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The West, The War, and The Wilderness [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Brownlow
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $13.00
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Here, from one of today’s leading authorities on film history, is the  story, told brilliantly and for the first time, of the pioneering movie makers who as early as 1905 traveled beyond the studio stages to make feature films on location—and in so doing recorded the real history and real life of their time. The War, the West, and the Wilderness is the result of more than a decade of passionate research by Kevin Brownlow, whose last book, The Parade’s Gone By… (hailed by Charles Champlin as “the definitive work on the silent era”) is regarded as a classic history of early motion pictures.
His new book is alive with the voices of the film-makers themselves, in their logbooks, in their letters and diaries, in their firsthand accounts of their adventurous journeys and cinematic innovations, and—even more immediate—in Brownlow’s interviews with cameramen, director’s, lighting technicians, and actors who relive those days, taking us with them to the Great War, to the West, ad into the Wilderness. It is the triumph of this book to reconstruct the dramatic moments when these men and women contrived, against ordinary odds, to bring to movie audiences for the first time, the look, the feel—the actuality—of large events and distant places, from the great battles of World War I to the South Seas with Jack London aboard the Shark, and the gold rush in Tonopah, Nevada.

Product Details

  • File Size: 14299 KB
  • Print Length: 602 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (April 3, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BRUQ4Q6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brownlow's Other Masterpiece April 3, 2007
Kevin Brownlow, author of the definitive history of the silent film era, THE PARADE'S GONE BY . . . , has attempted in THE WAR, THE WEST, AND THE WILDERNESS to honor the work of silent-film cameramen, directors, and actors who, often inadvertently, recorded history on film. It is a fascinating study and unique among silent-film histories in its focus on the intrepid, the unsung, the non-self-aggrandizing among film industry pioneers. These are people whose contributions to film history--and to history itself--had fallen through the cracks. Brownlow's incredible achievement is in having researched and assembled their stories before they vanished for good, like the thousands of silent films that are themselves so much nitrate dust.
Very, very few of the 350 photographs that accompany the text have appeared in any other history of this era. Priceless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To the far ends of the Earth... July 31, 1998
Silent film historian Kevin Brownlow documents the silent film newsreel and documentary cameramen who traveled to the far ends of the earth and risked their lives to record history. "The War" concerns films about World War I and America's and Britian's involvment in it. My only complaint here is that the book does not cover more of the war and "Hun" fictional films that came out during the war. There is a large-section on anti-war and preparedness films that appeared before America entered the war. The second section deals with western films. There are sections on movie cowboys like William S. Hart and Tom Mix, as well as actual outlaws and cowboys who appeared in early films. The last section concerns "nature" and exploration films. While some might feel that the large subject-matter covered by this book keeps it meandering from one topic to another, it is still a great book about silent film history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brownlow Classic! March 29, 2009
I own "The Parade's Gone By," "The War, The West and The Wilderness," and "Behind the Mask of Innocence," as well as "The Pioneers." The reason I go out of my way to find Kevin Brownlow's books can be summed up in one word: Love. He loves his work and he loves the movies, and it shows in every sentence. The three parts of the book discuss silent filmmaking in Hollywood just before and during U.S. participation in the first World War, the making of westerns and documentary filmmaking, such as that done by Robert Flaherty and those two crazy men, Cooper and Schoedsack.

Brownlow not only takes the reader to the scene (literally) of the films, he adds information from the reviews of the day, comments from distributors and, in the case of part 1, various censorship boards of the U.S. and UK.

Part 2 includes interviews with and stories about the early western stars, including some long forgotten (like Art Acord). His depiction of Inceville, out past Santa Monica, brings back California at the turn of the last century. Viewers of the Brownlow/Gill HBO series will recognize some of the anecdotes, especially those of Allan Dwan.

Part 3 I will reread, soon. What sticks in my mind is the incredible bravado of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack making "Grass," you can feel the adventurism that later led them to make "King Kong."

This is a hard to get book, now. It's for the true aficionado with nitrate in their blood, questioning if we'll ever get back that sense of love and wonder when the silent filmmakers were loosed upon the world.
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