Thursday, August 17, 2017

Louise Brooks Film Series in Helsinki, Finland

Vintage dressmaker Irma Romero alerted the Louise Brooks Society to a Louise Brooks series at KAVI (the National Audiovisual Institute) in Helsinki, Finland.

Romero, a Louise Brooks devote and a longtime member of the LBS, also sent this picture of the KAVI program which features Brooks.

KAVI is set to show Beggars of Life on October 12 and 15, Diary of a Lost Girl (Kadotetun päiväkirjassa) on October 19 and 21, Prix de beaute on October 27 and 29, and Pandora’s Box (Pandoran lipas) on November 27 and December 1.

I visited the KAVI website and found this information in Finnish, authored by Kirsi Raitaranta.

Louise Brooks, kimaltava tähdenlento
12.10.2017 to 01.12.2017


Modernin tanssin merkittävässä Denishawn-tanssiryhmässä ja Broadwayn Ziegfeld Follies -revyyssä kunnostautunut Brooks (1906–1985) sai sopimuksen Paramount-yhtiölle. William Wellmanin mestariteoksessa Beggars of Life (1928) pojaksi naamioitunut Brooks pakenee murhasyytettä maankiertäjien seurassa. Vaiherikkaalla matkalla määritellään lopulta myös rakkaus, kun kovakasvoinen Oklaholma Red näkee totuuden: “I’ve heard about it – but I never seen it before. It must be love.”

Pabst löysi hehkuvan Lulunsa Howard Hawksin elokuvasta A Girl in Every Port, jonka esitimme keväällä. Pandoran lippaassa (Die Büchse der Pandora, 1929) Brooksin amoraalinen roolihahmo on viaton ja sensuelli – nainen, joka ei tunnusta rajojaan. Elokuva perustuu Franz Wedekindin näytelmiin, joissa ekspressionismi yhdistyy melodraamaan. Pabst tutki totuutta kuitenkin viileästi uusasiallisuuden hengessä, realistisesti ja vähäeleisesti tuoden samalla esiin yhteiskunnallisia epäkohtia ja kaksinaismoraalia.

Pabstin Kadotetun päiväkirjassa (Das Tagebuch einer Verlorenen, 1929) Brooks esittää viatonta tyttöä, joka saa lapsen raiskauksen seurauksena. Perhe keskittyy varjelemaan mainettaan, hylkää tytön kasvatuslaitokseen ja antaa lapsen pois. Tyttö kuitenkin karkaa ja päätyy elättämään itseään ainoaksi jäävällä vaihtoehdolla. Moraliteetti ottaa kantaa paremman luokan hurskasteluun ja näkee hyveen ”syntisissä”.   

Augusto Geninan Miss Europa (Prix de beauté, 1930) valmistui siirtymävaiheessa mykästä äänielokuvaan. Sen kerronta on kuitenkin ilmeistä mykkäelokuvaa, ja Orionissa nähdäänkin Bolognassa restauroitu mykkäversio. Brooksin esittämä Lucienne valitaan missikisoihin, ja hänelle avautuu uusia mahdollisuuksia. Mustasukkainen poikaystävä pyrkii rajoittamaan naisen elämää ja valintoja.


UPDATE 8/19/2017: Here is Irma Romero's translation of the above text in English. Thank you Irma!

Louise Brooks, a shining shooting star

Louise Brooks' career could be described as that of a shooting star as her most active part only lasted for a decade. She's best known for her work in the form of the  European collaboration with G. W. Past. She left Hollywood in such a way that left her return unsuccessful.

Having been part of the Denishawn dance group, and the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway got her noticed and landed her a contract with the Paramount Studios.

In William Wellman' s masterpiece, Beggars of Life (1928), disguised as a boy, Brooks is on a run after being accused of murder where she joins a group of traveling vagrants. On a journey full of adventures , the concept of love is also is discussed when the hard-faced Oklahoma Red sees the light: "I've heard about it- but I never see it before. It must be love."

Pabst found his Lulu in Howard Hawks' film A girl in every port, which we showed earlier in the spring. In Pandora's Box (1929), Louise Brooks' amoral character is sensual and innocent- of a woman who doesn't have limits. The film is based on Frank Wedekind's plays where expressionism meets melodrama. Pabst's cool, minimalistic and realistic approach is also a critique of society's double standards.

