The Keystone Kid: Tales of Early Hollywood Paperback – Nov 1 2001
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A beautiful reminiscence that is extremely satisfying and entertaining. -- John Burke, Host, American Movie Classics
A charming memoir...the photos alone are worth the price of the book. -- Kevin Brownlow, Director & Film Historian
The stories have the ring of truth, and his storytelling, the wid-eyed wonder of youth. -- Bob Mondello, National Public Radio
The stories have the ring of truth, and the storytelling, the wide-eyed wonder of youth. -- Bob Mondello, National Public Radio
What a wonderful slice of Hollywood history! -- Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight
You'll never get a more vivid description of what wen on behind studio walls. -- Johnny Grant, The Honorary Mayor of Hollywood
a wonderful slice of Hollywood history! It's high time the story of the watson clan was put into book form. -- Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight
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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.
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!
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