A Silent Siren Song: The Aitken Brothers' Hollywood Odyssey, 1905-1926

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Cooper Square Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Performing Arts - 254 pages
A Silent Siren Song traces the journey of Harry (1877-1956) and Roy (1882-1972) Aitken, two brothers from the Wisconsin farmlands who pioneered the studio system of Hollywood's Golden Age. Combining production, distribution, and theater operations under their Triangle Film Corporation, the young upstarts created the most dynamic studio in Hollywood. They attracted the greatest directors and stars of the day including D. W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and Douglas Faribanks, Sr. and produced some of the most enduring films of the sildent era, from the Keystone Cops to the defining cinematic epic Birth of a Nation. The authors provide an in-depth look at the ambition, money, and ego that fueled the highly competitive early movie industry, where the Aitken brothers and rivals Goldwyn, Mayer, Fox, Warner, and Zukor battled it out for box-office supremacy.

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A silent siren song: the Aitken brothers' Hollywood odyssey, 1905-1926

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Producers often get short shrift in the annals of film history, and they do so here, albeit inadvertently. Harry and Roy Aitken, businessmen in the silent film era, were above all, facilitators. Under ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Al Nelson (1902-1994) produced articles and stories for such publications as Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and Esquire. He taught writing at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Mel Jones, editor, reporter, and professor of creative writing and journalism, is currently the president and CEO of a public relations and marketing agency. He lives in Wisconsin.

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