In Pabst's Diary of a lost girl (1929), Brooks stars as an innocent girl who gets pregnant after being raped. Her family, intent on saving their image, abandon the girl in a home and give the child away. But the girl escapes and she makes a living in the only possible way she can. The moral of the story is seeing the upper classes' superficiality and the moral higher ground and seeing the good on those who "sin".

Augusta Genina's Miss Europa ( 1930) came out during the transition from silent to talkies. But it's style seems to follow in the line of silent films, therefore Orion will be showing the restored silent Bologna copy. Brooks stars as Lucienne who is selected to participate in Miss Europe contest which opens many doors for her. A jealous boyfriend tries to control and restrict her life and choices.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Brattle Theater announces Louise Brooks screenings in September

The historic Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts (located at  40 Brattle St.) has announced a short series of screenings featuring two films starring Louise Brooks. Here are the details. Visit the Brattle Theater website for further details including ticket availability.

Beggars of Life
Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 8:30 PM
Thursday, September 7 at 6:00 PM (double bill with Diary of a Lost Girl)

New Digital Restoration!

(1928) dir William A. Wellman w/Louise Brooks, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Blue Washington, Kewpie Morgan [81 min; DCP]

An American silent film classic, BEGGARS OF LIFE stars Louise Brooks as a train-hopping hobo who dresses like a boy to survive. After escaping her violent stepfather, Nancy (Brooks) befriends kindly drifter Jim (Arlen), and they ride the rails until an encounter with a rowdy band of hoboes led by the blustery Oklahoma Red (Beery) leads to a daring, desperate conflict on top of a moving train. Based on the memoir of real-life hobo Jim Tully, and directed with adventuresome verve by William Wellman, BEGGARS OF LIFE is an essential American original. Features a new original score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.


Diary of a Lost Girl
Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 8:30 PM
Thursday, September 7 at 8:00 PM (double bill Beggars of Life)

New Digital Restoration!

(1929) dir G.W. Pabst w/Louise Brooks, André Roanne [112 min; DCP]
The second and final collaboration of actress Louise Brooks and director G.W. Pabst (Pandora’s Box), DIARY OF A LOST GIRL is a provocative adaptation of Margarethe Böhme’s notorious novel, in which the naive daughter of a middle-class pharmacist is seduced by her father’s assistant, only to be disowned and sent to a repressive home for wayward girls. She escapes, searches for her child, and ends up in a high-class brothel, only to turn the tables on the society which had abused her. It’s another tour-de-force performance by Brooks, whom silent film historian Kevin Brownlow calls an “actress of brilliance, a luminescent personality and a beauty unparalleled in screen history.” – Thomas Gladysz


Don't forget: If you see the movie, why not read my books! Each are available on amazon.com or through select independent bookstores. Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is also available through Barnes and Noble.


And if you see the movie and want to see it again, be sure and pick up a copy of the outstanding Kino Lorber DVDs or Blu-ray. Each features an audio commentary by me, Thomas Gladysz, and each is available through amazon.com


Monday, August 14, 2017

NitrateVille Radio podcast features Louise Brooks & Beggars of Life

The latest NitrateVille Radio podcast with Mike Gebert features an interview with yours truly (Thomas Gladysz) about the new DVD / Blu-ray release, Beggars of Life (1928), starring Louise Brooks. Here is some further information about the podcast and how to listen.

....

NitrateVille Radio Episode 10: Cinecon, with Stan Taffel and Michael Schlesinger • Beggars of Life, with author Thomas Gladysz

I went to France and all I got was a cold, but the podcast must go on, so in this episode I talk about one of the top festivals of the year, coming over Labor Day weekend, and a major silent film video release coming out August 22.

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(01:58) Labor Day weekend brings the 53rd annual Cinecon in Hollywood, and I talk to Stan Taffel and returning guest Michael Schlesinger about how they dig through the studio vaults to find rarities to show at Los Angeles' best fest for the film buff who's seen everything. They talk about working with the studios to identify titles for restoration and making sure those restorations actually get seen, and about guests like Norman Lloyd, Patricia Morrison and Marsha Hunt, our last links to the golden age of Hollywood.

