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.