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This work identifies 436 American silent films released between 1909 and 1929 that engaged the issues of militant labor and revolutionary radicalism. It begins with an extended introduction and analytical chapters that investigate the ways in which the American motion picture industry portrayed the interrelationships between labor radicals, exploitative capitalists, socialist idealists and Bolsheviks during this critical twenty-year period. Each entry contains a detailed plot synopsis, citations to primary sources, coding indicating the presence or absence of 14 predominant discernible biases (including anti- and pro-capitalism, socialism, revolution and labor), and subject coding keyed to 64 related terms and concepts (including agitators, Bolshevism, bombs, female radicals, militias, mobs, political refugees, and strikes). These statistical data included in the filmography are presented in a series of charts and are fully integrated into the historical-critical text. Total number and percentage statistics for the instances of these coded biases and traits are given per year, per era, and overall.
The immense popularity of movies has its roots in the silent films of the early 1900s, this being especially true of the crime genre. This extensive guide features the entire history of the crime genre during the silent era, including more than 2,000 film entries, complete with names of directors, screenwriters, and major players, and offers a wealth of data supported by plot evaluations and occasional thematic commentaries. For the serious student of crime films, this work provides a comprehensive treatment of genre, but, most importantly, it revives an almost forgotten genre for generations of students and movie fans both old and new.
This is a comprehensive reference work to the people, studios, technical companies and terms associated with silent film comedy.
Based on extensive original research and filled with gorgeous illustrations, Silent Film Sound reconsiders all aspects of sound practices during the silent film period in America. Beginning with sound accompaniment and continuing through to the more familiar sound practices of the 1920s, renowned film historian Rick Altman discusses the variety of sound strategies cinema exhibitors used to differentiate their products. During the nickelodeon period prior to 1910, this variety reached its zenith with carnival-like music, automatic pianos, small orchestras, lecturers, synchronized sound systems, and voices behind the screen. In the 1910s, musical accompaniment began to support a film's narrative and emotional content, with large theaters and blockbuster productions driving the development of new instruments, new music-publication projects, and a new style of film music. A monumental achievement, Silent Film Sound challenges common assumptions about this period and reveals the complex and swiftly changing nature of silent American cinema.
Praised as the "best modern survey of the silent period" (New Republic), this indispensable history tells you everything you need to know about American silent film, from the nickelodeons in the early 1900s to the birth of the first "talkies" in the late 1920s. The author provides vivid descriptions of classic pictures such as The Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, Sunrise, The Covered Wagon, and Greed, and lucidly discusses their technical and artistic merits and weaknesses. He pays tribute to acknowledged masters like D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Lillian and Dorothy Gish, but he also gives ample attention to previously neglected yet equally gifted actors and directors. In addition, the book covers individual genres, such as the comedy, western gangster, and spectacle, and explores such essential but little-understood subjects as art direction, production design, lighting and camera techniques, and the art of the subtitle. Intended for all scholars, students, and lovers of film, this fascinating book, which features over 150 film stills, provides a rich and comprehensive overview of this unforgettable era in film history.
Focusing on exemplary moments in the American silent era, Hansen explains how the concept of the spectator evolved as a crucial part of the classical Hollywood paradigm--as one of the new industry's strategies to integrate ethnically, socially, and sexually differentiated audiences in a modern culture of consumption.
This exploration of fashion in American silent film offers fresh perspectives on the era preceding the studio system, and the evolution of Hollywood's distinctive brand of glamour. By the 1910s, the moving image was an integral part of everyday life and communicated fascinating, but as yet un-investigated, ideas and ideals about fashionable dress.
In Silent Topics, film historian Anthony Slide looks at various under-discussed and generally undocumented areas of silent film. The two lengthiest essays discuss the release of British silent films in the United States and the contribution of gays and lesbians to American silent film. Other essays examine the cost of silent film production, the "Great Events" series produced by Technicolor in the 1920s, and the manner in which early sheet music exploited silent film personalities. There are career essays on the screen's first special effects specialist, Roy Pomeroy, actor/minister Neal Dodd, and Margerie Bonner, the wife of novelist Malcolm Lowry. Silent Topics also includes the only known interview with the most prominent of silent film composers, David Mendoza, as well as a personal discussion on the lack of talent among a number of silent screen actors and actresses.
