From the first moving pictures (the Lumière brothers’ 1895 L’arrivé d’un train), early westerns, fantastic pictures, and nickelodeons all the way through the golden age of silent film in the 1920s, this book covers the first three decades of the moving picture around the world.
In America, we witness the birth of Hollywood, circa 1910, where film quickly became a powerful industry and D. W. Griffith put American cinema on the map; later, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton developed a new language of visual comedy while eccentrics like Erich von Stroheim and Cecil B. DeMille turned cinema into a high art form and show biz respectively, and sex symbols like Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo heated up the screens.
Meanwhile, in Europe, German directors such as Ernst Lubitsch and Fritz Lang were establishing their careers and Russian greats Eisenstein and Pudovkin were already revolutionizing a nascent art form. At the end of the 1920s the very first "talkies," albeit rudimentary ones, brutally crushed the silent art, but by 1930 sound masterpieces such as Sternberg’s The Blue Angel and Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front were produced. This exploration of the founding years of cinema offers a fascinating perspective on a period in movie history that is far too often overlooked in our times.
Film entries include:
• Film stills and production photos
• Cast/crew listings
• Useful information on technical stuff
• Actor and director bios