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Douglas Fairbanks

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Douglas Fairbanks Cover

ISBN13: 9780520256675
ISBN10: 0520256670
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Review-A-Day

"Fairbanks was born in 1883, and to coincide with his 125th birthday, an ambitious book — Douglas Fairbanks, by Jeffrey Vance with Tony Maietta — has just been published. At times it approaches hagiography, but it tells you a lot about its hero, and it's generously illustrated — crucial for a performer whose impact was so overwhelmingly physical." Robert Gottlieb, The New York Review of Books (read the entire New York Review of Books review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"The heedless ambition of youth. The triumphs of maturity, redefining our ideas of fame, fortune and international celebrity. The sad aimlessness of the aging male, stripped of his powers over his formerly adoring audience. It is the archetypal Hollywood story, maybe the archetypal American story. And Jeffrey Vance tells it with verve and compassion and admirable compression in his handsomely illustrated biography of Douglas Fairbanks. It is a book that restores his subject to his rightful place as the American movies' founding Big Brother—shrewd, playful, flawed and endlessly fascinating."—Richard Schickel

"Over the years I have had an interest in Douglas Fairbanks' life and films before reading Jeffrey Vance's book. I was delighted to find that the research was admirable, the detail abundant, and the style devoid of pretense and heavy-handed scholarship. The book reads gracefully with a wonderful sense of 'and then what happened?' And a great deal does happen to the inimitable Doug along the way. His cinema world of high adventure, storybook romance, cloak and sword derring-do, and dazzling acrobatics against spectacular settings are all here in the text and in the abundance of extraordinary photos—many quite rare. A first-rate book."—Rudy Behlmer, film historian and author

"Douglas Fairbanks was one of the most important characters in film history, and this enthusiastic and well-researched book will tell you why."—Kevin Brownlow, filmmaker and film historian

Synopsis:

"The heedless ambition of youth. The triumphs of maturity, redefining our ideas of fame, fortune and international celebrity. The sad aimlessness of the aging male, stripped of his powers over his formerly adoring audience. It is the archetypal Hollywood story, maybe the archetypal American story. And Jeffrey Vance tells it with verve and compassion and admirable compression in his handsomely illustrated biography of Douglas Fairbanks. It is a book that restores his subject to his rightful place as the American movies' founding Big Brother--shrewd, playful, flawed and endlessly fascinating."--Richard Schickel

"Over the years I have had an interest in Douglas Fairbanks' life and films before reading Jeffrey Vance's book. I was delighted to find that the research was admirable, the detail abundant, and the style devoid of pretense and heavy-handed scholarship. The book reads gracefully with a wonderful sense of 'and then what happened?' And a great deal does happen to the inimitable Doug along the way. His cinema world of high adventure, storybook romance, cloak and sword derring-do, and dazzling acrobatics against spectacular settings are all here in the text and in the abundance of extraordinary photos--many quite rare. A first-rate book."--Rudy Behlmer, film historian and author

"Douglas Fairbanks was one of the most important characters in film history, and this enthusiastic and well-researched book will tell you why."--Kevin Brownlow, filmmaker and film historian

Synopsis:

This deft amalgam of biography, film history, and analysis is a superb portrait of a true pioneer who was critically important to the creation of cinema as the defining art form of the twentieth century. Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) was one of the first film superstars, a screenwriter, a major independent producer during the early studio era, a cofounder of United Artists, a founder and the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and much more. The optimism, energy, and huge success during the 1920s of his best-remembered films The Mark of Zorro, Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, and The Black Pirate made Fairbanks a popular hero throughout the world and showcased his talents as a creative producer whose work set the standard for excellence.

Douglas Fairbanks takes the full measure of Fairbanks's remarkable life. Jeffrey Vance, who had complete access to the star's personal and professional papers and scrapbooks, also incorporates 237 photographs, some unseen for more than seventy-five years. Extensively researched, engagingly written, and sumptuously designed, the book goes behind Fairbanks's public persona to thoroughly explore his art and his far-reaching influence.

Copub: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

About the Author

Jeffrey Vance is a film historian, producer, and lecturer as well as the author of an acclaimed trilogy of books on the great triumvirate of silent-film comedy: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema, Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (with Suzanne Lloyd), and Buster Keaton Remembered (with Eleanor Keaton).

Table of Contents

Prologue

A Bad Case of St. Vitus Dance

The Machine for Escape

Doug: Hero and Popular Philosopher

Pickfair

United Artists

Making His Mark: The Mark of Zorro (1920)

The Great Leap: The Three Musketeers (1921)

Scaling the Heights: Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood (1922) 123

Apogee: The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

The Son Also Rises: Don Q Son of Zorro (1925)

and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Derring-Do: The Black Pirate (1926)

Darkness Falls: Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho (1927)

Hail and Farewell: The Iron Mask (1929)