Navarro's Guide to Silent Films is an exhaustive directory listing every silent feature film (5 reels or more) produced in the United States, 9,000 titles in all! Each of the entries includes title, year of release, director, and/or production company, cast list, and a synopsis. The volume totals 641 pages, with 587 pages of film entries, 40 pages of photographs, and an index of 38 pages. Its target audience includes film buffs, students, and researchers. Chronicling the world of film before the appearance of talkies, the book includes every genre, including comedy, western, gangster, spectacle, and romance. It is organized alphabetically by film title, but also allows the reader to search by actor or director using the extensive index. The author's selection of film stills and publicity photos pays tribute to such classic films as D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (starring John Barrymore), and Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra. Publicity photos from the period include icons such as Lon Chaney, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Charles Farrell, Janet Gaynor, Dorothy Gish, Rudolph Valentino and Mary Pickford, among many others.
During the Silent Era, when most films dealt with dramatic or comedic takes on the “boy meets girl, boy loses girl” theme, other motion pictures dared to tackle such topics as rejuvenation, revivication, mesmerism, the supernatural and the grotesque. A Daughter of the Gods (1916), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Magician (1926) and Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) were among the unusual and startling films containing story elements that went far beyond the realm of “highly unlikely.” Using surviving documentation and their combined expertise, the authors catalog and discuss these departures from the norm in this encyclopedic guide to American horror, science fiction and fantasy in the years from 1913 through 1929.
Examines the social and historical significance of women's contributions to American silent film comedy.
This path-breaking book reveals how Hollywood became "Hollywood" and what that meant for the politics of America and American film. Working-Class Hollywood tells the story of filmmaking in the first three decades of the twentieth century, a time when going to the movies could transform lives and when the cinema was a battleground for control of American consciousness. Steven Ross documents the rise of a working-class film movement that challenged the dominant political ideas of the day. Between 1907 and 1930, worker filmmakers repeatedly clashed with censors, movie industry leaders, and federal agencies over the kinds of images and subjects audiences would be allowed to see. The outcome of these battles was critical to our own times, for the victors got to shape the meaning of class in twentieth- century America. Surveying several hundred movies made by or about working men and women, Ross shows how filmmakers were far more concerned with class conflict during the silent era than at any subsequent time. Directors like Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith, and William de Mille made movies that defended working people and chastised their enemies. Worker filmmakers went a step further and produced movies from A Martyr to His Cause (1911) to The Gastonia Textile Strike (1929) that depicted a unified working class using strikes, unions, and socialism to transform a nation. J. Edgar Hoover considered these class-conscious productions so dangerous that he assigned secret agents to spy on worker filmmakers. Liberal and radical films declined in the 1920s as an emerging Hollywood studio system, pressured by censors and Wall Street investors, pushed American film in increasingly conservative directions. Appealing to people's dreams of luxury and upward mobility, studios produced lavish fantasy films that shifted popular attention away from the problems of the workplace and toward the pleasures of the new consumer society. While worker filmmakers were trying to heighten class consciousness, Hollywood producers were suggesting that class no longer mattered. Working-Class Hollywood shows how silent films helped shape the modern belief that we are a classless nation.
Between 1895 and 1929, more than 15,000 motion pictures were made in the United States. We call these works “silent films,” but they were accompanied by an enormous body of music, including works adapted or arranged from pre-existing works, as well as newly composed pieces for theater orchestras, organists, or pianists. While many films and pieces are lost, a considerable amount of material remains extant and available for use in research and performance. Music for Silent Film: A Guide to North American Resources is a unique resource on North American archives and English-language materials available in for those interested in this repertoire. Part I contains information about archives of primary source materials including full and compiled scores, sheet music, published anthologies of music, interviews with cinema musicians, periodicals, and instruction books. Part II surveys the English-language scholarship on silent film music in articles, book chapters, essay collections, and monographs through 2015. The book is fully indexed for ease of access to these important sources on film music.
