||November 22, 2011
Barnes & Noble.com
Updated Kindle Version
Best Movie Books
A considerably revised and expanded edition of the acclaimed "Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD: A Classic Movie Fan's Guide", published way back in 2008, "Silent Movies & Early Sound Films" on DVD is a must-have reference book for all movie fans and DVD collectors.
Silent Movies & Early Sound Films on DVD
Since "Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD" was first published back in 2008, the number of silent feature films and early talkies available to DVD collectors has more than doubled.
Around 180 feature films were described in the original edition. In the current book, this figure has now increased to over 400 features, plus shorts.
In order to bring the current book down to a reasonable size, many of the new additions are not detailed to as great an extent, but enough information is supplied to satisfy all but the most fastidious reader.
By cutting the length of some reviews, it has now been possible to examine the work of top stars such as Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford and Betty Bronson.
Illustrated with over 110 beautiful scene stills, this is an essential reference book for both committed and casual movie fans.
N.B. The distributor and some booksellers have placed a restriction on the size of e-books. Therefore, because of its prohibitive size, this printed book will NOT be published as an e-book. True, the current Kindle edition of "Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD" DOES INCLUDE a fair amount of this new material, but it was accomplished by deleting some of the photos. So, instead of the complete new book, an extensive supplement to the original 2008 book, entitled "Silent Movies Plus! More Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD", will be published as an e-book in 2012.
Belle Bennett (Stella), Ronald Colman (Stephen), Lois Moran (Laurel), Jean Hersholt (Ed), Alice Joyce (Mrs Morrison), Vera Lewis (principal), Douglas Fairbanks, Jr (Richard), Beatrix Pryor (Richard’s mother), Charles Lane [not “our” Charles Lane] (Dallas).
Director: HENRY KING. Screenplay: Frances Marion. Based on 1923 novel by Olive Higgins Prouty. Photography: Arthur Edeson. Film editor: Stuart Heisler. Art director: Ben Carré. Wardrobe; Sophie Wachner. Assistant director: Roger Heman. Goldwyn Films.
Copyright 24 Feb 1926 by Samuel Goldwyn. United Artists release. New York opening at the Apollo: 16 November 1925. 11 reels.
SYNOPSIS: Mill worker’s daughter snares a discredited socialite, but refuses to join him in New York when his fortunes improve. Despite her crude manners, she’s a good-hearted woman, who passionately loves her daughter and is willing to secure her happiness at any cost.
COMMENT: “One day,” Henry King told us, “Sam Goldwyn came to me, weeping. ‘I’ve just viewed the birthday party rushes,’ he said. ‘I’ve never seen anything so emotional in my whole life. It just tears your heart out!’ Sam was right. But it was vital that the climax itself be even more devastating!”
It is. Thanks to Belle Bennett’s terrific performance – which is surely the greatest piece of acting in the whole decade. But, would you believe, Lois Moran, in her Hollywood debut, comes close to topping it? It’s hard to credit the same actress is playing Laurel at ten and Laurel as a bride. Although the rest of the players are over-shadowed, Jean Hersholt and Alice Joyce still make a considerable impression. Young Fairbanks comes across well too in his small but vital role, while Ronald Colman is perfectly cast as the heavy. Only a player of Colman’s skill could make a basically unsympathetic character reasonably likable.
As might be expected from an open-handed producer like Samuel Goldwyn, the movie has been superbly crafted in all respects. And fortunately its artistic quality is well served on the beautifully tinted 10/10 DVD currently available from Sunrise Silents.
A Book Review by Ross Adams, published in the November 2011 edition of the print magazine, "Dress Circle":
John Howard Reid's new expanded edition is in the larger A5 format, but it is almost as thick as Maltin's "Film Guide". With 440 pages, this new edition is crammed with a wealth of information to delight the dedicated silent cinema and early sound movie fans.
All the films reviewed are available on DVD, but one has to be careful when purchasing, as some offered for $2 in discount stores are extremely poor in quality - both picture and sound.
Fortunately, Reid describes the quality of all the hundreds of DVDs he reviews, as well as their suppliers.
This is certainly one book that is essential reading for those interested in silent films and early talkies. Each film reviewed in the main section contains full cast, technicians, release dates, a synopsis and additional comments. And there are many additional chapters providing information on the Gems of Poverty Row, The Kodascope Library, Early Technicolor, The Best Seventy Silents on DVD, The Worst of the Early Talkies, Foreign Films on DVD, More Silent Treasures, etc.
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