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Broken Silence: Conversations with 23 Silent Film Stars Paperback – February 25, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0786463824 ISBN-10: 0786463821

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Broken Silence: Conversations with 23 Silent Film Stars + Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hard-Luck Girls of the Silent Screen
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (February 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786463821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786463824
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"a labor of love...informative, insightful reminiscences" --The Silent Film Monthly.

About the Author

Michael G. Ankerich is a writer whose work focuses on the silent film era of Hollywood. A former newspaper reporter, he has written extensively for Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Hollywood Studio Magazine, which featured his interview with Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) on the 50th anniversary of the release of Gone With The Wind.

More About the Author

Latest updates:

* Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips, Ankerich's biography of the famed silent film actress, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.

* Ankerich is currently researching Hairpins and Dead Ends: The Perilous Journeys of 15 Actresses Through Early Hollywood, a companion volume to Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels.

*************************************************************************

Biography:


Michael G. Ankerich admits there have always been stars going around in his head. While still in college, he began interviewing country music stars as a way to meet his favorites. He considers his best conversations to have been with Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, whom he calls the "holy trinity" of country music queens.

He later became interested in silent films and interviewed many of the remaining actors and actresses from that era. His efforts were published in two books: Broken Silence: Conversations With 23 Silent Film Stars and The Sound of Silence: Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies.

Broken Silence included interviews with Lew Ayres, William Bakewell, Lina Basquette, Madge Bellamy, Eleanor Boardman, Ethlyne Clair, Junior Coghlan, Joyce Compton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dorothy Gulliver, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Dorothy Janis, George Lewis, Marion Mack, Patsy Ruth Miller, Lois Moran, Baby Marie Osborne, Muriel Ostriche, Eddie Quillan, Esther Ralston, Dorothy Revier, David Rollins, and Gladys Walton.

The Sound of Silence included interviews with Hugh Allan, Barbara Barondess, Thomas Beck, Mary Brian, Pauline Curley, Billie Dove, Edith Fellows, Rose Hobart, William Janney, Marcia Mae Jones, Barbara Kent, Esther Muir, Anita Page, Marion Shilling, Lupita Tovar, and Barbara Weeks.

His most recent book, Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hardluck Girls of the Silent Screen, was named one of the top 10 silent film books of 2010.

The Real Joyce Compton: Behind the Dumb Blonde Movie Image, written with the late actress Joyce Compton, was released in July 2009.

Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.

A former newspaper reporter, Ankerich has written extensively for Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age, and Hollywood Studio Magazine, which featured his interview with Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) on the 50th anniversary of the release of Gone With The Wind.

An art history buff, he is determined to see every Vermeer at least once, whereever they are in the world. He's seen quite a number so far, but there's always one more to track down.



















Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By V. Dunkelberg on August 14, 2009
Format: Library Binding
Mr. Ankerich should be commended for this wonderful compilation which provides a glimpse into the over-all life stories of twenty three stars of the silent era (the primary focus being their careers in films). What made this book even more interesting to me is the fact that most of the stars featured in this book are people who do not generally have a great deal of detailed information out there about them. Mr. Ankerich was fortunate enough to be able to personally interview each star and the book abounds with many personal accounts and stories of firsthand experiences. This well-written book is both an engaging read and excellent reference source (with a complete filmography at the end of each star's chapter).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Loves to Read on March 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Many thanks to McFarland Publishers for re-issuing Broken Silence and The Sounds of Silents,(and so resonably priced) they are wonderful books and all film lovers should have them.

Mr. Ankerich has done a skillful job in getting 23 film stars to talk about their personal lives and their thoughts on making films in the silent era. In 2011, these stars are gone, but these books leave a wonderful history of the film era. I also love the footnotes Mr. Ankerich added on other stars as they connect to the person being intervied.

I urge anyone who is interested in film history to purchase these books, you won't be sorry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor Thomas on July 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Ankerich did film scholarship a favor by interviewing bread and butter stars from the Silent Era, all of whom have since passed away. These were mostly actors and actresses whose fame did not transcend the immediate time frame they appeared in films, but who had their moments in the sun and could talk about their life and careers, referring to many films that have since been lost. They seem a hearty bunch for the most part, wherein Hollywood is frequently but one portion of their long lives.

Few of these performers will ever get the attention they receive here, so this book is worthwhile.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book of recorded memories of film stars from silent era. There are few notable stars in this book that includes; Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Lew Ayres and Eleanor Boardman. The rest of them are less known actresses which includes; Lois Moran, Madge Bellamy, Ethylene Clair, Dorothy Revier, Patsy Ruth Miller and many others. Each star is discussed in a separate chapter and part of their biographies is also described. The book is an interesting read and does not go into depth to any degree.

Over the years, I have seen many movies of 1920s and 1930s on TCM and have become familiar with many less known stars, but I have not been able to read about them as there are no books about them. They did not dazzle like Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, or Gloria Swanson, but offered commendable performances in the movies, and it is refreshing to read about them in this book and relate to their movies I have seen on TCM.

Some of the interesting facts about these stars may be summarized as follows: For example, actors like Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Eleanor Boardman, and Ethylene Clair did not have any ambitions to become film stars. But Lew Ayres, Marion Mack, and Dorothy Gulliver had burning ambition to be the stars of the silver screen. Lois Moran, Joyce Compton and others were pressured by their mothers to go into acting. But Gladys Walton, Patsy Ruth Miller and Dorothy Janis were discovered by talent scouts during their visits to Hollywood.

The Kiss, the last silent film of MGM starred Greta Garbo with Lew Ayres who was supposed to be a college student with whom Garbo had love interest. He recalls that she was intensely shy and was "charming in almost maternal way.
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