For the first time ever, here is the epic story of the transition from silent films to talkies - that moment when movies were totally transformed and the American public cemented its love affair with Hollywood. In the Speed of Sound, author Scott Eyman, whose biography of filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch was hailed as "resoundingly wonderful, " has created a mixture of cultural and social history that is at once both scholarly and vastly entertaining. Here is the first and last word on the missing chapter in the history of Hollywood, the ribbon of dreams by which America conquered the world. Myth has it that it happened overnight, that Al Jolson said a few words in The Jazz Singer and the talkies were born, that stars with weak or inappropriate voices either killed themselves or went into seclusion, that the movie industry simply refitted itself and went on with business. The truth, however, is more involved - not to mention sinister, colorful, and entertaining. Sound was something the industry had resisted, and it was accepted only reluctantly and only after the Warner Bros. Studio had forced the issue with its aggressive selling of The Jazz Singer. But that was 1927, and for a long time afterward there were still those filmmakers, film stars, and even some filmgoers who resisted the appealing novelty. Change, however, was inevitable, and when it came it was devastating. As Scott Eyman demonstrates in his fascinating account of this exciting era, it was a time when fortunes, careers, and lives were made and lost, when the American film industry came fully into its own, and when the American film-going public truly succumbed to Hollywood's bewitching spell.
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Nowadays the "talkie" seems, like some other technological breakthroughs, to have obliterated its less-advanced predecessor, the silent movie, in one fell swoop. The reality, of course, is more complex. As Scott Eyman writes in his prologue to The Speed of Sound, "To examine this period of unparalleled industrial change, it is necessary to reverse the perspective, to give a fair, detailed idea of what silents were like to the people who made and watched them, and how talkies permanently changed the creative and personal equations." Eyman's eye-opening book fulfills this mission. He focuses on just five years--1926 through 1930--but tells the story on many levels. We learn about the technology, the details of actors' and technicians' lives, the elaborate business machinations associated with the rise of sound, and the resulting transformation of not just the movies but Hollywood itself. The Speed of Sound fills a gap in any film buff's library.About the Author:
SCOTT EYMAN is the books editor for the Palm Beach Post. He is the author of books on Mary Pickford, Ernst Lubitsch, and John Ford, among other books. He lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, with his wife.
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Descripción Simon & Schuster, U.S.A., 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. NEW. In stock NY USA. Nº de ref. de la librería 15JULHH0308
Descripción Simon & Schuster, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. New first edition, cloth signed and inscribed. The best book on the transition from silent film to sound. Signed by Author(s). Nº de ref. de la librería 1319
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