Read The Parade's Gone By... by Kevin Brownlow Online


The magic of the silent screen, illuminated by the recollections of those who created it.A narrative and photographic history of the early days of the movies, combining fact, anecdote, and reminiscence in a critical survey of films, actors, directors, producers, writers, editors, technicians, and other participants and hangers-on....

Title : The Parade's Gone By...
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780520030688
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 577 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Parade's Gone By... Reviews

  • Autumn
    2019-05-09 07:27

    Totally an Ur text for silent film nerds. Fascinating and great. 5 stars for the loving description of Buster Keaton's man cave.

  • Ian
    2019-05-15 03:22

    Kevin Brownlow, who won an Oscar last year in recognition for his work in film preservation, conducted these priceless interviews with silent film actors, directors, and technicians back in the 60s when the pioneers of what would become Hollywood were beginning to die out, rescuing many precious and unique memories from oblivion. A one of a kind classic of oral history whose achievement will never be duplicated.

  • Jon Boorstin
    2019-04-30 05:20

    This is the book that hooked me on early movies. Brownlow was curious, and persistent, and around when the giants were still alive. He is also a writer who cares about his subject, and is passionate that you care too. He led the way in restoring silent pictures to the place of respect they deserve. In Brownlow's view, 1927, the last silent year, was the best year for pictures, ever. After you read this, you might agree.

  • Karla
    2019-04-24 04:20

    This book can't be bettered for first-person source material about the silent era. Brownlow seems to undertake monumental tasks as a matter of course, and the quality is always top-rate. The chapters in this book span every genre and job in the film industry, and they have all kinds of interesting and hilarious things to say.

  • Thomas Walsh
    2019-04-29 02:26

    I have wanted to read this book for a long time. It's a detailed, well-researched encyclopedic gaze into the lost world of silent films. Because it's narrated by a camera man, it's also filled with technical detail about the hardware used to create those mesmerizing effects that made us hold our breath. Excellent for any film buff! The book is excellent because it magnifies the minutia of the silent era. There are many names: stars, directors, producers, film techniques, studios, and so many talented people who helped create our first cinematic dream world. If you like Silent films, get this book tomorrow. Even if you've never read a word on the genre, get it the day after tomorrow. You will thank me!

  • Tosh
    2019-05-05 06:23

    Kevin Brownlow is a great film historian who spcializes in silent cinema. Especially America silent films. Also one of the first to really focus on American cinema of the silent years. "The Parade's Gone By" was written in the 60's, so Brownlow actually interviewed all the participants that are featured in the book. What gives this book a little extra something is that he focuses on the cameramen and technicians as well as the stars and the directors. You are not going to get much closer to the world of Silent cinema than this book. Sort of the big brother or sister to Kenneth Anger's "Hollywood Bablyon."

  • Liz
    2019-05-09 07:15

    Great book, very interesting read, especially with the sections where the author takes stories right from the mouths of the people who lived through the silent era of films. It was a good balance of interesting stories, technical aspects and only a tiny bit of gossip. In fact i liked the fact it didn't rely heavily on silent era shade and T, there are plenty of those books out there. My only criticism is that there is a lot of technical sections regarding the film process and I have no knowledge or interest in the technicals, so those sections dragged for me.If you want to consider yourself a film historian you have to read this book.

  • Donna
    2019-04-25 08:18

    The granddaddy of silent film books, The Parade's Gone By is a must read, period end of story. Brownlow related that this was a book he never wanted to read, he simply used it as an excuse to interview the subjects, it became a book, and a damn fine one, at that. This book, probably singlehandedly, inspired me (and many others I'll wager) to go and explore silent films. It's a testament to an age long gone, but told through the eyes of people still who were very much alive and living in the now. The first in what I call Brownlow's Trilogy, it's a book that simply must be on any serious film scholar's bookshelf.

  • Kit Fox
    2019-05-13 03:13

    One of the best film books I've ever read. The author is so passionate about silent film, you can't help but get more excited about it yourself—not that an affinity for silent film is a prerequisite for enjoying this'un. Bursting with great stories about the phenomenal people who helped invent one of the best art forms since the ham radio, it's a big book, but it reads super fast.

