The famous, the infamous, and the unjustly forgotten—all receive their due in this biographical dictionary of the people who have made Chicago one of the world’s great cities. Here are the life stories—provided in short, entertaining capsules—of Chicago’s cultural giants as well as the industrialists, architects, and politicians who literally gave shape to the city. Jane Addams, Al Capone, Willie Dixon, Harriet Monroe, Louis Sullivan, Bill Veeck, Harold Washington, and new additions Saul Bellow, Harry Caray, Del Close, Ann Landers, Walter Payton, Koko Taylor, and Studs Terkel—Chicago Portraits tells you why their names are inseparable from the city they called home.
Charlie Chaplin is universally hailed as the greatest comedic talent in the history of motion pictures. And yet Chaplin's early efforts-which account for more than half of his total output-are often overlooked in favor of his later films. In 1914 Chaplin appeared in a total of 35 films for the Keystone Film Company; the following year he signed with the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, where he wrote, directed and starred in more than a dozen short comedies. Though the resulting pictures were frequently crude and erratic, they reveal the emergence of a formidable comic genius. "Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp" is a film-by-film examination of this period in Chaplin's career, tracing the birth of his beloved 'Tramp" character and his evolution as an actor and filmmaker. Also discussed are how these movies have been re-edited, recopied, reissued and retitled over the years, with a special section that matches pseudonym titles to their original source film. "Charlie Chaplin at Keystone and Essanay: Dawn of the Tramp" is a fascinating look at the first celluloid steps taken by this legendary laughmaker, and is a must for all Chaplin fans, old and new.
Silent films were, of course, never silent at all. However, the sound that used to accompany the screen picture in the early days of cinema has been neglected as an area of study. Altman explores the various musical, narrative, and even synchronized sound systems that enriched cinema before Jolson spoke.
This comprehensive film guide lists the screen credits and provides synopses of more than 5,400 silent western features, documentaries, shorts and serials released from the 1890s through 1930. These westerns came from both the major and lesser known American film studios, many long defunct. Four appendices include a list of all the serials included in the book, a list of all the northern westerns, a list of the titles and stars of the major western series, and a list of the important western epics. The work is completed with an actor/director/screenwriter index.
The Los Angeles area feels almost alive with movie history. It is impossible to walk down any neighborhood block that didn’t play host to movie history on some level. From Chaplin walking Hollywood sidewalks in 1915 to the Three Stooges running down Culver City streets in 1930 to westerns filmed in the Valley in the 1950’s, the area has been the background for thousands of films and home to millions of movie people. Historical documents, census records, movie studio and institutional archives, and personal writings have all been scoured in order to compile the most exhaustive and complete Hollywood address listing ever compiled.
Sound has always been an integral component of the moviegoing experience. Even during the so-called “silent era,” motion pictures were regularly accompanied by live music, lectures, and sound effects. Today, whether we listen to movies in booming Dolby theaters or on tiny laptop speakers, sonic elements hold our attention and guide our emotional responses. Yet few of us are fully aware of the tremendous collaborative work, involving both artistry and technical wizardry, required to create that cinematic soundscape. Sound, the latest book in the Behind the Silver Screen series, introduces key concepts, seminal moments, and pivotal figures in the development of cinematic sound. Each of the book’s six chapters cover a different era in the history of Hollywood, from silent films to the digital age, and each is written by an expert in that period. Together, the book’s contributors are able to explore a remarkable range of past and present film industry practices, from the hiring of elocution coaches to the marketing of soundtrack records. Not only does the collection highlight the achievements of renowned sound designers and film composers like Ben Burtt and John Williams, it also honors the unsung workers whose inventions, artistry, and performances have shaped the soundscapes of many notable movies. After you read Sound, you’ll never see—or hear—movies in quite the same way. Sound is a volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series—other titles in the series include Acting; Animation; Art Direction and Production Design; Cinematography; Costume, Makeup, and Hair; Directing; Editing and Special Visual Effects; Producing; and Screenwriting.