Saturday, August 18, 2012

Frank Thompson's "The Commentary Track"

"Frank Thompson [is] a prolific author and
film historian of the first rank." - Leonard Maltin
Frank Thompson is an acclaimed film historian and author with more than forty books and hundreds of articles, interviews and reviews to his credit. He has also worked as a writer for television, contributed commentary to various DVDs, and has produced, written and/or directed several documentaries.

For fans of Louise Brooks, Thompson is familiar as the author of the William Wellman (Scarecrow Press, 1983), first book about the director of Wings, The Public Enemy and A Star is Born, among other films. One of those films, of course, was Beggars of Life, starring Louise Brooks. Thompson is also the co-author, with John Andrew Gallagher, of a forthcoming book, Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William A. Wellman.

Recently, Thompson started a new venture - "The Commentary Track," a weekly podcast featuring conversations with leading film historians, archivists, actors and filmmakers on all aspects of film history. Each of these freely available and highly recommended podcasts last about an hour. In them, Thompson and his guests swap Hollywood stories and celebrate the great movies – and movie makers – of the 20th Century.

Thompson, the author of Lost Films: Important Movies That Disappeared (Citadel), has also penned books on Henry King, Robert Wise and early film-making in Texas. He has an obvious love for early Hollywood. And that's just what some of his guests - like Kevin Brownlow, Rudy Behlmer, John Bengtson, Marilyn Moss and others - have been discussing on "The Commentary Track." Others, like composer Carl Davis and writer Randy Skretvedt, will be heard in the coming weeks.

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