Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Broken Silence: Conversations with 23 Silent Film Stars by: Michael Ankerich

Published:  May 28th, 1993
Broken Silence: Conversation with 23 Silent Film Stars
By: Michael G. Ankerich
McFarland and Company
ISBN-13:  9780899508351

The silent film era is brought to life in this collection of interviews with 23 stars of the silent era: Lew Ayres, Madge Bellamy, Junior Coghlan, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Dorothy Gulliver, Maxine Elliott Hicks and 17 others.


     Seeing as this is not my usual YA fiction, the format of this review is a little different than most of the ones that I do for this blog.  I am very into film history, especially silent film history.  I believe that those were the best days to be working independently in the movie business and that's when stars were really made.  I was very interested to read a book that has interviews and first-hand accounts of that era, from people that were actually there.  I was definitely excited that he was able to share interviews with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Madge Bellamy.  All twenty three stars had something fun to reminisce about and I was happy to read their stories about becoming/being film stars.  A major disappointment for me was the lack of overall content in this book.  A lot of the book was comprised of footnotes and individually complete filmography of all of the stars.  Considering the fact that a good portion of the films in the footnotes probably don't even exist anymore, it was like having a carrot dangled in front of you while you're starving.  It was just plain cruel.  I enjoyed the idea of such a book, but it wasn't as all encompassing as I'd hoped.  It was an interesting read and worth the time of any silent film nut who is interested in the forgotten stars of the era.  If you're busy looking for familiar faces, I wouldn't bother.

VERDICT:  3.5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*

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