A Year in Books/Day 181: Legends of the Silent Screen

  • Title: Legends of the Silent Screen A Collection of U.S. Postage Stamps
  • Authors: Charles Champlin and Linda Klinger (for the United States Postal Service)
  • Year Published: 1994 (U.S. Postal Service)
  • Year Purchased: 1994
  • Source: This was a gift from my mom, received after some pleading on my part.
  • About: In 1994, the U.S. Postal Service released a set of stamps commemorating ten of the silent screen’s greatest stars (which was, itself, part of a larger series dedicated to entertainers). This book was published as a companion piece, but is good enough to stand on its own merits. The detailed individual biographies are underpinned by amazing photographs and a time-line of the first 100 years of American film history. It’s a handsome volume, and the Al Hirschfeld caricatures commissioned for the stamps render the subjects instantly recognizable. The stars covered in this volume are: Rudolph Valentino; Clara Bow; Charlie Chaplin; Lon Chaney; John Gilbert; ZaSu Pitts; Theda Bara; the Keystone Cops; Harold Lloyd; and Buster Keaton.
  • Motivation: I was already totally captivated with silent films, even at a relatively young age.
  • Times Read: A few
  • Random Excerpt/Page 39: “Film historians note that (Theda) Bara’s producer actually cast her in quite a few sympathetic-not evil-roles, knowing that after her vamp image had been accepted, the public would continue to read treachery into all her characters, regardless of their motivations.”
  • Happiness Scale: 10

    Bara in the title role as Cleopatra (1917)

    Bara in the title role as Cleopatra (1917) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 thought on “A Year in Books/Day 181: Legends of the Silent Screen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s