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Douglas Fairbanks (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 15. November 2008

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"One of Hollywood's earliest megastars gets lavish treatment in Jeffrey Vance's Douglas Fairbanks... A real treat for cinephiles." -- Martin Levin Toronto Globe & Mail 20090109 "Lavishly illustrated, Vance's painstakingly researched, comprehensive and thoughtful work is a book for buffs to treasure ... a riveting read." -- Bill Thompson Charleston Post & Courier 20090322 "A beautiful book, extensively researched, a model of film scholarship, one of the best cinema studies of this or any year." -- John Gallagher Nat'l Board Of Review Of Motion Pictures 20081201 "A gorgeously illustrated, solidly researched new biography." -- David Bordwell David Bordwell 20081126 "The research is impeccable, the writing engaging and illuminating, and the deluxe illustrations exquisite." -- T. Lindvall Choice 20090301 "An ambitious book ... it tells you a lot about its hero, and it's generously illustrated." -- Robert Gottlieb New York Review Of Books 20090226 "A serious biography of one of the pioneers of cinema ... magnificent photos." -- Heather Shaw Foreword 20080901 "A generous new biography." Metro Newspapers 20081217 "Jeffrey Vance's biography 'Douglas Fairbanks' retells the story of the man who became one of Hollywood's first superstars." -- Carolyn Kellogg Los Angeles Times Book Review 20090205 "A handsomely produced, long-gestated biography ... stunningly produced photographs." -- Jay Weissberg Sight & Sound Magazine 20090301 "Looks at the mad life and times of one of cinema's first superstars ... brings a lot of freshness to the Fairbanks biography." -- Paul Dale The List 20090219 "Jeffrey Vance's glorified, and glorifying, picture book retrieves the memory and the glamour of one of the first superstars." -- Frederic Raphael Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 20090422 "Perfect accompaniment for home entertainment viewing of the silent film star arrives in the form of film historian Jeffrey Vance's gorgeously laid out biography Douglas Fairbanks." -- Ben Terrall San Francisco Bay Guardian 20090902 "The book is an absolute must for any cinema buff." Broadway Stars 20081230 "In the handsomely designed biography Douglas Fairbanks, Jeffrey Vance, with Tony Maietta, relates a charmed career with a doleful undertow ... a well-researched study." -- Bill Stamets Chicago Sun-Times 20090104 "A handsome work, with gorgeously reproduced photographs... Highly recommended for film collections." -- Margaret Heilbrun Library Journal 20090115


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' 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' public persona to thoroughly explore his art and his far-reaching influence.


