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The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926-1939 [Hardcover]

Edwin M. Bradley

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Book Description

31 July 2005
The transition from silent to sound films is a fascinating time in the history of mass entertainment. In the audiences' eyes, the halting, stagebound earliest "talkies" paled in comparison to the fluid, lyrical silents they replaced. Within a few years the technology improved, allowing filmmakers to produce pictures with the added benefits of dialogue, song and sound. However, that five-year period was long enough for careers to have ripened or been ruined and for studio fortunes to have been made or lost. This study of early sound shorts begins with an explanation of the development of sound motion pictures in Hollywood by such influential companies as Warner Bros. and Fox, with an emphasis on short subjects, leading up to the first few months when all of the major studios were capable of producing them. The next chapters discuss the impact on other mass entertainments, the development of audible news reels and other non-fiction shorts, as well as the origins of animated sound subjects. A comprehensive list of pre - 1932 American - made shorts completes the volume. These shorts are organized by studio and type, but for readers starting from scratch, there is an extensive index of film titles and people.

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Review

"Richly detailed...exhaustive filmography"--Big Reel -- In the Groove Magazine "In the Groove Magazine" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Edwin M. Bradley is the entertainment editor and film critic of The Flint (Michigan) Journal. He is also the author of The First Hollywood Musicals (2004). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Wish it Were Better 20 July 2005
By Nicholas Santa Maria - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Mr. Bradley's previous book on the first sound musicals, but this one falls short. Not only is there not enough actual text, but there is no indication of the availability of these rare shorts. Mostly it is a list of the shorts themselves, with a one sentence synopsis, and a credit list. And the lists aren't in chronological order, they're featured alphabetically. Some of the photos have incomplete captions. For the cover photo he only identifies two of the actors featured, and in one glaring omission Mr. Bradley identifies an obscure band leader without mentioning the very young Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey who are clearly sitting on the bandstand. Nice try on this one, but I was largely unsatisfied. The third star is for the exhaustively researched filmography.
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