Recommended Reading from Sunrise Silents
THE PARADE'S GONE BY...
(Alfred A. Knopf, 1968.)
One of the best silent films books ever written. You will probably notice that a few high profile stars are inexplicably omitted but this is still a great book and a must for any silent film enthusiast.
SUNSHINE & SHADOW
(Doubleday, New York 1955.)
The autobiography of America's sweetheart. Mary had so many great stories. An ideal way to get to know one of the most popular stars the screen has ever known. The last I heard Miss Pickford still held the record for selling more tickets than any other movie star.
(Doubleday, New York 1968.)
Colleen really seemed to be enjoying herself when she wrote this. She had several humorous stories and some serious ones as well. A pleasure to read.
THE MOVIES, MR. GRIFFITH, AND ME
(Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs March 1969.)
One of the greatest stars of all time discusses her long years as a silent film star, her first experience in sound films, her successful return to the theater after years in movies, and her television appearances. Miss Gish also discusses working with D.W. Griffith. A must read.
(Simon and Schuster, New York 1964.)
I enjoyed this book a great deal although some have complained that Chaplin wrote more about mundane incidents than what they really wanted to read about. I believe that whatever the star chose to write about is of interest because it reveals what was important to him; besides I really enjoyed reading about those little incidents he revealed that so many of us can relate to. Chaplin was a gifted individual and that certainly comes through in this interesting book.
MARGUERITE CLARK : AMERICA'S DARLING OF BROADWAY AND THE SILENT SCREEN
(Texas Christian University Press, Fort Worth, TX, U.S.A 1981.)
A biography of the great little star who was one of the biggest 4 stars of 1916 (the other three were Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks). For a long time Marguerite Clark was about as impossible to see as Theda Bara. Just as we have nothing more than the existing snippet of Theda in CLEOPATRA (with the obvious exception of A FOOL THERE WAS) we only had snippets of Marguerite. Fortunately things have now changed. Not only are a couple of her films finally available but we have this book as well.
KOPS AND KUSTARDS
Kalton C. Lahue and Terry Brewer
(University of Oklahoma Press, 1972)
The classic history of the Keystone Film Company and Mack Sennett. Lots of photos and an appendix of Keystone Comedies. The Keystones were far more innovative and surreal than many people realize.
ONE REEL A WEEK
Fred J. Balshofer and Arthur C. Miller
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967)
Two veteran film-makers write about their experiences in the years when the patterns of the industry were being formed. The authors had some very interesting tales to tell that you most likely won't find anywhere else.
THE SILENT SCREEN AND MY TALL HEART
(Boise State University Hemingway Western Studies, Boise, Idaho 1988.)
The autobiography of silent film star director and writer Nell Shipman.
THE GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY NELL SHIPMAN AND THE SILENT CINEMA
(University of Toronto Press Inc 2003.)
A portrait of Nell Shipman, a pioneer in both Canadian and American film, and one of proportionately numerous women from Hollywood's silent era who wrote, directed, produced and acted in motion pictures.
SEDUCTIVE CINEMA: THE ART OF THE SILENT FILM
(Alfred A. Knopf 1994.)
An exhilarating celebration of silent movies that offers a new understanding of the art, the directors, the cinematographers and the stars of the great silent films. The author draws on his close association with Gloria Swanson, Louise Brooks and Joan Crawford to discuss the silent film's attitudes toward sex, the vamp and the good woman. I learned about this book from a coworker who spotted a small ad for it in the back of the New Yorker Magazine in 1994. I immediately ordered it and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I haven't forgotten that and to this day I am grateful he told me about it. Thank you, Roger.