  • Garrett Cash
    2019-05-01 09:27

    "Film-making techniques today are little further developed than they were at the end of the silent era. Startling innovations excite critics, but any capable historian can point to the introduction of hand-held cameras, wild cutting, and abbreviated narration: it was all being done in the twenties. Film makers are generally less imaginative, less daring, and less skillful than their silent-era counterparts." This is the astonishing thesis of Kevin Brownlow's The Parade's Gone By..., which is simply without a doubt the greatest work on cinema I have ever read. The thesis, which is that every great convention of cinema was already in place during the silent era, and that the art has never been improved upon, is well argued and will surely win you over if you've ever seen these films. Brownlow is a brilliant writer that can make just about anything interesting, even when he's writing on a film or personality you are not familiar with. I learned more from this book than I have from any other work on the art of film, and I have never before felt so utterly swept away into another time. The heavy reliance on the vivid memories of the people (not just the directors or stars) who worked in this era make it come to life. To read the book is to experience an epoch. If I could force my own agenda of cinematic education on students, I would give them a selection of the finest works of the time and a copy of this book. Their perspective on film would never be the same again, and would be all the better for it. "Whatever future the cinema may have will be based solidly upon its past. Time is a human conception--very much like a motion picture. It is all there, but we have to live it. And you cannot enjoy the last reel unless you know what happened in the first." - Kevin Brownlow I can't wait to purchase my own copy of the book and refer to it as I continue to see the films it discusses for myself. It's a dense work, and clearly would reward constant rereading as one increases their knowledge of silent cinema. Don't let this grand parade pass you by.

  • Jeannine
    2019-05-09 08:34

    This is more of a reference book than one I choose to read from beginning to end. Having just immersed myself in the Hollywood documentary (from the late 70s/early 80s) I thought this book would be a continuation of that, but I found the documentary to be more interesting than this book. The book features interviews with several silent movie figures, true pioneers, most of whom are now gone, but I thought the content chosen to publish was kind of weird. For example, there is a little chapter on Gloria Swanson, and it's just Gloria sharing an anecdote about the making of a film where she was required to swim and she didn't know how. It was interesting, I guess, but I didn't understand what it had to do with the wider context of the book and making movies. Also, there is a section called Stars and there are only 3 or 4 "stars" featured and only 1 I'd ever heard of.There are chapters about cameramen and scenario writers - all of which are interesting, and also some very good photographs.The thing to keep in mind is this version was published in 1976 and there may be more current information available. Because this book features interviews between the author (who recently was awarded an Oscar for his work in documenting early/silent film history) and the actual sources (most of whom are now passed) it is definitely valuable to the classic and silent movie history buff and it will remain on my shelf for reference.

  • Leona Heraty
    2019-04-27 02:33

    The Parade's Gone By is one of those rare books I've read where I didn't want it to end. I'm a little sad that I finished reading it, as I literally enjoyed every page! Kevin Brownlow, only in his 20s when he wrote this book over several years in the 1960s, had the foresight (bless his heart!) to interview many of the silent film actors, directors, cameramen, producers, etc., before they passed away, to get their individual perspectives of what it was actually like working in the film industry during the early years of film. These were the fun-loving, passionate, creative pioneers who literally started with nothing and built the film industry from the ground up. They all truly enjoyed making movies, whether they made a lot of money or not.This nostalgic book is a must-read for any amateur film historian, and of course, for any professional film historian. This book also offers excellent historical perspectives about what America and Europe were like in the early 1900s through the mid 1930s, so anyone interested in history would enjoy this book too. The Parade's Gone By may be out of print. I bought it used on, but it wasn't expensive...I think I paid less than $10 for the book. The incredible photos of the actors, film sets, etc. are priceless too! This is a long book, at around 670 pages, but believe me, you won't be able to put it down! Enjoy! :-)

  • Julia
    2019-05-02 06:16

    The title, Brownlow tells us in the introduction, is a quote from an assistant working on The Buster Keaton Story in 1957. A writer and director of silent movie comedies tells an assistant they’ve got it wrong. He says, “Look, why don’t you go away? Times have changed. You’re an old man. The parade’s gone by…”(1) Okay, so yeah, I first got this from the library to read the essay/ interview with Buster Keaton. After I read that, I read nearly all forty-eight other essays/ interviews from actors, directors, cameramen, editors and others involved in silent film. “To become a great comedian was never a conscious ambition of Buster Keaton. He made pictures the best way he knew how. He was fascinated by the medium itself and the challenge of elaborate effects.” (493) “Nothing is new except what has been forgotten.” (580) Which I suppose explains the popularity of “The Artist,” that I have yet to see! So, as someone who loves silent comedies, I should do that, already! And, a question- why is this book from 1968 so very, very heavy?

