Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players, and Stand-Ins

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 5 set 2012 - 268 pagine

Extras, bit players, and stand-ins have been a part of the film industry almost from its conception. On a personal and a professional level, their stories are told in Hollywood Unknowns, the first history devoted to extras from the silent era through the present.

Hollywood Unknowns discusses the relationship of the extra to the star, the lowly position in which extras were held, the poor working conditions and wages, and the sexual exploitation of many of the hardworking women striving for a place in Hollywood society. Though mainly anonymous, many are identified by name and, for perhaps the first time, receive equal billing with the stars. And Hollywood Unknowns does not forget the bit players, stand-ins, and doubles, who work alongside the extras facing many of the same privations. Celebrity extras, silent stars who ended their days as extras, or members of various ethnic groups--all gain a deserved luster in acclaimed film writer Anthony Slide’s prose. Chapters document the lives and work of extras from the 1890s to the present. Slide also treats such subjects as the Hollywood Studio Club, Central Casting, the extras in popular literature, and the efforts at unionization through the Screen Actors Guild from the 1930s onwards.

Slide chronicles events such as John Barrymore’s walking off set in the middle of the day so the extras could earn another day’s wages, and Cecil B. DeMille’s masterful organizing of casts of thousands in films such as Cleopatra. Through personal interviews, oral histories, and the use of newly available archival material, Slide reveals in Hollywood Unknowns the story of the men, women, and even animals that completed the scenes on the silver screen.


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Recensione dell'utente  - JanaRose1 - LibraryThing

Extras, bit players, and stand-ins were a large part of the film industry. Although these people are largely unknown and unrecognized, their stories are fascinating. This book provides a chronological ... Leggi recensione completa


The Extra in the Early Silent Years
The 1920s
The Hollywood Studio Club
Central Casting
The Port of Missing Girls
The Coming of Sound
The StandIn
The Silent Star as Extra
Ethnic Extras
The 1940s Unionization and Beyond
Extras Extras Read All about Em

Celebrity Extras

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Informazioni sull'autore (2012)

Anthony Slide has written and edited more than two hundred books on the history of popular entertainment. He is a pioneer in the documentation of women in silent film, writing the first biography of Lois Weber, editing the memoirs of Alice Guy Blaché, and authoring the first study of women silent film directors. Lillian Gish called him ?our preeminent film historian of the silent era.?

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