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The Sound of Silence: Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786405046
ISBN-10: 078640504X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"pleasurable reading...engaging period photographs and exhaustive individual filmographies. ...detailed research, vividly recounts what it was like to be an early screen siren" -- Film & History

"recommended...a generous selection of photos" -- The Silents Majority On-Line Journal

"richly detailed and consistently interesting. ...these performers...have absorbing and entertaining stories to tell. ...excellent photographs" -- Past Times

"this compulsive collection of vivid reminiscences is a fascinating journey back to early cinema. It's the next best thing to traveling back in a time machine" -- Film Review

"well worth reading" -- Classic Images

About the Author

Fortson, Georgia's Michael G. Ankerich began interviewing former picture players about ten years ago and has contributed to Classic Images, Films of the Golden Age and Hollywood Studio Magazine.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078640504X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786405046
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,691,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This is a terrific book that leaves you wanting more. Mr. Ankerich did a fine job and I will buy just about anything written by him. This book is for anyone who has an interest in the players of the silent screen who made the transition to talkies. How many times have you wondered about a screen star and what happen to them? The only thing I wished is that it was longer.
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Format: Library Binding
Michael Ankerich's follow-up to BROKEN SILENCE is another nice achievement. Among those forgotten stars he brings out of obscurity are Hugh Carroll(?) [I'm going by memory] and Pauline Curley. Pauline Curley reportedly is in very poor health and not expected to live much longer. She just turned 94. Some of the people covered have since died. The only thing I noticed that detracts from the book is the manner in which Ankerich makes so many references to himself. He comes off as rather conceited, whether he really is or not. Overall, this is a fine job and a great service to the stars covered as well as their fans.
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Format: Library Binding
Michael Ankerich's follow-up to BROKEN SILENCE is another nice achievement. Among those forgotten stars he brings out of obscurity are Hugh Carroll(?) [I'm going by memory] and Pauline Curley. Pauline Curley reportedly is in very poor health and not expected to live much longer. She just turned 94. Some of the people covered have since died. The only thing I noticed that detracts from the book is the manner in which Ankerich makes so many references to himself. He comes off as rather conceited, whether he really is or not. Overall, this is a fine job and a great service to the stars covered as well as their fans.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike a previous reviewer, I don't find author Michael Ankerich conceited at all. I'm not sure where that is coming from, but I will concede that if knowing a lot can constitute conceit than I guess Ankerich has every reason to be conceited.
Like the other books that I've read by Mr. Ankerich, this book is a revelation. It provides a diverse view of the transition made when movies started to talk by those who were most deeply affected. In a series of interviews, Ankerich records the perceptions and experiences of more than a dozen actors and actresses who confronted the black hole known as sound and dealt with it in their own way. A lot of those instances involved studio politics and the use of a somewhat imperfect and poorly understood new technology.
The interviewees include the more well known such as Billie Dove and Rose Hobart to the obscure Hugh Allen and supporting actor Thomas Beck. Regardless of status in the film industry, these people have a lot of interesting things to say and their stories harken back to a time that is long forgotten.
I am fairly certain that all the people interviewed are now dead as Edith Fellows and Marcia Mae Jones have died recently. This is as an even more remarkable record given that there are so few survivors of that era still alive.
This was a very interesting book and it is very well done and researched that goes far beyond and much deeper than the plot explored in the film Singing In The Rain because it is based in reality.
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