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Parades Gone By Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345017293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345017291
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Polkadotty on July 9 2004
Format: Paperback
For many years this book was considered the definitive, authoritative tome on silent films, and remains, today, a must read for anyone interested in this subject. Its greatest, most singular draw is the priceless information Brownlow gathered through interviews conducted with over 100 silent film personalities, directors, producers, and cameramen. Brownlow pieced together a one-of-a-kind reminiscence of a by-gone era from the stories, anecdotes, and first hand observations of many of the now-dead greats of the past, infusing an immediacy to a time previously shrouded in myth and misconception, and in the process left behind an incomparable legacy. Legends such as Clarence Brown, Francis X. Bushman, Charles Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Allan Dwan, Abel Gance, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton, Fritz Lang, Jesse Lasky, Harold Lloyd, Arthur Miller, Pola Negri, Mary Pickford, Hal Roach, Charles Rosher, David O. Selznick, Josef von Sternberg, Gloria Swanson, King Vidor, and Adolph Zukor ~ plus dozens more ~ contributed their stories and offered their opinions and recollections in their own words. One is a little cowed to realise that when Brownlow wrote this book the silent era was still a fairly recent phenomenon, less than a half century removed from the author's contemporary era of the 1960s, and Brownlow himself yet a young man in his twenties. In fact, Brownlow was a sort of child prodigy, beginning to collect historic films at the age of 11. Brownlow was only 15 years old when he obtained two reels of Abel Gance's 1927 epic film 'Napoleon', which he restored as an adult, and obtained his first industry job as an apprentice editor at a documentary production house when he was but 17 years old.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Kevin Brownlow's great book on the silent film world is over thirty years old but holds up well. Browlow is a British writer who was able to interview many of the silent film people while he gained first hand knowledge on their contributions to a lost world.
Each chapter of the book deals with either a famous actor/director of the era or covers an aspect of fliming.
Brownlow has outstanding chapters on such luminaries as D.W.
Griffith, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Abel Gance, Irving Thalberg, Gloria Swanson. C.B. DeMille Mary Pickford/Doug Fairbanks as well as several others.
His chapter on the making of Ben-Hur is a classic account of the making of this great film. Brownlow deals in other chapters with the lives of stunt-mens, silent comedy, the importance of the art director/production personnel as well as letting us see how the medium has grown technically over the decades.
If you read one book on the silent film era this should be the one to do it for you. A college course on film should include this outstanding work.
Kevin Brownlow loves movies and has done a superb job in this
page turning tour of silent movieland. As Charlie Chaplin walks through our memories as the little Tramp so too will this fine
book shine in our memories as we thank Brownlow for a beautiful trip through the splendors of early moviemaking.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great for two types of people. Those who know nothing about silent films and want to learn more, or those who are already enthusiasts. For beginners the book gives a great amount of detail and background to the entire silent film era. For enthusiasts it's a great addition to your library. Chapters are dedicated to various artists and aspects of the era (such as Buster Keaton, stunts, and so forth). Kevin Brownlow is not only an enjoyable and insightful writer, but his own enthusiasm shines through. The edition that I read was also dedicated to Abel Gance, a French film-maker who should never be forgotten. I thought that was a nice touch to a wonderful book.
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By A Customer on May 26 1996
Format: Paperback
We all have a few books that we plan to read every few years for the
rest of our lives: this is one of mine. Brownlow's elegiac oral
history of the days of silent film was done at the perfect time,
when the battles were over but while there were still enough living
survivors to tell the tale. Brownlow captures the weird collision
of calculation and exuberance that defined early Hollywood. One
history of recent events in Hollywood paints a typical picture
of life in the executive suite as being "a bunch of tiny men in
designer jeans giving each other high fives." T'was not always
so.
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Format: Paperback
this book is indeed a masterwork....BUT...when is the counterpart of this book, the sensational documentary series Bronlow did in 1980 "Hollywood, a celebration of american silent film" going to be issued on DVD!???It not only includes a vaste amount of very rare filmclips but also totally unique interviews with the silent film makers themselves....the series mezmerized me totally when I first saw it way back , it is as unique and precious as this book and deserves a dvd box..infact I lknow that if it were to be issued it would be in great demand!
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By A Customer on Oct. 27 1998
Format: Paperback
This is one of two "must-haves" for fans of silent film, the other is "Silent Clowns" by Walter Kerr.
Brownlow (as usual) researches well, provides great narrative, and treats his subject with the respect it deserves. Anyone who has seen his documentary collaborations with David Gill, or his restorations of great classics will be familiar with his thoroughness.
This book is very easy to read, but insightful, helpful...makes you wish there were still silents, particularly in the wake of movies overdone with Dolby Surround.
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