Recommended Reading

"Silent Films & Early Talkies on DVD: A Classic Movie Fan's Guide"

by John Howard Reid

(Lulu Press, 2008, 301 pages)

Interestingly, SAG just received a review copy of this book (February 2010) although the publication date is 2008. Due to the nature of the book, two years could make a difference in its usefulness for locating a film you're seeking on DVD. Interesting browsing, though, particularly if you run across a film that you have been wanting - or didn't even know exisited - and you find out it can be obtained for home viewing. Inconsistent in its listing of cast, crew, release information, synopsis, notes, comments - some entries contain all of these, and some do not. Also, some entries give a source for the DVD (Grarpevine, Sunrise Silents, etc.), while others make no mention of where the DVD may be obtained. Notes and comments are interesting, and the book will hold your interest - as mentioned, not as a reader from beginning to end - but for a few hours of browsing or as a reference book to go back to when necessary. Author Reid deserves credit for pulling this information together; however, this type of book tends the date rather quickly due to the constantly changing of availability of films and the "coming and going" of some of the smaller companies that may not be around a year or two from now. (Listing of "recommended DVD suppliers at the end is insufficient with only 10 supplliers noted and leaving out such obvious quality sources as Kino and Flicker Alley). Arranged in alphabetical order with quite a few good photos interspersed throughout. Even with the inconsistencies and possibility of dated information, still recommended (with reservations) as a source of comments and descriptions of many films you'll probably find difficult to locate a review of on the Internet.

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