Here's the link to the Cinecon site, for tickets, the schedule, hotel info and more. Here's the Cinecon Facebook page.

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(24:13) A stark, exciting tale of hobo life, starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen and Louise Brooks (disguised as a boy), Beggars of Life was William Wellman's followup to his big hit Wings and one of those great late silents from the last moment (1928) the form would exist. Kino Lorber's release of the George Eastman House restoration, with music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, is a vast improvement on grey market releases and allows this film to be seen as it should be.

Thomas Gladysz, founder of the Louise Brooks Society (an acclaimed scholarly fan page that has existed since 1995), provides a commentary track on the Kino release and has also written a companion book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film. I talk to him about this film, which among other things, stands out as Brooks' best work in America and likely the film that attracted the attention of G.W. Pabst for Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

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Here's the Kino blu-ray and DVD, which will be released August 22. Here's Gladysz's book, available now.

Listen above, or subscribe at iTunes, Soundcloud, or Stitcher on your mobile device, to make sure you hear every episode.

https://soundcloud.com/user-368963594/10-cinecon-beggars-of-life-with-author-thomas-gladysz

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Early reviews of Beggars of Life, the book and DVD (starring Louise Brooks)

Both the KINO Lorber DVD / Blu-ray of Beggars of Life, as well as my book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, are receiving good early reviews.


Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant wrote that the new Beggars of Life DVD was "A happy discovery!" and "a major late-silent-era gem on the order of Von Sternberg’s Docks of New York," adding it "has a rich pre-Code feel." Erickson noted, "It’s also a key movie in our education/adoration of the maverick actress Louise Brooks, the erotic sensation too hot and too independent for Hollywood," and stated, "Kino and their producers Robert Sweeney and Bret Wood have given us an exemplary disc of a great silent movie."

Regarding the bonus material, Erickson added, "Two academic commentaries are in place. William Wellman Jr.’s track is of course centered on his father’s career, while Thomas Gladysz of the Louise Brooks Society, takes his commentary into star-worship mode. Gladysz also contributed a track for Kino’s Diary of a Lost Girl, and is no slouch with the facts. It’s a very good listen."

Gary Tooze of DVDBeaver also reviewed the new KINO Lorber release, stating that Beggars of Life was "An American silent film classic" and "an essential American original," while adding " I was very impressed. I thought it was quite brilliant.... Very strongly recommended!"

DVDBeaver had this to say about my contribution: "Kino adds two commentaries - the first by William Wellman, Jr. who discusses his director father and the making of the film. I thoroughly enjoyed all the details exported in the second commentary by Thomas Gladysz, founding director of the Louise Brooks Society. It is fascinating."


My new book, Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film, has also been receiving good reviews. By the way, the book is available on amazon.com as well as through select independent bookstores.

"I can say (with head bowed modestly) that I know more about the career of director William A. Wellman than pretty much anybody anywhere -- always excepting my friend and co-author John Gallagher -- but there are things in Thomas Gladysz's new book on Wellman's Beggars of Life that I didn't know. More important, the writing is so good and the research so deep that even when I was reading about facts that were familiar to me, I was enjoying myself hugely." — Frank Thompson, co-author of the forthcoming Nothing Sacred: The Cinema of William Wellman

"Beggars of Life: A Companion to the 1928 Film is a quick, satisfying read, illustrated with promotional material, posters and stills as well as press clippings. In these pages, Gladysz takes us through the making and the reception of the film and clears up a few mysteries too.... Beggars of Life is a fascinating movie, made by some of the silent film industry's most colourful characters. This highly readable book will deepen your enjoyment and understanding of a silent Hollywood classic." — Pamela Hutchinson, Silent London

"I cannot help but give this an enthusiastic two thumbs up.  It really is the perfect companion, before or after you have seen the film.  The volume might be slim, but, it is packed with information and rare photographs.  It has been impeccably researched and beautifully executed.... This is a thorough examination of the film from start to finish and written in a breezy style that is not only informative, it is a very entertaining read." — Donna Hill, Strictly Vintage Hollywood

"Read your book. I love it. It is thorough and extremely interesting. The art work is compelling." — William Wellman, Jr., author of Wild Bill Wellman


courtesy of DVDBeaver

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

To Save Lulu, a poem by Charlotte Mandel

Just recently, I was alerted to a poem, "To Save Lulu" by Charlotte Mandel, which I came across on Mezzo Cammin: a Journal of Formal Poetry by Women, where it was first published.

