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Parades Gone By [Paperback]

Kevin Brownlow
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The magic of the silent screen, illuminated by the recollections of those who created it.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They Were There July 9 2004
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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Start Or Addition To An Existing Library Jan. 31 2000
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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5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book for silent fans May 26 1996
By A Customer
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
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Brownlow is One of Silent's Champions Oct. 27 1998
By A Customer
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Silent Era
If I ever catch the guy who stole my copy of this book he will be in serious need of a bookectomy. A marvelous study of an artistic expression that grew out of the nickleodeons. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2003 by Stephen Swain
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for film students and silent film buffs
I met the author of this book a few years ago, and he is a remarkable treasure trove of information. Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The Parades Gone By...
Kevin Brownlow's book on the silent pictures is outstanding. Written in the late 1960's, in contains many first hand interviews. Read more
Published on July 20 2002 by Brother Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Pleasures
This will be the book you want to start with I you are beginning to get interested in silent movies. Beautiful stills and interviews with the pioneers. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent film fans MUST have this book!
Kevin Brownlow has written THE definitive and loving tome on silent films. An informative, well-researched, and entertaining book, this is an essential must for every afficiando of... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2000 by david gersztyn
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable book for any silent movie fan.
Hey silent movie fans!! This book is for *you*! Kevin Brownlow takes us back to the golden age of filmmaking in "The Parade's Gone By. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 1998 by lprice@kiwi.dep.anl.gov
4.0 out of 5 stars Brownlow excellent silent film scholar
I have read several of Kevin Brownlow's books on film, and Parade is one of the best. His interviews with silent film stars and technicians give life to the era, and remind the... Read more
Published on June 3 1998 by meredith@stthom.edu
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Film History through the eyes of those who lived it
This book is the first to give an actual feel of what Silent Film was and still is. Excellently organized and with outstanding photographs not only of films, but gives an insight... Read more
Published on May 8 1998
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