  • Professor
    2019-05-10 05:33

    The book covers the entire history of silent films, and, as it was written in the 1960s, much of it is done through interviews with people who were in the industry. It's a large book, though, both in terms of page length and physically, so I only picked at it off and on. A while ago I finally figured out how I would finally finish it-I put it in the bathroom. You see, the book is divided up into a lot of small sections, which makes it practically ideal for bathroom reading (that's not to say it isn't a great book, just that I tend to do my reading on the road or in the can, and this book is too big to be practical). Brownlow does a great job giving us a feel for the industry, telling it's history and major advances, and of course covering it's eventual downfall with the advent of sound. He also makes you really want to see all of these films-something I should really get back to.

  • Julia
    2019-05-05 10:27

    I absolutely love this book, it's a great resource. HOWEVER, with that said, there is missing information. For example: WHY is Clara Bow missing? Unless she's been added in a later edition, I cannot for the life of me understand why she's missing. She was only the star female in the first movie to ever win an Academy Award, the film Wings. Was she left out because of the lies, half truths and innuendos surrounding her social activities? That's one school of thought...which then also makes little sense because then three quarters of the people mentioned wouldn't be in the book.So yes, use this as a resource but do not consider it complete. I cannot help but to wonder what else is missing. Again, I love this book because it's fun to browse through but I certainly don't consider it anything more than that, all in part because of the missing information.

  • James
    2019-05-22 07:34

    This book is pretty much the standard for silent era books. Brownlow fortuitously interviewd several people ranging from film stars, directors, producers, technicians, etc. in the 1960's when many of these luminous pioneers were still alive. With warmth and affection, Brownlow managed to create a very absorbing account of the silent era and the people who created it. The book has naturally dated as our knowledge and the availability of silent films has grown tremendously in the 40 years since it's original publication. But, it is an excellent book for beginners or to anyone with an interest in silent films.

  • Troy Soos
    2019-05-16 05:13

    Although not a comprehensive or chronological history of silent film, The Parade's Gone By is one of the most insightful books on the subject. Kevin Brownlow interviewed many veterans of the silent era in the 1960s, and the book relies heavily on their vivid recollections. The text is augmented with marvelous photographs, many of them behind the scenes and illustrating early production methods. Brownlow later wrote the equally excellent Hollywood: the Pioneers.

  • Kate McD
    2019-05-05 10:26

    can i rate this higher than 5 stars? my favorite book on silent film. he interviews directors, writers, actors, extras, cameramen, editors, electricians, - everyone he could find. it was written in the late 60's and i don't know if it's been re-released anytime recently - i got my copy on ebay for pretty cheap. Also has a ton of amazing pictures.

  • Beth
    2019-05-20 09:35

    I learned a lot about silent cinema and its stars, directors, scriptwriters and other technicians. It was very enlightening to learn about how different filming was then from now. It wasn't a difficult read and it helped me become the film freak I am today. The photos and interviews are all very interesting, and I really enjoyed reading it and learning.

  • Kate
    2019-05-04 07:23

    Everything the other reviewers have said is true-- a tremendously informative book about silent film production, based on interviews with people who were there. Thisi s the way I like all my history-- first person and close up! Brownlow's interviews give a wonderful sense of the hard work, the intelligence, the "gutsiness" that went into those early films. Intriguing and wow-inspiring stories.

  • Beth Ann
    2019-05-20 03:25

    Brownlow's book rightly remains a classic of early film history. He had a passion for the subject; he was lucky to be writing the book at a time when so many of the silent film industry were living and interviewable; he deeply researched his topics; he has firsthand viewing experiences that he drew upon; and he wasn't afraid to add his insightful and sometimes biting opinions.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-30 06:25

    Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of movies in America. Brownlow interviewed dozens of actors, directors and technicians who worked in the silent era and the book is filled with their stories of pioneering this new art form. Lots of beautiful stills too.

  • Anita
    2019-05-22 04:18

    Insanely thorough exploration of the world of silent-film-making. Beautifully written & researched - good reading for anyone interested in cinema history, totally fulfilling for people who love silent films.