To Save Lulu

Watching Louise Brooks as Lulu in Pandora's Box, 1929

All I need is a sharp-spined umbrella
to shelter her helmet of short black hair,
her tottering grace on little girl pumps
out from the crowded pub reeking of spilled
porter, damp wool, weeks-old sweat, the hoarse rasp
of cockney: "Take Me To the Garden, Maude"
slurred bass "Shut it you gobs"   slammed fists   Swung door
into night's grainy fog gaslights glow of decay

I shiver in my thin hoodie and Nikes
hands bare useless
                          Man-shape of sooty mold
follows the wavering dance of the girl's form
graceful even as she trips on wet cobbles

Two shadows blend into darkness—her door
opens   clangs shut   this is how she's earning
her living she will be bloodied by Jack
killer stabbings and
                         if only I'd got
to him in the street
                         if only I could
pierce the screen with a sharp-spined umbrella


I wrote to the author, who responded "I was introduced to Louise Brooks by an article by H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) in the avant garde magazine Close Up - the article is titled “An Appreciation” writing about director Pabst then working on Pandora’s Box. Likely you’re familiar with Close Up - H.D.’s article is reprinted in: Close-Up 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism. (Ed. Anne Friedberg, James Donald, and Laura Marcus. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1998)." Mandel added "As an H.D. scholar, I’ve published a series of articles on the role of cinema in the life and work of H.D. Some are online on the H.D. Society website: http://www.imagists.org/hd/abouthd.html".

Charlotte Mandel's tenth book of poetry, To Be the Daylight, is forthcoming this year from White Violet Press, imprint of Kelsay Books. Previous titles include Through a Garden Gate with color photographs by Vincent Covello, published by David Robert Books, and two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision—The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob. Her awards include the New Jersey Poets Prize and two fellowships in poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She edited the Eileen W. Barnes Award Anthology, Saturday's Women. Critical essays include articles on the role of cinema in the life and work of H.D., on Muriel Rukeyser, May Sarton and others. Visit her at www.charlottemandel.com.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Film Forum announces Louise Brooks series in the Fall

Film Forum in New York City (located at 209 West Houston St. west of 6th Ave.) has announced a upcoming series of films featuring Louise Brooks. The series is set to take place in the Fall. Each film will feature live musical accompaniment by long-time Film Forum silent film composer and pianist Steve Sterner. HERE are the details.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
Sunday, September 17 at 3:00 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Louise Brooks is the “lost girl” wronged by circumstances and cast off first into a reformatory, then a Berlin brothel, where she’s spiritually and emotionally liberated. DCP. Approx. 112 min.

BEGGARS OF LIFE
Tuesday, September 19 at 7:00 pm
(1928, William A. Wellman) On the run after killing a molesting stepfather, dressed-as-a-boy Louise Brooks is befriended by Richard Arlen and falls in with Wallace Beery’s band of hoboes. Long-thought-lost silent classic, with Brooks’ best pre-German work and dazzling location work on speeding trains. DCP. Approx. 81 min.

PANDORA’S BOX
Sunday, October 1 at 6:40 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Sex in the City – Berlin, 1928: in the wake of Louise’s patent leather-bobbed Lulu, men set up expensive love nests, ruin themselves gambling, commit brutal murders, and kill themselves; as she moves from kept woman to headlining showgirl, lesbian love interest, widow in mourning, fugitive from the law, and possible sex slave, amid a bustling backdrop of Weimar Germany. 35mm. Approx. 109 min.

DIARY OF A LOST GIRL
Saturday, October 14 at 3:10 pm
(1929, G.W. Pabst) Louise Brooks is the “lost girl” wronged by circumstances and cast off first into a reformatory, then a Berlin brothel, where she’s spiritually and emotionally liberated. DCP. Approx. 112 min.



Monday, August 7, 2017

A Peek at Pamela Hutchinson's New Book on Pandora's Box

Speaking of books . . . . Pamela Hutchinson's new book on the 1929 Louise Brooks film, Pandora's Box, has been announced and is now listed on amazon (in the UK and USA and elsewhere including amazon France and Germany). I also expect it will be available in bookstores.

