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The Keystone Kid: Tales of Early Hollywood Paperback – Nov 1 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press (Nov. 1 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891661213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891661211
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,745,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Coy Watson's story of early Hollywood provides an excellent picture of what life was like when the movies were being born. Watson is part of the famed Watson family (Dad worked for the studios and even rigged Fairbanks flying carpet and all the kids had parts in the early films - the most famous Watson is brother Bobs who appeared in Boys Town as Pee Wee and On Borrowed Time as Pud). This book lets you know how informal things were in the early days of Hollywood and how films were made before the studios were taken over by the moguls. It is a great history of early Hollywood.
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Format: Paperback
The Keystone Kid: Tales Of Early Hollywood is the personal autobiography and fascinating memoir of Coy Watson, Jr. Coy was Hollywood's first authentic child star, who started appearing in the popular "Keystone Cop" comedies before he could walk or talk. Black-and-white photographs add images and reminiscence to the warm, thoughtful, memories detailed on the pages. Within these pages are wonderful anecdotes of such "birth of Hollywood" greats as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fatty Arbuckle, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, Tom Mix, Mabel Normand, Jackie Coggan, the Keystone Cops, Mack Swain, Lillan Gish, William S. Campbell, Mack Sennett, D.W. Griffith, King Vidor, Frank Capra, and others. The Keystone Kid is enthusiastically recommended reading for students and enthusiasts of early movies, cinema history, and especially for fans of Coy Watson, Jr.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For students and enthusiasts of early movies Jan. 13 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Keystone Kid: Tales Of Early Hollywood is the personal autobiography and fascinating memoir of Coy Watson, Jr. Coy was Hollywood's first authentic child star, who started appearing in the popular "Keystone Cop" comedies before he could walk or talk. Black-and-white photographs add images and reminiscence to the warm, thoughtful, memories detailed on the pages. Within these pages are wonderful anecdotes of such "birth of Hollywood" greats as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Fatty Arbuckle, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson, Tom Mix, Mabel Normand, Jackie Coggan, the Keystone Cops, Mack Swain, Lillan Gish, William S. Campbell, Mack Sennett, D.W. Griffith, King Vidor, Frank Capra, and others. The Keystone Kid is enthusiastically recommended reading for students and enthusiasts of early movies, cinema history, and especially for fans of Coy Watson, Jr.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Picture of Early Hollywood Sept. 27 2002
By CJS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Coy Watson's story of early Hollywood provides an excellent picture of what life was like when the movies were being born. Watson is part of the famed Watson family (Dad worked for the studios and even rigged Fairbanks flying carpet and all the kids had parts in the early films - the most famous Watson is brother Bobs who appeared in Boys Town as Pee Wee and On Borrowed Time as Pud). This book lets you know how informal things were in the early days of Hollywood and how films were made before the studios were taken over by the moguls. It is a great history of early Hollywood.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Wonderful Trip Down Memory Lane May 22 2010
By Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I came across this book by chance, at first finding its large size and many photos appealing, and then I found it fun and easy to read as well. As I read through the pages, it gradually dawned on me what an important and special book this actually is, and that reading it had given me something beautiful, special and very positive. This story of one man's life is so much more than an autobiography, a collection of memories and a `who's who' of early Hollywood. Reading Coy Watson Jr.'s life story transports you back in time and makes the people, places and events very real, almost as if they had become part of your own history. Perhaps this is due to the informal style of writing, as well as the personal memories and feelings he expressed in between accounts of working with big names in Hollywood and how his father worked on the sets of famous silent movies. Genuine warmth and passion radiate from the pages and infect the reader, even if he or she is not a great fan of Mack Sennett and the Keystone Cops comedies. In fact, the passion is for life and everything good and happy life has to offer, and it was only circumstances that led to Coy Watson Jr growing up next-door to Mack Sennett's early film studio, watching the first slapstick and action-packed comedies in the making, and learning about the film industry along the way.

The reader can glean many other things from this book besides some early Hollywood names, such as what people and the way of life was in the early 1900s. Personal accounts and some insights into behind-the-scenes events on the sets of famous actors and movies are exciting to read for any film buff, and the down-to-earth style in which Coy relives his fond memories arouses deeper feelings of nostalgia, making the reader feel exactly what Coy expressed near the end of his story, namely that with the coming of sound, the happy, fun and carefree days of movie-making were over - and would never return. This is one of the things that makes "The Keystone Kid" a gem of a book, giving readers a glimpse into a life and times gone by.

Some of the highlights for silent film enthusiasts are the descriptions of Coy Watson Sr.'s pioneering work in using piano wire to create all kinds of stunts and tricks - from Mack Sennett's Keystone comedies to the prestigious Douglas Fairbanks movies, "The Thief of Bagdad" and "The Black Pirate". Earlier memories relate Coy's father working with the great Western film star, Tom Mix, and what happened off camera with horses and extras. Coy Jr himself worked in movies since early childhood, working with stars such as Jackie Coogan, Mary Pickford, Marion Davies, Ronald Colman, William Haines and Hobart Bosworth. After reading his life story which is divided into subheadings of years in chronological order - each page beautifully laid out, I might add - there is a section devoted to his best films, all with at least two nice and large pictures. Although the pictures are all non-glossy black and white, I suspect there are quite a few rare and special ones among them, as well as other memorabilia film historians and fans alike would enjoy. Throughout the book, there is at least one picture on each page, many from Coy's private collection, which all add to making this book feel like a personal encounter with a person, a life and a time that once was. A book worth reading and putting in a special place.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AMAZING ! Oct. 28 2008
By Radio Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the greatest book ever on the history of film making in L.A. There are pictures in it from the Watson family albums that you'll never find anywhere else. And that Coy Jr. lived it makes this book all the more impressive. It's a first person retelling of a most precious time in film history ... the birth of film making in L.A.

I'm fortunate enough to live near Edendale, now Echo Park. I brought Coy Jr's book with me when I visited the area and found many of the places shown in pictures in his book. What a chill I got standing in the same places he wrote about. Of course, the two studios are long gone. As well as the theater he went to. But some of the other houses and stores still remain intact.

The Watson family had a major impact on films in it's infancy. Coy Sr. was the very first special affects person in the business. Coy Jr. was the first baby actor star. This book is beyond fascinating. If you want to know more about film history and back stories you'll never find in any other book, you must buy this!
If you love movies... Nov. 25 2013
By Margo Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coy Watson Jr. was my mother Gloria's oldest brother.

My uncle and I talked regularly about how much I loved this book. It not only tells the history of Hollywood, but also the history of a remarkable family, The Watsons. Only Uncle Coy could tell a story like this and he did it with a pure love of the motion picture industry.

If you're a movie buff, buy this book and read it. My grandfather's secrets to special effects magically are revealed in these pages. Now, when you see Superman fly or watch Spiderman climb a wall, you'll know exactly who created the effects.

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