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Well overdue but worth the wait! 8. November 2008
Von Barbara Underwood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Much has already been written about early motion picture pioneers like D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, but their invaluable partner, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr has been overlooked and neglected - until now. With this very attractive and professional book, author Jeffrey Vance has given due credit to one of early cinema's most brilliant stars and dynamic personalities who not only had true star power but was a driving force behind the scenes as well. Often remembered these days only for his successful 1920s costume adventure dramas such as "The Mark of Zorro", "Robin Hood" and "The Three Musketeers" to name a few, Douglas Fairbanks had a varied, interesting and successful career well before this period, and also contributed greatly to the development of Hollywood. He was one of the founders of United Artists, he and wife Mary Pickford were the first `golden couple' of Hollywood who established Beverley Hills as the suburb of movie stars; he wrote, directed and produced most of his films, was active in writing books and magazine articles, and his self-styled roles in films like Zorro established the action-adventure swashbuckler genre as well as even inspiring other action heroes like Batman. If you didn't know any of this, then you must get this book! And even for the well-versed Fairbanks fan, this book will be a treat with its thoroughly researched material, filmography and an overall style that befits a great personality of early cinema. There are excellent photos on almost every page, some rarely seen before, and Vance's style is professional, easy and enjoyable to read. Most of the book's chapters deal with definite periods in Fairbanks's life and career, with whole chapters devoted to the grand 1920s productions which deserve detailed coverage. The information covers mainly facts and explanations about the films, such as the making of them and all the people who were involved in the production, as well as interesting details to add spice but never stray too far from solid facts. This is a particularly appealing aspect because some biographies tend to speculate or stray too far from known facts, and unfortunately a more accurate or detailed biography after so many decades is no longer possible. Vance has done a superb job with the available information from a broad range of sources, writing a biography which reads with the same ease, enjoyment and thrill as watching one of Fairbanks's films. There is never a dull passage, and each page is full of information which indirectly paints a picture of early Hollywood and the developing film industry while commemorating one of its principle founders and contributors; Fairbanks himself. The first hundred pages or so cover his career before the landmark year of 1920 which has been unjustly neglected until now, and the release of this book coincides perfectly with the Flicker Alley 5-disc set "Douglas Fairbanks - A Modern Musketeer" featuring eleven of the most important films of this pre-1920 period. This book should be in any serious cinema aficionado's collection alongside those about Chaplin, Griffith and other pivotal personalities of the film industry, and it might be quite eye-opening and enlightening for those only familiar with a few Fairbanks swashbuckling films. Perhaps misjudged, under-estimated or misunderstood in past decades, this wonderful book puts Fairbanks in his proper place up among the great Hollywood luminaries.
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Holy Things Fade Like a Dream 15. November 2008
Von Brad Baker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Jeffrey Vance's new completist biography of film pioneer Douglas Fairbanks is worth a look. A good long look. Well-written and concise, Vance details the amazing life, and all of the movies, of one of the 20th Century's most incredible icons; the first Motion Picture Superstar. Douglas Fairbanks was born in Denver in 1883. He was raised by his southern mother, who had separated from his father, an attorney, when he was only five. His father, an alcoholic, would desert the family. Fairbanks suffered from depression as a child. Insecurity haunted all three of his later marriages, and affected the up-bringing of his son, Douglas Jr.. But young Doug found peace, and surely promise, in the fantasy world of theater, and later...the movies...Douglas Fairbanks began amateur theater at age 12 in Colorado. He made his Broadway debut in 1902. The hit play, "The Lamb", led to a Hollywood contract. Success would follow. He appeared in "The Americano", for D.W. Griffith, in 1916. He was paid $10,000 a week to star in "Flirting With Fate(1916)". Fairbanks would marry an industrialist's daughter. With Marry Pickford, D.W. Griffith, and Charlie Chaplin, he helped form United Artists in 1919. During a Libert Bond tour he fell in love with Mary Pickford. Eventually married, Doug and Mary became the first residents of Beverly Hills, where they built the Pickfair Mansion. Pickfair was erected on top of Summit Drive in Benedict Canyon. It was torn down in 1979 by Pia Zadora. Using their combined assets, Fairbanks and Pickford bought the old Jesse Hampton studio on Formosa Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood in 1922. There they would produce some of their finest films. This studio today is called "The Lot". Here Fairbanks shot many silent epics, including "Robin Hood(1922)", and "The Thief of Bagdad(1924)". As producer and star, Fairbanks was intricately involved in all aspects of his movies. And Fairbanks did his own stunts. He did all his own, with one exception. In one early stunt, he broke his left hand, and twisted his back and wrists. In 1926, Fairbanks starred in the magical two-strip Technicolor "Black Pirate". For many years, this was a lost film. Fairbanks deposited the "Black Pirate" film elements at the Museum of Modern Art in 1938. But by 1959, the nitrate stock was deteriorating. In 1972, a restoration master negative was produced, yielding a remarkable new full-color version of the "Black Pirate". A beautiful time-capsule DVD, once mis-placed, is now available for all. Douglas Fairbanks and Marry Pickford divorced in 1936, but he never stopped calling her, or needing her love. He married an ex-chorus girl and retired from acting. A heavy smoker, Fairbanks died in 1939 at age 56. This book contains 237 pictures, many never seen before. The 1922 "Robin Hood" begins with an intertitle from Charles Kingsley's "Old and New", a poem close to Fairbank's heart since he was a boy: "So fleet the works of men, back to their earth again;/ Ancient and holy things fade like a dream".
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Pioneering Action Hero 1. November 2008
Von Scott T. Rivers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Film historian Jeffrey Vance follows his excellent Keaton-Lloyd-Chaplin trilogy with this fascinating pictorial biography on the inimitable Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939). Best known for his acrobatic exuberance in light comedies and swashbuckling adventures, the producer-writer-star was a groundbreaking artist who spared no expense in adapting his vivid imagination to the cinematic canvas. The author places Doug's filmmaking legacy in its proper perspective with a detailed analysis of his finest achievements: "The Thief of Bagdad" (1924), "The Black Pirate" (1926), "The Iron Mask" (1929) and the criminally underrated "The Gaucho" (1927). Separating art from world fame, Vance also examines the integral role Fairbanks played in the development of motion-picture technology, independent production and film appreciation. Augmented by insightful interviews and a wealth of rare photographs, "Douglas Fairbanks" is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of cinema.
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The Return Of The Swashbuckler 4. Februar 2009
Von G.I Gurdjieff - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book has given me a new found appreciation for the cinematic world of Douglas Fairbanks. Quite frankly, I knew a lot more about Mary Pickford(DF's 2nd wife) until I read this book. I had always assumed that Fairbanks main claim to movie immortality were the swashbuckler roles that he was known for and which often pop up on TCM as part of Silent Sunday Night. While my assumption is probably correct, this book proved to be quite a revelation on many levels. Before there was ever a screen actor Fairbanks, there was a Broadway actor Fairbanks. Pre-dating the swashbuckler films imbedded with athleticism, there were films with DF as an affable leading man in dramatic and comic roles.

