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Theda Bara: A Biography of the Silent Screen Vamp, with a Filmography Reprint Edition

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786469185
ISBN-10: 0786469188
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"carefully researched...unravels the fascinating trajectory of this cinematic vamp.... A useful volume in silent American film" --Choice

"revealing the real woman behind the dark persona" --Filmfax

"[a] superb biography...reveals much about important figures in the history of movies...a definitive work of reference --The Other Side of Show Business

"revealing the real woman behind the dark persona" --Filmfax

"[a] superb biography...reveals much about important figures in the history of movies...a definitive work of reference --The Other Side of Show Business

"revealing the real woman behind the dark persona" --Filmfax

"[a] superb biography...reveals much about important figures in the history of movies...a definitive work of reference --The Other Side of Show Business

About the Author

Ronald Genini is a high school teacher in Fresno, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; Reprint edition (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786469188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786469185
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,485,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
Rather like its subject, this book has been unfairly overlooked. Comparisons with Eve Golden's more mainstream "Vamp", published simultaneously, do not entirely work in Golden's favour, however. Whilst Genini clearly lacks Golden's wit and incisive style, his research does fill in a few gaps and missing details, particularly about Bara's activities in her later years. The films themselves are documented well, in chronological order, and Genini has the rare virtue of refraining from discussing the quality of films he has not seen.
One might argue that Bara's personality comes over as somewhat vague, though I wonder if that is not the point. Bara is elusive, and one suspects she was a much better actress than has been credited. In the light of no concrete evidence, Genini skillfully draws the reader to their own conclusions.
Genini is clearly a Bara fan, but his book does not suffer for that. Throughout he remains objective and apart from a few trivial errors, mostly involving dates and chronolgy which are more attributable to the editing, this is an honourable effort. Those who have invested in Eve Golden's book would be well advised to read this to give a different and no less valid perspective.
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Format: Library Binding
Theda Bara was a silent screen icon whose meteoric career was over after five years. Mr. Genini has done an admirable job of digging up old magazine and newspaper articles about Ms. Bara. He even interviewed Bara's dentist. However, this book is not nearly as good as Eve Golden's VAMP book on Bara, which was printed the same year. This book has many great publicity photos, but few stills from her films. The book spends little time in describing Bara's films.
The author only viewed Bara's first starring film A FOOL THERE WAS (1914). He doesn't mention until nearly the end of the book that most of Bara's films are missing. However, he overlooked some of the few films that do survive. THE UNCHASTENED WOMAN (1925) has been available on the collector's market for years and EASY LYNNE is available in an archive. He also incorrectly states that MADAME MYSTERY (1926), her last film, is complete -- actually a one-reel albrigement is all that survives. [THE STAIN (1914) was discovered after this book was written].
If you are a big Theda Bara fan, by all means get this book. However, if you want to read an engrossing, well written book on Theda, try Eve Golden's VAMP first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must for Theda Bara fans, and those who want to learn about early film history, the book has many wonderful pictures of Theda, and great reading. It is not a very long book, but it is worth it.Dave.
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