Sound and Fury: Taming of the Shrew (1929) and Marital Strife

Sliding Downhill

Notes

Douglas Fairbanks Filmography

Douglas Fairbankss Broadway Appearances, 1902–1915

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Hera, February 12, 2014 (view all comments by Hera)
'Douglas Fairbanks ' is a remarkable biography as well as an enthralling history of early Hollywood . The stars were beautiful and treated like gods and goddesses . Some ,like the dashing Fairbanks ,became millionaires ,acquiring extravagant jewels ,cars, mansions and estates , while others foolishly became involved with drugs ,risky relationships and gambling .Many beloved stars like Fatty Arbuckle were brought down by sex scandals . Fairbanks's career was one of film history's most successful , until the fear of aging out of his swashbuckling roles led him to turn to alcohol . He ended his marriage to Mary Pickford for a much younger woman ,further damaging his box office appeal . This book is quite beautiful ,with many rare silent era photos, and is a pleasure for any reader interested in silent films and it's actors .
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Gold Gato, April 12, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
Oh boy, did I enjoy this terrific bio of Douglas Fairbanks and his flicks. I started the book knowing next-to-zero about the great Silent Screen superstar and walked away with a flurry of information which made me admire the star as an entertainer and cinematic genius.

Unlike most biographies, which throw some hearsay reviews on movies into a written page, Jeffrey Vance has done a masterful job of taking us through each of the Fairbanks films, so we see his rise and eventual decline. As a cinemagoer, I had heard about the great Fairbanks epics of the 1920s, but I had no clue he was an adept comedian on stage and screen during the WWI years.

Fairbanks was the first person to really understand how movies had changed after WWI, and he adapted brilliantly. Although he had 'directors' on his movies, it was Fairbanks who was really in charge from start to finish. So now to Chaplin and Chaney and Keaton, I add the Great Fairbanks, or 'Doug', as he was called. Thankfully, living in the Golden State where we still treasure silent movies with special theatres, I will now have the chance to see his epics on the silver screen.

BTW, get the printed edition...it's heavy enough to knock someone out, so you get a book and tool all-in-one.

Book Season = Summer
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View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520256675
Author:
Vance, Jeffrey
Publisher:
University of California Press
With:
Maietta, Tony
Editor:
Cushman, Robert
Author:
Maietta, Tony
Author:
Cushman, Robert
Subject:
Motion picture actors and actresses
Subject:
United states
Subject:
General
Subject:
Film & Video - General
Subject:
Theater - General
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Actors & Actresses
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Movie Directors
Subject:
Fairbanks, Douglas
Subject:
Film - General
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
237 duotones
Pages:
376
Dimensions:
10 x 7 x 1.13 in 2.11 lb

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Douglas Fairbanks New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$66.95 Backorder
Product details 376 pages University of California Press - English 9780520256675 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Fairbanks was born in 1883, and to coincide with his 125th birthday, an ambitious book — Douglas Fairbanks, by Jeffrey Vance with Tony Maietta — has just been published. At times it approaches hagiography, but it tells you a lot about its hero, and it's generously illustrated — crucial for a performer whose impact was so overwhelmingly physical." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Synopsis" by , "The heedless ambition of youth. The triumphs of maturity, redefining our ideas of fame, fortune and international celebrity. The sad aimlessness of the aging male, stripped of his powers over his formerly adoring audience. It is the archetypal Hollywood story, maybe the archetypal American story. And Jeffrey Vance tells it with verve and compassion and admirable compression in his handsomely illustrated biography of Douglas Fairbanks. It is a book that restores his subject to his rightful place as the American movies' founding Big Brother--shrewd, playful, flawed and endlessly fascinating."--Richard Schickel

"Over the years I have had an interest in Douglas Fairbanks' life and films before reading Jeffrey Vance's book. I was delighted to find that the research was admirable, the detail abundant, and the style devoid of pretense and heavy-handed scholarship. The book reads gracefully with a wonderful sense of 'and then what happened?' And a great deal does happen to the inimitable Doug along the way. His cinema world of high adventure, storybook romance, cloak and sword derring-do, and dazzling acrobatics against spectacular settings are all here in the text and in the abundance of extraordinary photos--many quite rare. A first-rate book."--Rudy Behlmer, film historian and author

"Douglas Fairbanks was one of the most important characters in film history, and this enthusiastic and well-researched book will tell you why."--Kevin Brownlow, filmmaker and film historian

"Synopsis" by ,
This deft amalgam of biography, film history, and analysis is a superb portrait of a true pioneer who was critically important to the creation of cinema as the defining art form of the twentieth century. Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) was one of the first film superstars, a screenwriter, a major independent producer during the early studio era, a cofounder of United Artists, a founder and the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and much more. The optimism, energy, and huge success during the 1920s of his best-remembered films The Mark of Zorro, Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, and The Black Pirate made Fairbanks a popular hero throughout the world and showcased his talents as a creative producer whose work set the standard for excellence.

Douglas Fairbanks takes the full measure of Fairbanks's remarkable life. Jeffrey Vance, who had complete access to the star's personal and professional papers and scrapbooks, also incorporates 237 photographs, some unseen for more than seventy-five years. Extensively researched, engagingly written, and sumptuously designed, the book goes behind Fairbanks's public persona to thoroughly explore his art and his far-reaching influence.

Copub: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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