Pamela Hutchinson's new book is a short book at 93 pages, but I expect it will be packed with information. The book is being published by the British Film Institute and will be released in Europe on November 21, and in the United States on December 19, 2017. Pamela noted in a Facebook post that she expects screenings to take place in the UK in coordination with the book's release.

The book description on amazon reads:

"Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1929), starring Hollywood icon Louise Brooks, is an established classic of the silent era. Pamela Hutchinson revisits and challenges many assumptions made about the film, its lead character and its star. Putting the film in historical and contemporary contexts, Hutchinson investigates how the film speaks to new audiences."

Pamela Hutchinson, who I have had the pleasure to meet on a couple of occasions (once in London, and once in San Francisco), is the Editor of Silent London, and writes on early and silent film for the Guardian newspaper and Sight & Sound magazine. The latter, by-the-way, also published work by Louise Brooks.

I encourage everyone to pre-order a copy of this important new book today! I already have.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Some more snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection

My last post, featuring some snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection, was so well received that I decided to reprise it with some more images. This is a visual bouquet, but I will add a few comments here and there.

These first four images of various book spines all contain some interesting detail, like the swastika symbol on The Squaw Man, the portrait of director Rex Ingram on the Scaramouch, the three movie stars on Imitation of Life, and the notation of "Billie Burke Edition" on The Mind the Paint Girl.



This book, Tess of the Storm Country, is not a photoplay edition, just an old illustrated book. BUT, it is signed by the author and the star of the film made from the book. That makes it unusual. To me, it is curious that this book was signed and dated three years after the film was made. I haven't been able to track down anything on "John A Thomas".



Here are a bunch of attractive covers from some swell films. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea describes itself as a special "Submarine Edition."
 







I am especially pleased to have found a number of small press books, or books not published by Grosset & Dunlap or A.L. Burt, the usual publisher of photoplay books. Here are some examples.







And then there are these cherished Baby Peggy books. I adore this diminutive actress and her films, and am honored to know her. And yes, she did autograph my books.



Here are a few that caught my eye when I found them. Chances are I purchased these in some old dusty bookshop, or from Emil Petaja, who sold off much of his collection long before I got to it. The "Photo Drama Edition" of The Eagle's Mate (pictured below) has an illustrated binding as well as pictorial end papers. Nifty! 




And here are some other favorites. Besides Thomas Hardy, I also have a couple of Willa Cather and Edith Frome photoplay editions.





I will end with this pic of three softcover photoplay editions (published by Jacobsen Hodgkinson), followed by two in the "Little Big" series (published by the Saalfield Publishing Company of Akron, Ohio).


p.s. A few years back, I mounted an exhibit of some of my film related books at the San Francisco Public Library. The exhibit was called "Reading the Stars," and I wrote about it on the San Francisco Chronicle website, SFGate. Check out my article HERE. It contains a few more nifty illustrations.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Some snapshots and scans of my photoplay book collection

Having recently moved, I have finally had the chance to get all of my photoplay editions out of boxes and onto some shelves. And here they are....


I am keeping my Louise Brooks related photoplays (Beggars of Life, Canary Murder Case, and others) with my Louise Brooks related books, which constitute two other bookcases. Perhaps sometime in the future I will snap a picture or two of those cases.


I am note sure how many I have, but while shelving I did uncover a few duplicates which I plan to sell. That should reduce the collection.... My collection is organized by film title (not book title, which sometimes appears on the spine). Along with the Brooks-related titles, I also have a few John Gilbert and Greta Garbo and Clara Bow and Eric von Stroheim photoplays, as well as a number in dust jacket (a scarce thing, and the determining factor in a book's value). A number of my prize possessions came from the collection of the late collector Emil Petaja (who was a dear friend). Emil also authored the first ever book on the subject, Photoplay Edition, back in 1975). I have Emil to "blame" for my interest in this genre.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on Photoplay editions, which I wrote a few years back:

Photoplay edition refers to movie tie-in books of the silent film and early sound era at a time when motion pictures were known as "photoplays". Typically, photoplay editions were reprints of novels additionally illustrated with scenes from a film production. Less typically, photoplay editions were novelizations of films, where the film script was fictionalized in narrative form. Today, vintage photoplay editions are sought after by film buffs, bibliophiles, and collectors.
The first photoplay editions were published around 1912, and as a genre, they reached their height in the 1920s and 1930s. Thousands of different titles were issued in the United States. Most photoplays were published in hardback by companies like Grosset & Dunlap or A.L. Burt, and some in soft cover by companies like Jacobsen Hodgkinson. Similar movie related books were also published in England, France and elsewhere.

