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Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses Hardcover – September 27, 2002
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From Library Journal
Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Slide's approach, focusing on talented and vibrant personalities, differentiates this work from others chronicling the silent film era."―American Reference Book Annual
"Anthony Slide is an authority on silent films."―Beverly Hills Courier
"The grand master of silent film scholarship."―Choice
"Slide sets the standard for film research that other writers can study and emulate."―Daily Variety
"One writer who possesses the special insight necessary to any intelligent discussion of the silent movie is Slide."―Films in Review
"A fascinating, entertaining, and occasionally poignant work that invites the reader into the fabulous work of art, industry, and experimentation that was Hollywood in the 1910s and 1920s."―Library Journal
"Our preeminent historian of the silent film."―Lillian Gish
"Slide profiles 100 silent film stars―57 of whom he knew personally―including such well-known names as Mary Astor, Lillian Gish, and Harold Lloyd."―Los Angeles Times
"Most cinemabilia collectors concentrate on films and personalities from the 1930's on, but there are other, more serious students of cinema interested in the earlier silent period, and they will welcome film historian Anthony Slide's Silent Players ."―Massillon (OH) Independent, Hartford (CT) Courant
"Slide uses the lives of 100 stars to capture some of the diverse and creative charm of the period before sound was introduced to movies."―Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"Immensely entertaining."―Sight & Sound
"If you love learning about the movies, you'll truly enjoy a classic in its own right."―WTBF Radio
Top Customer Reviews
Slide has written numerous books on silent movies, none of them particularly good except for the D.W. Griffith filmography which I suspect was due mainly to his co-writer, Edward Wagenknecht, a beloved silent film historian. Indeed, despite his many years writing (Slide must be sixtyish now), I certainly would not rank him on the level of Wagenknecht, Kevin Brownlow, James Card, and William Everson as an important, influential silent film scholar-historian despite the compliment by the always kind Lillian Gish that adorns the dust jackets of many Slide books. Slide is more of a critic than a historian or scholar and unfortunately he tends to be the Rex Reed of silent movie writers. Typical Slide views are his dissmissal of Greta Garbo's films while spending one of the largest chapters praising his personal friend starlet Mary Brian to the heavens. Miss Brian was quite a beauty and well-loved in the industry but she was in no way a great star and was not at all a good actress.Read more ›
This book has great profiles on a lot of lesser known, but still interesting actors and actresses. Some of the profiles are several pages and are in-depth. Others are a very short page or two. Mr. Slide met more than half of the people profiled in the book. For those people, he greatly comments on how these people treated him. The book also documents their talkie careers, their career decline and their lives before their death.
The book does dish dirt on many prominent silent film people. While some of it is certainly true and deserves to be public record, sometimes he speculates on things like sexual relationships that seem unlikely (Ralph Graves and Mack Sennett!). Mr. Slide apparently finds it hard to believe that older women who live together can do so as friends not have a sexual relationship.
I don't know Mr. Slide, but he really lets his personality show through in this book. For one thing, he does not have a sense of humor. Of the comedians, he only wrote admiringly of Harold Lloyd and Alice Howell. He has very poor opinions of Mabel Normand and John Bunny. He says Bunny's comedy "contains
nothing creative" and "one wonders if audiences ever did laugh at his work." Chaplin, Keaton, Langdon, and Raymond Griffith are barely mentioned. Laurel & Hardy and Charley Chase are ignored. He talks of Arbuckle as if Roscoe really did rape and murder Virginia Rappe.
Mr Slide seems to remember everyone that made an anti-semetic remark to him. Surely people of this era were just as bigoted toward blacks and other ethnic groups. Yet D.W.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Along with William K. Everson and Kevin Brownlow, I consider Anthony Slide to be one of the "Big Three" of film historians. Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by Ellen Asleson
In just one chapter of his novel, Answered Prayers, Truman Capote trashed his high-society gal pals...his "Beautiful Swans. Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by D.J. Stroud
This book is a storehouse of information on actors and actresses of the silent film era. A time when one had to possess the talent for acting and not depend on computer generated... Read morePublished on December 16, 2008 by Jane Austen
This book is wonderful for those of us who collect books on the silent cinema however, if you're looking for the big stars this might not be the book for you. Read morePublished on December 27, 2005 by T. Miller
I was a little disappointed with this book. It contained too many personal and general comments. Mary Brian is a friend and so she gets a glowing description of her ability. Read morePublished on June 13, 2005 by Peter Evans
I found this book extremely interesting. Mr. Slade profiled a large number of silent actors ranging from the obscure (the queen of the extras Bess Flowers) to the semi-famous (the... Read morePublished on May 16, 2005 by G.I Gurdjieff
An amusing bit of fluff for those unfamiliar with silent stars but I was stunned by the number of factual errors (dates, film titles, names)--especially for someone with so many... Read morePublished on October 3, 2004 by Aunt Charlotte
Ok, so maybe the idea of actor Ralph Graves and comedy director Mack Sennett in bed together in the 1920s seems a bit far-fetched, but who is to say whether or not it actually... Read morePublished on July 12, 2004 by J. Rose
Anthony Slide is an English film critic who specializes in early Hollyood. In this book he has 100 chapters devoted to the lives and careers of 100 silent movie actors. Read morePublished on June 25, 2004 by C. M Mills