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The Silent Comedians
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The Silent Comedians (Paperback)

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MacCann features Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon in this guide to the lives and works of the most important silent comedy movie-makers in America-the fourth in his acclaimed series, American Movies: The First Thirty Years. In twenty-eight articles reprinted from various sources, twenty-five contributors show how these five artists struggled in early years to find themselves, rise above limited circumstances, and make their entries into production at a time when Hollywood was the new frontier of the twentieth century. For each artist, MacCann includes some kind of statement by the artist himself about comic goals and methods. Contributors include James Agee, Samuel Gill, Penelope Houston, Theodore Huff, Janet E. Lorenz, Donald McCaffrey, Charles J. Maland, Daniel Moews, Graham Petrie, David Robinson, Michael Roemer, Robert E. Sherwood, Anthony Slide, William Schelly, and others. MacCann's introduction eloquently discusses the value of comedy and laments the critical tendency to prefer tragedy: "...the jolly fat clowns of comedy must more than ever be critically stretched to conform with lanky and lugubrious Hamlets in order to be worthy of praise. The celebration of the sad clown is a triumph of philosophy over art."

Film, TV & DramaFilms, cinemaHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topics Publisher: Scarecrow Press Publication Date: 28/06/1993 ISBN-13: 9780810827301  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Richard Dyer MacCann (Kansas, Stanford, Harvard) has taught at USC, Kansas, and Iowa. From 1951 to 1960 he was Hollywood correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, and from 1967 to 1976 editor of Cinema Journal. He is the author of forty published articles and twelve books, including Hollywood in Transition, Film: A Montage of Theories, and The People's Films. He has produced five works on film and two video series, including twelve half-hour illustrated lectures coordinate with the titles of the books in this series.

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