Recommended Reading

"Fifty Great American Silent Films 1912-1920: A Pictorial Survey"

by Anthony Slide and Edward Wagenknecht (Dover Publications, Inc., 1980, 140 pages)

This is the first out-of-print book we have reviewed on "Silents Are Golden," but it's such a wonderful, and apparently little-known, book that we couldn't resist. Anything with Anthony Slide's name or Edward Wagenknecht's name on it is great, and this book is no exception. Along the lines of "Classics of the Silent Screen," this book limits itself to those early features of the silent era. Many of the well-known films we've all seen are there such as "Intolerance," "Mickey," "Broken Blossoms," and "The Mark of Zorro," but Slide and Wagenknecht have also provided us a look at some of the less common films such as "From the Manger to the Cross," "The Italian," "A Daughter of the Gods," "Polly of the Circus," "The Blue Bird" and "Remodeling Her Husband." For each film, the reader is provided the usual technical information such as producing company, year of release, credits, etc. One neat bit of info added to this, however, is where and when the world premiere of the movie was. Then there's the cast list, synopsis and a great commentary by Slide or Wagenknecht. There are 210 illustrations, and these are reproduced well since the book is printed on glossy paper. Check those used book websites and see if you can find a copy. It won't be cheap, but it'll be well worth a few extra bucks to the serious silent film enthusiast.

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