July 7 2017 Drama Movies Newsletter
Dwan worked with Fairbanks on eleven films including the 1922 epic "Robin Hood", which ran in some theaters for an entire year. Fairbanks tends not to be as celebrated or studied as other film pioneers; his good friend Charlie Chaplin is an example. However, two recent books aim to place Fairbanks in his proper role as one of the most important actor-producers of the silent era.
The 2008 biography by Jeffrey Vance, simply titled "Douglas Fairbanks", gives a good overview of Fairbanks's life but is devoted mainly to an analysis of his films. Tracey Goessel's 2015 bio, "The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks", is a more in-depth look at Fairbanks's life off-screen; his marriage to Mary Pickford in particular. Goessel, who is on the board of directors of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, was able to purchase the love letters of Pickford and Fairbanks. She quotes from them extensively in her book. Goessel also makes the case for Fairbanks's importance as an industry leader (he co-founded United Artists and was instrumental in starting the film studies program at USC) and independent producer.
The two books read in tandem offer a comprehensive history of Fairbanks's life and work. There is also a film, currently in post-production, that will put Fairbanks back on the screen. Titled "The First", it is based on Eileen Whitfield's biography of Mary Pickford. Jennifer DeLia is the director and co-writer. Fairbanks is played by Australian Luke Arnold, who is an accomplished swordsman and sword fight choreographer according to his bio on IMDb. He seems too young for the role, but we will have to wait and see how DeLia realizes her vision for the film. Release is set for sometime this year.
Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.
Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho Film Review
Douglas Fairbanks expands his range, and challenges Rudolph Valentino's claim to fame as The Latin Lover, in this visually sumptuous film released in 1927.
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Angela K. Peterson, Drama Movies Editor
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