A Year in Books/Day 141: Silent Players

  • Title: Silent Players A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses
  • Author: Anthony Slide
  • Year Published: 2002 (The University Press of Kentucky)
  • Year Purchased: 2010
  • Source: Half Price Books
  • About: Most of the stars profiled in this book were forgotten within a few years of the end of the silent era; the rest-the lucky few- are mere by-words for Old Hollywood, names disconnected from faces. Leftovers from our great-Grandparents’ childhoods. Anthony Slide, over the course of a couple of decades, had the pleasure or the privilege to have met the majority of entertainers featured in this volume. Thus, Silent Players is not dry biography or weak conjecture, nor is it pure scholarship (although it has a foundation of extensive research); it is alive with personal experiences and revealing reminiscences. His passion for his subjects shines through his clear, yet keen writing. A must-have for anyone interested in silent cinema and those who graced it with their magic.

    Publicity photo of Mae Marsh from Stars of the...

    Publicity photo of Mae Marsh from Stars of the Photoplay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Motivation: Many of my favourite film performers appeared in silent movies. I write on the subject. A lot. In fact, silent movies are one of my biggest passions!
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 127: “The number of Hollywood extras is probably in the hundreds of thousands. As early as November 1934, Photoplay reported some 17, 541 individuals registered as extras with Central Casting. Among the number of small part and bit players available at that time were former stars, including Monte Blue, Betty Blythe, Mae Marsh, and Dorothy Phillips, and silent directors, including Francis Ford, Frank Reicher and George Melford. One-time stars might become extras, but the only extra to ever be accorded the celebrity and fame of stardom is Bess Flowers.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10+++

4 thoughts on “A Year in Books/Day 141: Silent Players

    • Even the huge stars have been largely forgotten (or were never known) by most people, or are just by-words for a forgotten era. Which is one of the reasons I am happy and privileged to write about silent cinema!

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