- Hardcover: 292 pages
- Publisher: McFarland Publishing (July 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0899509290
- ISBN-13: 978-0899509297
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,187,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Silent Film Comedies: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Persons, Studios and Terminology
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Using a time frame from about 1890 to 1930 (approximately the period covered by the time line of the motion picture industry in the introduction), this illustrated compilation by a New York banker identifies people, studios, technical companies, and terms associated with silent film comedy. More than 300 entries are biographical, including actors, studio and other corporate executives, directors and other technical personnel, inventors, etc. Entries vary in length from a sentence or two to a few pages for such outstanding contributors to silent film comedy as "Fatty" Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Thomas Edison, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Hal Roach, and Mack Sennett. These sketches usually include birth and death dates and a summary of the contributions of the person to the genre; some entries include a photograph, selected filmography, and movie-magazine excerpts. For the more than 100 entries on studios and companies there is a brief history, emphasizing the firm's contribution to the development of silent film comedy. The third category of entries is quite a miscellany, including Blacks in Silent Film Comedies, Edison Kinetogram (a bulletin announcing new Edison films), Keystone Kops, Nickelodeons. This work provides ample see and see also references. The bibliography is current to 1991. The index should be helpful in locating names of individuals and firms without entries of their own; in addition, an occasional book, play, film bulletin, or film series is indexed.
This volume will supplement Langman's Encyclopedia of American Film Comedy (Garland, 1987), which has a much wider time span. Large public libraries, academic libraries, and film libraries may want to consider purchase.
"a fine reference book...exceptionally valuable...strongly recommended" -- Choice
"this illustrated compilation...identifies people, studios, technical companies and terms" -- Booklist/RBB