In Silent Topics, film historian Anthony Slide looks at various under-discussed and generally undocumented areas of silent film. The two lengthiest essays discuss the release of British silent films in the United States and the contribution of gays and lesbians to American silent film. Other essays examine the cost of silent film production, the "Great Events" series produced by Technicolor in the 1920s, and the manner in which early sheet music exploited silent film personalities. There are career essays on the screen's first special effects specialist, Roy Pomeroy, actor/minister Neal Dodd, and Margerie Bonner, the wife of novelist Malcolm Lowry. Silent Topics also includes the only known interview with the most prominent of silent film composers, David Mendoza, as well as a personal discussion on the lack of talent among a number of silent screen actors and actresses.
Anthony Slide has written numerous books, including The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry and The Silent Feminists. He is also the editor of the Scarecrow Filmmakers series. In 1990 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Bowling Green University.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1: British Silent Films in the United States Chapter 3 Chapter 2: Those Elusive Budget Figures Chapter 4 Chapter 3: Christianity Hollywood Style: Reverend Neal Dodd Chapter 5 Chapter 4: The "Great Events" Series Chapter 6 Chapter 5: The Silent Closet: Gays, Lesbians, and Silent Film Chapter 7 Chapter 6: Malcolm Lowry's Silent Film Connection: Margerie Bonner Chapter 8 Chapter 7: An Interview with David Mendoza Chapter 9 Chapter 8: Roy Pomeroy and the Beginnings of Special Effects Chapter 10 Chapter 9: Sheet Music of the Silent Stars Chapter 11 Chapter 10: They May Have Had Faces, But Did They Have Talent? Chapter 12 Appendix A: The Letters of Valeria Belletti Chapter 13 Appendix B: Contemporary Trade Paper Response to Classics of European Cinema at Their U.S. Release Chapter 14 Index Chapter 15 About the Author