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VINE VOICEon 9 August 2004
Handsomely produced tribute to some of the lesser-known (at least these days) ladies of the silent era. The author eschews the more famous ones, Mary Pickford, Garbo etc, presumably on the grounds that there is already plenty written about them (although you can always read more!), and concentrates on ones that were huge stars in their day and forgotten now, such as Talmadge sisters for instance, who neatly divided up the movies between them, with Constance doing comedy, and Norma doing drama. Gene Gaultier I had never heard of at all, but it turns out that she helped pioneer the filming of the first Biblical epic, "From The Manger To The Cross", filmed in Palestine and Egypt in 1912. The details of the filming are absolutely fascinating, and you can see why the film must have stunned the early movie-goers who had never seen anything like this before. Also being paid tribute to is Pearl White, who was incredibly famous during the years of the First World War for her "Perils of Pauline" series, a madcap, cartoon-style series of film shorts in which she would be in a different danger each week (tied to a railway track etc, you know the sort of thing). Included as well are Janet Gaynor, who won the very first Oscar for best actress in 1929, and legendary French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, who eagerly embraced the new art-form in her later life and made the first historical epic, a film about Queen Elizabeth I.
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on 4 August 2012
Very well-illustrated mini biographies of ladies who starred in silent films.The last silent films were made over 80 years ago and so many of these ladies are forgotten.This book brings them back to life and shows what a good job of acting they accomplished using only their faces to convey emotion. A great read.
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