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Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin Paperback – Aug 1 2006
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"John Bengtson has again produced a book that combines film history, social history, and a cultural study of Los Angeles." Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian
"What a debt we owe him! . . . Silent Traces is a marvelous sequel to his book on Buster Keaton." Kevin Brownlow, director and film historian
"Film history at its most accessible, this volume is a treasure for Chaplin fans." Editor's Guild Magazine
About the Author
John Bengtson is a business lawyer and film historian who discovered the magic of silent comedy at an early age. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Silent Traces: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Charlie Chaplin, Silent Echoes: Discovering Early Hollywood Through the Films of Buster Keaton, and Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd. Bengtson has presented his work on Buster Keaton as keynote speaker at events hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. He is a featured columnist of the Keaton Chronicle newsletter, and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his two daughters.
Top Customer Reviews
Like Silent Echoes,Silent Traces gives us plenty of info on Chaplin proper and zooms in on his studios and his myriad of filming locations in and around the L.A.area.He combines old original shots with what the current point of interest looks like now.Absolutely fascinating stuff for Chaplin fans and film historians.And because Chaplin had a lengthier resume in films than Keaton,this book comes in at about 100 pages thicker than Silent Echoes.We are talking a career span from Chaplin's Keystone works,to The Great Dictator.That is a LOT of film work and locations.Want to know where Chaplin shot his First National Pictures and if it is there today?Want to know where Charlie ran around dressed as a tree in Shoulder Arms?How about the road Charlie is on when he hangs on to the car in the fadeout for the Rink? It's all there and much,much more.
You also learn of related local history concerning his shooting locations.For example,in Mr.Bengston's chapter on The Adventurer,he discusses at length on how the current Pacific Coast Highway around Malibu was originally private property.A fascinating by product of his investigations into his work,and something I suspect even folks living around there today may not even know much about.
Silent Traces also works on another level.For those that like to get out and explore first hand,this book is a great tool to take along to seek out these long forgotten areas for themselves.
So if you're an historical buff of L.A. and its greater areas,a film historian,or an armchair fan of the great Chaplin,this is a must have book for your collection.Highly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
AN ABSOLUTE MUST-HAVE FOR FANS OF CHAPLIN, KEATON & SILENT SCREEN COMEDY!!! BUY AT ALL COSTS.
trying to separate the then and now pictures. I guess I was expecting the original pictures to be lined up the current pictures for a stunning contrast.
I suppose that both of these things decisions were made for cost of production reasons, which I can understand to some degree. In the end however, the feel of the book is more academic than entertaining. For a true Charlie fan, it is a treasure trove of information, but a little bit disappointing. Having never knocked a book for stuff like this before,I must have some sort of leg to stand on. So, overall, a great book with a wealth of information, poorly packaged.
I also appreciated the excellent chapter on the Chaplin Studio, now owned by the Jim Henson Company and adorned at the original entrance by a statue of Kermit the Frog holding a cane and tipping a Chaplinesque derby.
Thanks to Mr. Bengston for his history of the cultural geography of Chaplin and Hollywood.
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