Silent Films in St. Augustine

Univ. Pr. of Florida. Sept. 2017. 198p. photos. filmog. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813054537. $24.95. FILM
Before there was Hollywood, there was an incipient "First Hollywood" beginning at the end of the 19th century in Jacksonville FL, amply documented by Shawn Bean in his 2008 monograph, The First Hollywood: Florida and the Golden Age of Silent Filmmaking. But, St. Augustine, too, had an early crack at becoming America's film center when, in the first decade of the 20th century, films were made in Florida's oldest city. More than 120 films were produced in St. Augustine between 1906 and 1926 and many of Hollywood's famous silent film stars including Ethel Barrymore, Theda Bara, Sidney Drew, Evelyn Nesbitt, Norma Talmadge, Edith Story, Oliver Hardy, and scores of others made their early pictures there. Narrating the vicissitudes of the many film production companies and producers who set up shop in St. Augustine, Graham (emeritus, history, Flagler Coll., FL) elucidates a very important part of American moviemaking history. This slim volume includes a filmography of the films made in St. Augustine as well as a list of the actors who appeared in these movies.
VERDICT This recommended title will be of interest to both specialists and general readers of American film history as well as those who want to know more about the history of Florida and St. Augustine.

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