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William Beaudine From Silents to Television
978-0-8108-5218-1 • Paperback
October 2004 • $65.00 • (£39.95)
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Pages: 424
Size: 6 3/4 x 8 1/2
By Wendy L. Marshall
Series: The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series
 
Performing Arts | Film & Video / Direction & Production
Scarecrow Press
William Beaudine began his tenure in film as an assistant to the legendary D. W. Griffith. At the height of his career, Beaudine worked for every major studio and directed many greats of the silent era including Mabel Normand, George Sidney, Laura LaPlante, and Tom Mix. When Mary Pickford returned to the screen after a year-long hiatus, she chose Beaudine to direct her comeback film, Little Annie Rooney.

Beaudine's career continued through the sound era and well into golden age of television and beyond, where he worked on such programs as The Green Hornet and Lassie. In his unsurpassed employment of 60 years in the business, Beaudine racked up more than 500 films and in excess of 350 television programs. Until his death at age 78, he was the oldest active director in the business. Just before he died, The Canadian, his 1926 film starring Thomas Meighan, was acknowledged as one of the best films of the pre-sound era and received the Film Critics Award of the New York Arts Institute.
In this detailed biography, author Wendy Marshall chronicles Beaudine's swift rise through the ranks, his triumph as one of the most successful directors of British comedies, his accumulation and loss of personal fortunes, his fall from fame, and his prolific work in television. Marshall corrects much misinformation that has been written about the director and has compiled the most complete list of his directorial credits to date. This volume will serve as the ultimate authority on William Beaudine's life and career.
Wendy Marshall has an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University, and has written extensively for newspapers. She is the granddaughter of William Beaudine.
Part 1 Acknowledgments
Part 2 Introduction
Chapter 3 1 The Beginning
Chapter 4 2 Off to Hollywood
Chapter 5 3 Triangle Films and Christie Comedies
Chapter 6 4 oldwyn and Warner Bros.
Chapter 7 5 Penrod and Sam, Take One
Chapter 8 6 The Queen Takes a Knight
Chapter 9 7 Sparrows
Chapter 10 8 Back to Warner Bros.
Chapter 11 9 The Canadian
Chapter 12 10 Frisco Sally Levy
Chapter 13 11 Freelancing
Chapter 14 12 Gathering Wealth
Chapter 15 13 They Talk
Chapter 16 14 Back to Work
Chapter 17 15 From "Summer Camp" to the Trenches
Chapter 18 16 Penrod and Sam, Take Two
Chapter 19 17 Columbia Pictures
Chapter 20 18 Paramount
Chapter 21 19 W.C. Fields and The Old-Fashioned Way
Chapter 22 20 England and Making a Name for Himself
Chapter 23 21 Forced to Leave
Chapter 24 22 Losing It All
Chapter 25 23 Dixie National
Chapter 26 24 The B's
Chapter 27 25 Religion, Sex, and Kroger Bear
Chapter 28 26 Early Television
Chapter 29 27 Disney
Chapter 30 28 Lassie
Chapter 31 29 Winding Down
Part 32 Filmography
Part 33 Bibliography
Part 34 Index
Part 35 About the Author
William Beaudine: From Silents to Television by Wendy L. Marshall is a real eye opener. I have newborn respect for the artistry and professionalism that Beaudine brought to film because of this book....Wendy L. Marshall is William Beaudine's granddaughter and, while she's objective—a rare feat for a granddaughter—she gives us a personal portrait that none of the other books on directors can boast. She is committed to getting his story down and she does so in an appealingly professional manner. At times she does tell us her relationship with her grandfather, and these warm moments add much to the text. She does not, however, go overboard. She's a film historian, foremost....I reveled in learning about Beaudine, and the author does not disappoint on this front....this unique study will open up a whole new side of Hollywood. And it finally gives the director the respect he deserves, for his amazing outpouring of films that on the whole were quite good in spite of the budgets.
Classic Images


...Beaudine was a true professional, yet over the years much misinformation has been spread about his prolific career, which this massive, all-encompassing biography at last re-dresses....a definitive study that not only chronicles the making of Beaudine's many films, but also captures the essence of the man. Superb! FIVE STARS>
Film Review


Serious film studies tend to be either theory-centered works or histories of the evolution of filmmaking based on an artist's life. Wendy L. Marshall's fine book William Beaudine: From Silents to Television is an entertaining, informative example of the latter....This biography offers a useful look at the hard work, care, and joy that could go into directing...The author offers a fascinating study...I recommend it for a personal or university library and for any readers interested in the vital, but unsung, contributions of the bread-and-butter film makers.
The Journal of Popular Culture


...both fascinating and informative, a book that can be read by anyone remotely interested in film to those constantly working in the industry itself....a refreshingly good humoured biography...an extremely well-researched book, certain to be the 'Bible' on Beaudine.
Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies


...Beaudine was a worthy film pioneer and merits this quiet, inspiring, and deeply affectionate tribute. Recommended.
CHOICE


...Beaudine was a true professional, yet over the years much misinformation has been spread about his prolific career, which this massive, all-encompassing biography at last re-dresses....a definitive study that not only chronicles the making of Beaudine's many films, but also captures the essence of the man. Superb! FIVE STARS
Film Review


• Winner, One of the Best Books of 2005, Classic Images
 
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