Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York Through the Films of Harold Lloyd

John Bengtson
John Bengtson. Santa Monica, $27.95 (304p) ISBN 97815995800572
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011
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In the last of a trilogy focusing on geniuses of silent film comedy (Keaton, Chaplin, and Lloyd), film historian Bengtson (Silent Echoes) examines stills from Harold Lloyd's prolific career to discover where scenes were filmed, and how the locations have changed over time. Drawing from early 20th century maps, as well as archival photographs and film stills, Bengston develops a comprehensive view of 1920's Los Angeles and New York, including the Millbank Mansion in Culver City that was used in Lloyd's Dr. Jack and Laurel and Hardy's Wrong Again, and the building scaled by Lloyd in the iconic film Safety Last! Along the way, Bengtson recalls some of Lloyd's famous co-stars, including his wife, Virginia "Bebe" Daniels, seven-year-old Ernie Morrison (the first black performer with a long-term Hollywood contract) and baseball legend Babe Ruth. This book will delight fans of early 20th century architecture and film, though it will be best appreciated by readers already familiar with Lloyd's work. Photos. (June)
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