SILENTS TO SOUND: A History of the Movies by Juliet P. Schoen

SILENTS TO SOUND: A History of the Movies

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Starting back with Thomas Alva Edison and pausing now and then to acknowledge foreign contributions to the state of the art, Schoen reviews the history of ""the movies"" through ""artistic"" D. W. Griffith and Citizen Kane, silent comics and flashy musicals, studio spectacles and shoestring successes, the TV eclipse and subsequent, rebounding bonanzas like The Exorcist and Towering Inferno. Schoen awards due attention to producers, directors, and stars as well as to technical innovations and trademarks; it's hard to fault her coverage or dispute her statements (though we'd say she under-appreciates the old Hollywood's innocent vulgarity and overrates recent smash successes), but like so many YA chroniclers she is given to ridiculously pat, fatuous assessments. C. B. DeMille, for example, is defined as ""a capable but uninspired director"" and as for Gone With the Wind, though ""Interesting and highly entertaining, it nonetheless failed, to stir the emotions or add deep insights into the characters or the social structure."" Ditto for Silents to Sound--but it's not even entertainment.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1976
Publisher: Four Winds