Please forgive my photos. I used my iPhone instead of my digital camera.
I know there's been a lot of TCM Parties going on with my blog readers and fellow classic film fans but I haven't watched that many lately to comment on or review. Of course if something airs with the Gish sisters or the Talmadge sisters I make it a priority to watch.
What is the reason for that? Why those silent screen dolls? Well, since you've asked. I want to see as many of their films as possible and read as much on them as possible before writing about them right here as well as sharing my Gish and Talmadge memorabilia.
Not only have I been on a search of their early work on celluloid, I've purchased several books about them through Amazon. I think I've mentioned in the past how much I adore David Niven and he's one of my favorite authors. I have all of his memoirs and he really was at the top of his game when it came to writing about his colleagues, friendships in Hollywood throughout his career and beyond. Well, I'm starting to feel that way about Anita Loos. (If you've read any of her books on her time in Hollywood you'll know what I mean.)
There just aren't many good books out there on the Talmage sisters or the Gish sisters that I'm aware of. But I did manage to find The Talmage Girls by Anita Loos. Written in 1979. Loos had been a fixture around Hollywood from its early days, writing many scripts for Biograph beginning in 1915 then appearing in a few pictures, thanks to a chance meeting with D.W. Griffith. She knew all of the movers and shakers, deal makers and the starlets who landed in Tinseltown looking for their big break. She developed lifelong friendships with a lucky few then went on to write several books about these friends and her ups and downs in Hollywood.
A little banged up but a must have book if you're a fan of Norma or Constance. (Like how I managed to fit my Oscar nail in there?)
Her book on the Talmage sisters doesn't cover their entire lives nor does it go into that much detail about their careers in Hollywood other than a list of their films with Anita's thoughts towards the end of the book. I wish she had used this opportunity to give us a full bio on their lives. With that said, I'll take what I can get. Anita writes with humor and she's honest about her subjects so that alone is worth purchasing this book.
On to the next book I'm reading. Cast of Thousands by Anita Loos. Published in 1977. This is a thick, coffee table book.
The dust cover is pretty banged up but for $1.99 it was well worth the money.
The description of the contents reads "A pictorial memoir of the most glittering stars of Hollywood and the most dazzling of the world's literary and social lights" Another humorous and honest look back at her time in Hollywood. This one has a lot of great photos of not only Loos but many of the early stars of the silver screen. Loos also includes a lot of her memorabilia from her time working in Hollywood. I would recommend this book for any classic film fan.
One of the many photos in Cast of Thousands. This one of Anita Loos and her sister, Gladys.
Pages and pages of candid classic star photos with telegrams, art, personal letters of Anita's.
The third book that I'm reading is Dorothy and Lillian Gish by Lillian Gish. Published in 1973. This is another oversized coffee table book and it is page after page of photos, letters and other memorabilia belonging to the Gish sisters. Beautiful photos from Lillian's collection. Although I was looking for info on their lives and careers I'm quite happy with the book. It's a great book to have for any fan of the Gish sisters or early Hollywood.
Again, while this is a book of photos, I'm thrilled to have it and most grateful that Lillian Gish left us with such a wonderful tribute to her sister, Dorothy.
Now that you know how I've been spending my free time. What have you been reading? Do you own any of these books? Please tell us all about it in the comments section and thanks for stopping by.