Recommended Reading

"The Big V: A History of the Vitagraph Company"

by Anthony Slide (Scarecrow Press, 1987, 356 pages)

This is the 1987 revised version of Anthony Slide's 1976 publication with much added information. Slide was able to interview many of the old Vitagraph stars before they left us: William P.S. Earle, James Morrison, Jane Noval, Arline Pretty, etc. - as well as Jean Paige, wife of Vitagraph co-founder Albert E. Smith). In the 1950's, Smith wrote a highly romanticized history of Vitagraph called "Two Reels and a Crank," but Slide's account, of course, is much more straight-forward and dependable reading for the silent movie fan. You'll read about all of the stars who got their beginnings at Vitagraph such as John Bunny, Norma Talmadge, Clara Kimball Young, Corinne Griffith, Larry Semon, Antonio Moreno, Alice Joyce, etc. Covers the history of the company from its founding (by Smith and J. Stuart Blackton) to its sale to Warner Brothers in 1925. One of a kind book that should be on every silent movie fan's shelf, and, as always, anything with Anthony Slide's name on it needs no further recommendation.

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