- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st ed edition (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0810945320
- ISBN-13: 978-0810945326
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.4 x 12.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chaplin: Genius Of The Cinema Hardcover – October 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Using his complete access to the Chaplin Archives, film historian Vance creates a compelling portrait of the cinema's first international star: a moviemaker who blended comedy and pathos and whose most complex character was his own off-screen self. Vance, who helped Charlie Chaplin's ex-wife Lita Grey pen her memoirs and has co-authored biographies of silent-film comedy greats Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, discerningly examines both Chaplin's groundbreaking work and the controversial man behind it. More of an encyclopedia than a biography-information from Chaplin's memoirs is frequently quoted-Vance's book shows admiration and sympathy for its subject, plus an extensive understanding of Chaplin's films, which are evaluated at length. But the most impressive and incisive material here are the photos, some of which have never been published before. Family portraits, film-set snapshots and frame enlargements from movies reveal a somber, often fragile-looking young man whose whole personality, not just his physical appearance, is altered when he's playing a role. As Chaplin's career soared in the early 20th century-along with his reputation as a perfectionist and his predilection for teenage girls-the photos capture his enlivening confidence. Later images reveal a man pained by legal battles and, eventually, a family patriarch at peace after marrying Eugene O'Neill's daughter, Oona. Comprehensive captions provide enough details to stand alone from the rest of the text. Released on the heels of a documentary about Chaplin and restored DVDs of his classic films, this book makes a sound introduction to, and study of, the great filmmaker's work. 500 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Vance's Buster Keaton Remembered (2001) and Harold Lloyd [BKL My 15 02] are the finest photographic books ever published on their subjects, so it is not altogether surprising that his treatment of the greatest silent film comedian is a stunner. Still, that it contains so many superbly reproduced images from Chaplin's earliest years as an English touring-company member; so many documentary photos of Chaplin at work, at play, and in the public eye; and such wonderful rediscoveries as the great photojournalist W. Eugene Smith's expressionistic shots of Chaplin directing and acting in his greatest sound film, Limelight, as well as the expected wealth of movie production and publicity stills, is vastly impressive. Moreover, Vance writes considerably more about Chaplin than he did about Keaton and Lloyd combined. He discusses every film, including early shorts that are lost, and he illuminates Chaplin's working methods. If his prose remains workaday, it is always clear, even when he makes peculiar word choices and gets inconsequential facts wrong. Nevertheless, an absolutely essential book on this great filmmaker. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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The love put into this book is evident by the sheer quality contained herein. The public has seen 'the Chaplin image' so many times, that as the book points out, the respect for the ground-breaking brilliance of the artist's work is being lost to cynics and those who would downplay his role in cinema history to laud other less known filmmakers.
But this book successfully illustrates that they are forgetting one thing:
Chaplin doesn't just have a ROLE in cinema history, he helped CREATE cinema history.
Most recent customer reviews
Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in April 16, 1889 in London, England to talented parents who both did well in creative arts.Read more