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Lon Chaney: The Man Behind the Thousand Faces Paperback – January 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Vestal Press (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879511096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879511095
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For the decades since his death, Lon Chaney, while one of the biggest stars of the silent era, had remained one of the least-known (about) talents of said era. The life of this amazing, multi-talented individual is finally revealed to us with Lon Chaney: The Man Behind The Thousand Faces. Chaney fans reap the benefits of author Michael F. Blake's 6 years of research. Of the many things we learn: the son, born to deaf parents and his early mastery of pantomime for the sake of communicating with (and entertaining) them. His rather extensive list of theater credits where he practiced and honed his skills at make-up. His entry into films and the amazing body of work that resulted. His rise from bit player to hugely popular character-actor, adored by the public and respected by his peers. His marriages. All this and much, much more (who knew that Chaney was an adept dancer!). A filmography (as complete as can be known), chronology of major events in Chaney's life, and even a glossary of make-up terminology is also provided.
Two highlights: numerous, never-before-seen (at least by me) photos and Blake (himself a make-up artist) reveals the secrets behind many of the actor's "thousand faces", at the same time dispelling many inaccurate "facts" that have been perpetuated over the years concerning said make-up creations.
Whether you're a fan of Chaney or of film history in general, you will find this book invaluable.
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Format: Paperback
This was the most extensive biography I've ever read on Lon Chaney. Micheal F. Blake's account of Chaney was excellent becuase the author explains why the man was so sucsessful.
The book mainly concentrates on the impact he left on critics and movie goers. Also,his agenda and work relationships with film makers and various experts needed for subject matter that was essential for unusual plot elements in some of his greatest films. The author further demonstrates how these relationships enhanced his skill, and how that would inspire him to progress beyond what he already achieved in prior films for futer projects.
The auther accounts for his private life with integrity and honor. However, you'll learn of the private life he wanted people to think he had, regardless of how accurate it was, in comparrisson to the truth, and why.
I am a horror/sci-fi fanatic, with an extensive collection of films, novels and magazines spawned from those very genres-minus Lon Chaney!!! I can only account for two Fangoria magazines that have articles profiling him, and they are not very extensive. It's very hard to find information and literature about this man, which is a shame, considering how much he inspired present day movie makers. That's why this book is a must read, especially for those interested in a medium leading to any type of film carreer. If not, if you want to read something different, Lon Chaney is definately that in every which way, and Micheal F. Blake explains why!
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Format: Paperback
The fans of Lon Chaney have never had a detailed biography of the "Man of a Thousand Faces", but no more! Michael F. Blake has written THE BOOK on Chaney, uncovering a tremendous amount of rare material on the actor's life and career. A film/TV makeup artist himself, Blake is able to finally tell us how Chaney really created his famous makeups. The 120 photos, many I've never seen before, are just amazing! This is the book Chaney fans have been waiting for.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Blake presented a thorough and convincing telling of Mr. Chaney's life and career. I found it to be quite readable, informative, and delightful in opening to me the life of one of my favorite screen personalities. Blake's book, as well as its subject, Lon Chaney, deserve a place in the highest levels of cinematic lore and recognition. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to know more about Lon Chaney and his times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Makeup artist Michael Blake is the leading authority on the life and career of Lon Chaney, having doggedly researched Chaney's notoriously difficult-to-investigate story since the early 1970s. Blake's book is by far the most complete and accurate documentation of Chaney's colorful life and film career, and is highly recommended.

I dock it one star only because I sincerely hope Blake is working on a followup edition in larger format, with a high-quality, photograph-rich tribute to Chaney's immortal artistry.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the most in-depth biopics on Lon Chaney that I've read. Fantastic rare photos & so much insite about this man-family life-work etc. The best out of many books written about Lon. Well worth it!
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