This book tells DF's story from the early days in CO, discusses the dynamics of his relationships with Pickford, DF Jr., and his contemporaries such as Chaplin, DW Griffith and Victor Fleming. Profiles of all his movies are included as well as detailed info re: the founding of Famous Artists. It also discusses his decline in the fickle world of cinema and details his later years.

Would definitely recommend this book. I found it not only informative but compelling as well. It was a difficult book to put down as it was well-researched and`written. I'd have to say that this is probably the ultimate Fairbanks primer.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Superb Book is Also a Cautionary Tale 18. Februar 2009
Von Robert M. Fells - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As a Fairbanks fan myself, I was secretly hoping to find a few faults in Jeffrey Vance's biography but the fact is that Vance has done a great job. He knows where to emphasize his story - the 14 years or so of Fairbanks' rise to fame and riches, from about 1916 to 1929. And I was pleased that Vance finally gives THE GAUCHO its due as a stunning, original film that proved Fairbanks had not become jaded in his film-making ideas in the later days of his career.

THE GAUCHO will always be problematic and Vance adroitly suspects one of the reasons may have been the yes-men Fairbanks gathered around him by 1927 who did not care to challenge their boss's ideas for fear of alienating him. THE GAUCHO is a fascinating film, more ambitious than any other Fairbanks film but, for me, its fatal flaw is the superficial and shallow treatment given to the spiritual aspects of the story. Fairbanks would have known from watching DeMille's 1923 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or 1927 THE KING OF KINGS that the treatment of such themes must be serious and respectful. Alas, neither Doug nor his yes-men apparently grasped that gravitas also was needed. Fairbanks' cure from leprosy in the film is attained in record time and my guess is that more than a few people in the audience were offended by the "miracles to go" speed of the recovery. But that's one of the attractions of this film - its flaws are almost as fascinating as what it gets right.

Except perhaps for the morbid, nobody cares to read an extensive discussion of a star's decline so Vance was probably wise to limit his account of Fairbanks' final ten years to a single final chapter. It is ironic that the years of his decline (1930-1939) were almost as long as the years of his triumphs but beyond this chronological point, there lies a cautionary tale. Vance does not mask the fact that Fairbanks was a self-absorbed human being, but this reader could not help wonder if his later years might have been more personally fulfilling had he used his name and connections to help others as a philanthropist. America could have used his optimism in the throes of the Great Depression but by then, Fairbanks apparently had no optimism left. Yet he will always be counted among the Great American Success Stories. Vance's book explains why and you won't be disappointed. Stunning photographs throughout are icing on the cake.
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