  • Maria
    2019-05-03 07:20

    THE definitive book on silent film. If you want to learn about early cinema and don't know where to start, start here.

  • Nigel Thomas
    2019-04-27 04:27

    Loved this. And because loads of silent film can now be found on DVD you can follow up and see what all the fuss was about

  • Theobald Mary
    2019-05-14 08:20

    his is an old book (published in 1968) by a British film historian, but that makes it even better for someone like me. This history of the silent film era relied on many interviews with the people who made that history: actors, producers, directors, and others who were still living when Kevin Brownlow knew them. Living legends, I should say. And the illustrations are terrific too.I particularly benefitted from reading about the industry’s early move from the east to Hollywood. The California locals looked down on these intruders and called them “movies.” Brownlow states that it was as hard for a “movie” to join a country club as it was for a Jew or a Negro. This is the sort of information I can integrate into my stories–and I do. Here’s another insight I’ve used: “Thousands of girls poured into the town, pathetically anxious to work in pictures. There were chances for less than one in a hundred. The unlucky girls faced poverty, starvation, and sometimes suicide. They arrived without money or contacts. Their first shock was the discovery that the studios they continually had to visit to seek work were scattered over a fifty-mile radius.”There is so much information about the early actors that I feature or mention in my series (Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Myrna Loy, Rudolph Valentino, to name a few) but also information about how they made movies in those days: the lighting, cameramen, lab work, directing, and how to get 2000 extras costumed each morning. I learned about the number of cameras used to shoot a scene and why there were at least two, and how informal the job descriptions were. Everyone did whatever they were asked to do in those pre-union days. This helped me describe my main character, Jessie, who, as assistant script girl, often runs errands, works in the office, or fetches props.For anyone interested in the silent movie era, this is the principle book to read. And a bonus–it’s well written and hard to put down! Used copies are available online and any library can order you one for free.

  • Richard
    2019-05-01 07:19

    The Parade's Gone By seems to be widely acknowledged as the best book about the silent movie era. I picked up a copy after it was recommended by TCM's Robert Osborne. (He mentioned it on tv; I don't know him personally, but I wish I did!) I've been reading a continuous string of silent movie books, and I wanted to save the best for last.This wasn't the best.It was a fine book, with a lot of good stuff in it, but I found it to be very uneven. Often when I'd finish a chapter I wasn't terribly motivated to move on to the next, and as a result it took me a lot longer to finish this book than I had anticipated. And I can't really see myself giving more than three stars to a book that doesn't compel me to pick it up all that often.I think the best parts were when the author turned it over to a silent film star, or director, and the book became a sort of oral history. I wish there had been more of that. I can't think of anything bad to say about the book other than that it wasn't as good as I expected it to be and wanted it to be. For an overall look at the silent movie era, I preferred American Silent Filmby William K. Everson. A bit drier than The Parade's Gone By, but more satisfying.

  • Alexis Marnel
    2019-05-13 05:22

    The first hand accounts of silent film era stars. the stories are funny, interesting and sad. The parade truly had gone by for these starts and at the time this was written, Mr. Brownlow was trying to give creedence to these pioneers of film, while most of American thought they were a joke. It's upsetting to me that we as a country did not value them as we should have because if it were not for them, who knows what the industry would be like now. A great go -to book. Many were left out, but thowe who were left out eventually had entire biographies written about them...A must have for any film historian/film history aficianado

  • Erik Graff
    2019-05-11 07:34

    Dad was born in 1921 and grew up with the transition from silent to talkie films. His taste for the former meant watching everything ever presented from the silent era on television. It probably helps to account for his ongoing love of slapstick humor. It now extends to a fascination with moviehouse organs. The man has CDs containing nothing but and will spend hours listening to them.I never shared Dad's taste for silent cinema, but having been exposed to so much of it I read one of the books he had on the subject and was impressed by Brownlow's representation of the era and its artists.

  • Carrie
    2019-05-08 02:12

    This book is wonderful but DENSE. That's why I am taking it in installments. It consists of transcribed interviews with many many many famous, non famous, and now dead people who were connected to the silent film industry in various ways. There are accounts of the era from stars, directors, camera men, and more. If you are at all interested in silent film I assume you've already come across this title and if it isn't on your too read list it absolutly should be.Hearing of the young film industry in the actual voices of the people who populated it is amazing.