Recommended Reading

"The Films of the Twenties"

by Jerry Vermilye (The Citadel Press, 1985, 256 pages)

This is the type of book Citadel Press has been so well known for over the years . . . not a great book, but a fun book to have. It's sort of reminiscent of Joe Franklin's (Everson's) Classics of the Silent Screen except there's no section on the stars, just a commentary on 75 films from the 1920-29 period. Keep in mind that the book covers some sound films, too, since it is supposed to be a sampling of films from the entire decade. Vermilye's lengthy introduction is good, and there are plenty of really nice photos, but the most appealing thing about the book is his selection of films. The usual ones are there: "Way Down East," "Oliver Twist," "Anna Christie," "The Navigator," "The Gold Rush," "The Phantom of the Opera," "It," "Sunrise," "The Wind," and so on, but Vermilye also includes some lesser known titles such as "If I Were King," "Too Wise Wives," "A Doll's House," "The Green Goddess," "Lucretia Lombard," "Her Sister From Paris," "Exit Smiling," "Loves of Carmen," "The Barker," and others. Although he doesn't go into any real depth on any of the films, and the synopses are minimal, the book is nevertheless enjoyable and certainly whets the reader's appetite to see some of these lesser known films, that is, if they still exist.

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