Mask of Innocence: Sex, Violence, Prejudice, Crime-Films of Social
Conscience in the Silent Era"
by Kevin Brownlow (University of California Press,
1990, 579 pages)
First of all, the book is by Kevin Brownlow, so that,
in itself, is enough recommendation to go right out and buy this
book. However, for the silent movie fan who wants to a little
broader perspective of the silent era than just fan worship, this
book will hold your interest. There are chapters on Censorship,
Sex, Drugs, Prohibition, Crime, Political Corruption, Women's
Suffrage, Prisons, Poverty, Foreigners and Industry. Yes, silent
filmmaking wasn't just about car chases and melodramatic love
stories, they do reflect the concerns of the times. The only frustrating
thing about the book is the numerous references to films that
are lost that we'll never get to see. However, it's obvious Brownlow's
"The Parade's Gone By" couldn't possibly contain all
of the research and interviews he's done over the years, and this
book shares quite a bit more of his findings (and his insights)
the "SAG Bookstore"
for used copies of many of our "Recommended Reading"
this book from
on the link above and type in the author's name