The two co-authors were among the first and for years the most outstanding camera men in the business and they seem to have developed total recall as well. Told in alternating stories, this begins at the beginning back when movie making was a ""con game"" and the successful entrepreneurs were magnificent hustlers. Making films was a dodge-em game...ducking Edison's bloodhounds from the Patent Office...illegally duplicating other people's work by blotting out their trademarks...staging events such as championship fights and passing them off as the real thing, etc. But beyond the candid camera angles with intriguing snaps of the stars (Pearl White--PeriLs of Pauline--adrift in a runaway balloon; plus Chaplin, Francis X. Bushman, Harry Cohen, Sessue Hayakawa, Barrymore, de Mille, Shirley Temple, et al.) where this book will really find its niche in film history is in the detailed explanations of technical innovations, developments...camera technique as the ""con game"" became respectable. This may reduce its popularity on a wide level but the dedicated few will find it fascinating.