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The Last Silent Picture Show: Silent Films on American Screens in the 1930s Paperback – 27 Aug 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press; Reissue edition (27 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810876809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810876804
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.5 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,040,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Best Film Book of 2012 The received wisdom is this: with the coming of sound, silent film was dead. But was it? The Last Silent Picture Show looks at the little known history of silent movies in the decade after their reported demise. Though talkies overtook the industry and public arena, the silent cinema survived the onslaught of sound through continued exhibition in diverse venues including tent shows, political meetings, universities, ethnic theaters, and art houses. This work rewrites film history. The Huffington Post People tend to regard cinema's silent and talkie eras as wholly distinct, but there was a time when the two overlapped-and awkwardly so. As William Drew explains in his account of this monumental crossover period, the protracted gestation of the sound era meant a slow death for the silent generation. Hanging in the balance was no less than the public's conception of what exactly constituted a proper movie. Drew's history ranges far-from the silent apex of Chaplin and Murnau to the almost comical waffling on the part of theater owners, and on to what might be termed the first revival era. For the silent stars unable to make the transition to talkies, the theaters not wired for sound were a boon-or, from another perspective, a haven for the cinematic embalming of essentially dead careers. Film Comment Drew does deliver exhaustive and rather unique surveys of the American press...Drew brings together a number of previously isolated phenomena and the little discussed points of view from small-town America. Screening The Past The Last Silent Picture Show: Silent Films on American Screens in the 1930s examines the dynamic period as Hollywood made the transition from silent to sound movies and into the 1930s when sound became the industry standard and what audiences expected when they attended movie theaters. Communication Booknotes Quarterly

About the Author

William M. Drew is a writer, film historian, researcher, and college lecturer. He is the author of Speaking of Silents: First Ladies of the Screen (1990) and At the Center of the Frame: Leading Ladies of the Twenties and Thirties (1999).

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