the status of some and restoring to fame others who have slipped from view. He personally interviewed many of his subjects and knew several of them intimately, putting him in a distinctive position to tell their true stories.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"His frank observations about the personalities of these actors, along with their recollections of silent filmmaking, creates a kind of meta-portrait of celebrity itself — its grandeur and its foolishness." — American Cinematographer

"Slide's approach, focusing on talented and vibrant personalities, differentiates this work from others chronicling the silent film era." — American Reference Book Annual

"Anthony Slide is an authority on silent films." — Beverly Hills Courier

"The grand master of silent film scholarship." — Choice

"Slide sets the standard for film research that other writers can study and emulate." — Daily Variety

"One writer who possesses the special insight necessary to any intelligent discussion of the silent movie is Slide." — Films in Review

"A fascinating, entertaining, and occasionally poignant work that invites the reader into the fabulous work of art, industry, and experimentation that was Hollywood in the 1910s and 1920s." — Library Journal

"Our preeminent historian of the silent film." — Lillian Gish

"Slide profiles 100 silent film stars — 57 of whom he knew personally — including such well-known names as Mary Astor, Lillian Gish, and Harold Lloyd." — Los Angeles Times

"Most cinemabilia collectors concentrate on films and personalities from the 1930's on, but there are other, more serious students of cinema interested in the earlier silent period, and they will welcome film historian Anthony Slide's Silent Players." — Massillon (OH) Independent, Hartford (CT) Courant

"Slide uses the lives of 100 stars to capture some of the diverse and creative charm of the period before sound was introduced to movies." — Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"Immensely entertaining." — Sight & Sound

"If you love learning about the movies, you'll truly enjoy a classic in its own right." — WTBF Radio

Library Journal
Although these two books appear to be similar, they are actually very different in both intention and execution. Slide, founder of the journal Silent Picture and the distinguished author of more than 30 books related to the performing arts, presents a frank and fond collection of interviews and memories of 100 silent film stars, some of whom he knew personally. The criteria for inclusion are highly subjective; those who made the cut (e.g., Lillian Gish, William Bakewell, and Mary Astor) represent the author's "personal choice of some of the best, brightest or most unusual of silent players." The result is a fascinating, entertaining, and occasionally poignant work that invites the reader into the fabulous world of art, industry, and experimentation that was Hollywood in the 1910s and 1920s. The nature of the selection process means that this volume is more useful as a complementary resource, or even as a work to be read for its own sake, than as a stand-alone reference. A formidable work complete with biographies, filmographies, and photos, Katchmer's Dictionary profiles more than 1000 actors and actresses who appeared in silent Westerns. Katchmer, a noted columnist for Classic Images magazine, allows his voice and opinions to come through in each entry, making this a lively and informative read. Katchmer died in 1997 just after completing the research and writing for this work, which his son, John, assembled in final form. As with Silent Players, Katchmer's Dictionary describes lives and careers full of incident and accident. Both books are highly recommended for public or academic libraries where there is a strong interest in silent film or early film history.-Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813122496
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
09/27/2002
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 10.00(d)

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