Ep. 22: Douglas Fairbanks, with biographer Tracey Goessel

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Mike Gebert

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Ep. 22: Douglas Fairbanks, with biographer Tracey Goessel

PostMon Apr 23, 2018 6:53 am



NitrateVille Radio Episode 22: Douglas Fairbanks, with biographer Tracey Goessel

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He was one of the biggest stars who ever lived, and another one was his best friend and the third was his wife. The story of Douglas Fairbanks' self-invention as the original action star and one of the early 20th century's models for American masculinity is a fascinating one, and in this episode I talk with Tracey Goessel, whose 2015 biography The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks came out in paperback at the start of this year. (80:03)

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(2:32) A hero's origins
(16:44) From stage to screen
(34:20) Coat and tie films, and the legends of Anita Loos
(42:49) Mary and Doug
(54:30) The costume pictures
(67:44) After silent stardom, and restoring Doug's films

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As the founder of the LA-based Film Preservation Society, Goessel has been leading restoration efforts on Fairbanks films, and two of them are coming out as a set May 1 from Kino Lorber: The Half-Breed and The Good Bad Man. (Don't miss the drawing for a free copy of it here.)

She's also involved in The Biograph Project, which is restoring the complete D.W. Griffith Biograph films, including many from paper prints at the Library of Congress.

Fittingly, for a biographer of someone who was half of a famous couple, Goessel is half of the only couple so far to be featured on NitrateVille Radio—her husband Robert S. Bader was on this episode.

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There are many video releases of Fairbanks films, but the following are recommended:
• This Flicker Alley set has a number of his best known "coat and tie" films and his first costumer, The Mark of Zorro.
• This Kino set has the first six of his costume pictures.
• Here's another version of The Three Musketeers, from Ben Model.
• Grapevine Video has other early films and probably his best sound film, Mr. Robinson Crusoe.

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“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: Ep. 22: Douglas Fairbanks, with biographer Tracey Goesse

PostMon Apr 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Another great episode, Mike, but personally heartbreaking in that the Biograph project will take another seventeen years to complete. Perhaps we can link up the two Nitrateville Media headings and get them Kickstarted for serial release before we all — and by that I mean “I” — are dead.

Bob
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Ep. 22: Douglas Fairbanks, with biographer Tracey Goesse

PostTue May 01, 2018 8:07 am

I moved an entry in the giveaway to that thread.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

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