Throughout the silent-feature era, American artists and intellectuals routinely described cinema as a force of global communion, a universal language promoting mutual understanding and harmonious coexistence amongst disparate groups of people. In the early 1920s, film-industry leaders began to espouse this utopian view, in order to claim for motion pictures an essentially uplifting social function. The Movies as a World Force examines the body of writing in which this understanding of cinema emerged and explores how it shaped particular silent films and their marketing campaigns. The utopian and universalist view of cinema, the book shows, represents a synthesis of New Age spirituality and the new liberalism. It provided a framework for the first official, written histories of American cinema and persisted as an advertising trope, even after the transition to sound made movies reliant on specific national languages.
Recent crime films such as Scarface, the Dirty Harry series, and The Godfather have captured the American imagination, but they owe a large debt to the early crime talkies such as The Public Enemy, Paul Muni's Scarface, and Little Caesar. More than 1,000 entries are featured in this volume, complete with the names of directors, screen writers, and major players offering a wealth of data supported by plot evaluations. For the serious student of crime films, this work provides a comprehensive treatment of the genre. It is the only one-volume work that includes all crime sub-genres (detective, mystery, cops and robbers, and courtroom dramas) in addition to gangster films. The period between the end of the silent film (1927) and the general acceptance of the sound film (1929) is often referred to as a transition period. The majority of theaters were not wired for sound, so many films were released in both silent and sound versions. Some added only sound effects or music to the sound track, while others offered only brief segments of sound. The early 1930s marked the end of this transition period and firmly established the sound era. This volume pays homage to these early, often crude melodramas. The authors aim to preserve the memories of these films for their own generation and to introduce these works to a new generation thirsty for entertainment and knowledge.
This collection of 11 essays reveal the complexity of silent films and explore the era in which they were produced. The writers demonstrate that minorities and women responded to the times through film.
This broad cultural study connects the rise of film to the rise of America as a cultural centre and world power in the 20th century. Cohen argues that through film, America asserted its cultural independence and forged a form of cultural oppression.
Silent film's most complete reference guide, focusing on American actors, directors, and screenwriters, with an emphasis on the 1910's through the 1920s.
The success of movies like The Artist and Hugo recreated the wonder and magic of silent film for modern audiences, many of whom might never have experienced a movie without sound. But while the American silent movie was one of the most significant popular art forms of the modern age, it is also one that is largely lost to us, as more than eighty percent of silent films have disappeared, the victims of age, disaster, and neglect. We now know about many of these cinematic masterpieces only from the collections of still portraits and production photographs that were originally created for publicity and reference. Capturing the beauty, horror, and moodiness of silent motion pictures, these images are remarkable pieces of art in their own right. In the first history of still camera work generated by the American silent motion picture industry, David S. Shields chronicles the evolution of silent film aesthetics, glamour, and publicity, and provides unparalleled insight into this influential body of popular imagery. Exploring the work of over sixty camera artists, Still recovers the stories of the photographers who descended on early Hollywood and the stars and starlets who sat for them between 1908 and 1928. Focusing on the most culturally influential types of photographs—the performer portrait and the scene still—Shields follows photographers such as Albert Witzel and W. F. Seely as they devised the poses that newspapers and magazines would bring to Americans, who mimicked the sultry stares and dangerous glances of silent stars. He uncovers scene shots of unprecedented splendor—visions that would ignite the popular imagination. And he details how still photographs changed the film industry, whose growing preoccupation with artistry in imagery caused directors and stars to hire celebrated stage photographers and transformed cameramen into bankable names. Reproducing over one hundred and fifty of these gorgeous black-and-white photographs, Still brings to life an entire long-lost visual culture that a century later still has the power to enchant.

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