Recommended Reading

"Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers"

by Tony Villecco (McFarland & Company, Inc.., 2002, 194 pages)

Here is another one of those interview books that silent movie fans should really be grateful for. There are only a handful of these books out there, but the people who have sought out these silent movie stars in their twilight years and recorded their memories deserve some praise. No, there are not going to be any great revelations, but it's the closest we will come to sitting down with these legends and reminiscing about those days that are fading more and more into the distant past, especially since almost everyone connected with the silent era is gone. As for Villecco's book specifically, it is excellent - well written and never trying to bit off more than he can chew. There's no attempt to review a star's entire career, only a casual conversation with selected comments about their lives and careers. Easy, interesting reading with a generous scattering of photos and complemented with very nice filmographies that include dates, studios, credits and cast. Villecco's dozen include Baby Peggy, Priscilla Bonner, Virginia Cherrill, Pauline Curley, Jean Darling, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Francis Lederer, Molly O'Day, Anita Page, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, David Rollins and Andrew Stone.

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