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Comment: Copyright 1968, copyright renewed 1996, softcover. Shelf/use wears. All pages are clean.
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The Parade's Gone By... Paperback – June 23, 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 577 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 23, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520030680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520030688
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I have had numerous copies of this book for 10 years.
Scott A. Citron
Some people will say things like "If you read only one book about silent film, this is it" -- and they're right.
F. J. PRISCO
If you read one book on the silent film era this should be the one to do it for you.
C. M Mills

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Polkadotty on July 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
For many years this book was considered the definitive, authoritative tome on silent films, and remains, today, a must read for anyone interested in this subject. Its greatest, most singular draw is the priceless information Brownlow gathered through interviews conducted with over 100 silent film personalities, directors, producers, and cameramen. Brownlow pieced together a one-of-a-kind reminiscence of a by-gone era from the stories, anecdotes, and first hand observations of many of the now-dead greats of the past, infusing an immediacy to a time previously shrouded in myth and misconception, and in the process left behind an incomparable legacy. Legends such as Clarence Brown, Francis X. Bushman, Charles Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Allan Dwan, Abel Gance, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton, Fritz Lang, Jesse Lasky, Harold Lloyd, Arthur Miller, Pola Negri, Mary Pickford, Hal Roach, Charles Rosher, David O. Selznick, Josef von Sternberg, Gloria Swanson, King Vidor, and Adolph Zukor ~ plus dozens more ~ contributed their stories and offered their opinions and recollections in their own words. One is a little cowed to realise that when Brownlow wrote this book the silent era was still a fairly recent phenomenon, less than a half century removed from the author's contemporary era of the 1960s, and Brownlow himself yet a young man in his twenties. In fact, Brownlow was a sort of child prodigy, beginning to collect historic films at the age of 11. Brownlow was only 15 years old when he obtained two reels of Abel Gance's 1927 epic film 'Napoleon', which he restored as an adult, and obtained his first industry job as an apprentice editor at a documentary production house when he was but 17 years old.Read more ›
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills on May 26, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kevin Brownlow's great book on the silent film world is over thirty years old but holds up well. Browlow is a British writer who was able to interview many of the silent film people while he gained first hand knowledge on their contributions to a lost world.
Each chapter of the book deals with either a famous actor/director of the era or covers an aspect of fliming.
Brownlow has outstanding chapters on such luminaries as D.W.
Griffith, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Abel Gance, Irving Thalberg, Gloria Swanson. C.B. DeMille Mary Pickford/Doug Fairbanks as well as several others.
His chapter on the making of Ben-Hur is a classic account of the making of this great film. Brownlow deals in other chapters with the lives of stunt-mens, silent comedy, the importance of the art director/production personnel as well as letting us see how the medium has grown technically over the decades.
If you read one book on the silent film era this should be the one to do it for you. A college course on film should include this outstanding work.
Kevin Brownlow loves movies and has done a superb job in this
page turning tour of silent movieland. As Charlie Chaplin walks through our memories as the little Tramp so too will this fine
book shine in our memories as we thank Brownlow for a beautiful trip through the splendors of early moviemaking.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
If I had to pick one book to give as an introduction to silent films this would be the book; if I had to pick one book to give to a silent film fan this would be the book. Kevin Brownlow did us all a service by interviewing people still living that were connected to the film indusrty during the silent era, then getting the book published in the late 1960s. I have several books on silent and classic films but The Parade's Gone By remains my favorite. I have read it several times since purchasing it in 1970, always finding a new enthusiasm for a particular director or star of the silent films. Here I first discovered the versatility of Lon Chaney, the athletic films of Doug Fairbanks, the charm of Mary Pickford, the great silent films of Cecil B. De Mille, and Napoleon by Abel Gance. And so much more.

If you are a silent film fan this book needs to be on your shelf, if you are not yet a fan this book just might make you one. You will find that silent films at their peak have the same relationship to talking pictures as painting does to sculpture.

This book and the documetary Hollywood: A Celebration of American Silent Film are the two most interesting ducumentation of the silent film era. I have the Hollywood set on laser disc, it runs several hours and is totally captivating. If it is not on DVD yet it certainly should be.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By O. Henry Dickens on June 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
It is a wonderful thing that this book is back in print. I got my copy a few years ago when I came across a huge street sale on 5th Avenue in NYC - the Gotham Book Mart had a space, and there was a cloth-bound, third printing (1969) edition of "The Parade's Gone By." I paid $27.50, but I would've paid twice that, as I had been looking for the book for some time.
This is, indeed, one of the definitive books about the silent era. Kevin Brownlow is a true scholar of the period, and his affection for this long-gone medium is both apparent and enjoyable to read. Many other books about silent film are weighted towards the stars and directors - Brownlow's book certainly has its fair share of that, as it should - but he explores lesser known areas of the industry, such as cameramen and filming techniques, music during production, stunts, art direction, scenario, editing, and a fascinating and insightful discussion of the melodramatic acting style of the period. Brownlow tries to understand silent films through the eyes of audiences contemporary to the period, not as audiences 40 years later (or today) would view them. This is, indeed, one of the secrets to enjoying silent films. And this feeling is captured by the many interviews of those who worked in the industry in those days.
The photographs throughout the book are quite interesting and informative - not the standard photos we see repeated over and over in other silent film books.
This book will give anyone quite an education in silent film, and deserves a place on the shelf of everyone who is interested in this wonderful and lost medium. You can't have my cloth-bound 1969 edition, but in any form the book is worth having. (Other reviewers' complaints about Clara Bow aside.
Read more ›
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