Upon its original publication in 1962, Edward Wagenknecht's The Movies in the Age of Innocence immediately earned recognition as a classic in the history of early cinema. A tribute to American silent film from the first-person perspective of one who grew up with the medium, the volume surveys the pre-feature and feature era of silent films from a distinctly literary standpoint and considers the careers of directors like D. W. Griffith and Erich von Stroheim, and actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish. With nearly 90 illustrations from early films, fan magazines and brochures, indices of film titles and credits, and an appendix containing Wagenknecht's otherwise unavailable 1927 pamphlet Lillian Gish: An Interpretation, this third edition retains its significance today.
Edward Wagenknecht (1900-2004) was the author of well over 60 titles, covering a wide variety of subjects, most notably British and American literary biography and criticism, including pioneering studies of Dickens and Twain and monumental histories of the English and American novel. In addition to his work on the early film, he wrote of still earlier actors and actresses from the legitimate stage, and of the history of New England and Chicago.