Typically, photoplay editions of the 1920s and 1930s contained stills and/or a dust jacket featuring artwork or actors from a film. Deluxe editions might also contain a special binding, illustrated end papers, or rarely, a written introduction by the star of the film. Sometimes, the spine or cover of the book will note the edition is a "photoplay edition."

Illustrated movie tie-in books continued to be published though the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s. Today, novels published in conjunction with the release of a film will often feature an actor or actress on the cover of the book, but without the interior illustrations.

Today, the most sought after photoplays are those tie-in editions for favorite films such as Dracula, Frankenstein and King Kong, or lost films such as London After Midnight. Other collectors search for books featuring individuals stars, like Louise Brooks or Rudolph Valentino. Published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1927, The General is today one of the most sought after of photoplay books. Not only did the Joseph Warren novel make its first appearance in print as a photoplay, but the book is the only photoplay edition to feature film star Buster Keaton.

Among the highlights of my collection are a handful of autographed photoplay editions including books signed by Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and Baby Peggy. I also have a handful of variants. For example, I have three different photoplay editions of Under Two Flags (different formats and bindings and endpapers), and two different editions of The Virginian (both the 1923 silent and the 1929 talkie with Gary Cooper).

I have a few petite English hardcover photoplays of American films, some French softcover photoplays of American films, and a scarce German copy of Fritz Lang's Das Nibelungen. One of the oddest books is also one of the most recent issued in my collection. I have a 1982 softcover edition of The Story of Gosta Berling with Garbo on the cover. (The book, which may or may not be a pirated edition, is in English but may have been printed in Sweden?) When I asked the acclaimed poet Robert Bly to sign this copy -- he translated Selma Lagerlof's novel -- he exclaimed that he had never seen this edition before and wondered about its origin. Nevertheless, he was gracious enough to sign my copy.

Most of my collection focuses on the silent era. However, I also have a few photoplays of early talkies. How could I resist a photoplay with a youthful Barbara Stanwyck on the cover? Among the oddest sound-era titles is Her Unborn Child, the novelization of the 1930 Windsor Talking Picture film. (The book was issued by the equally obscure World Wide Publishing Company.) The film was subject to controversy and censorship, as it deals with premarital pregnancy. The film also marked the film debut of Elisha Cook, Jr., who is listed in the cast at the beginning of the book.

I am especially proud of my small collection of softcover books published Jacobsen Hodgkinson. Printed on pulpy paper, these hybrid books / magazines are especially fragile. I have a couple dozen of them which can be seen in the images below. Another fragile sub-genre were the children's photoplays published by companies best known for making board games: I have a couple of deluxe hardcover photoplays published by the Milton Bradley Company featuring stars Madge Bellamy (Lorna Doone) and Miriam Cooper (Evangeline). Another nifty kids-related photoplay which I own is Little Robinson Crusoe, starring Jackie Coogan and published by the Charles Renard Company in 1925. Here are a couple of scans which suggest why I adore these old books.




I have always collected on a budget, so don't own anything especially valuable. I collect according to my interest in the silent era, especially its forgotten corners. Another unusual title, the brown cloth hardback seen below, is titled Little Stories from the Screen. It is a 1917 collection of illustrated short stories which were turned into films. Among them is actor House Peters, Sr. as the "Cave Man" in The Heir of the Ages. Such unusualness is why I collect such books. They reveal the unusualness of the silent film era.



p.s. A few years back, I mounted an exhibit of some of my film related books at the San Francisco Public Library. The exhibit was called "Reading the Stars," and I wrote about it on the San Francisco Chronicle website, SFGate. Check out my article HERE. It contains a few more nifty illustrations.
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