Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
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Phillyrich
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Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Phillyrich » Sat May 12, 2018 8:39 am

I wonder which books members would select as their favorite coffee table books on the movies?
Books both beautiful and smart.

How about monstrous tomes like: "David O. Selznick's Hollywood" which I can hardly lift anymore. Or any
of the fine and handsome titles by Mark Vieira, like: "George Hurrell's Hollywood?" I've also read
good things about the pricey: "The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop."
Last edited by Phillyrich on Sat May 12, 2018 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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boblipton
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by boblipton » Sat May 12, 2018 8:45 am

I think if you're looking for a coffee table book with a movie connection, this book co-authored by Alexander Payne is the right one:

https://www.amazon.com/Coffee-Table-Book/dp/190103304X" target="_blank" target="_blank

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Mon May 14, 2018 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BixB
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by BixB » Mon May 14, 2018 9:34 am

The Selzinck tome for sure. Other's I would include are Tim Lucas' MARIO BAVA: All the Colors Of The Dark, The Dawn Of Technicolor and KING OF JAZZ: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue by Pierce and Layton and Randy Skretvedt's new edition of LAUREL & HARDY: The Magic Behind The Movies.
Joe Busam

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maliejandra
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by maliejandra » Mon May 14, 2018 11:13 am

Some of my favorites include:

Mary Pickford Rediscovered by Kevin Brownlow
The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann
Sin in Soft Focus by Mark. A Vieira
Harlow in Hollywood: The Blonde Bombshell in the Glamour Capital by Darrell Rooney & Mark A. Vieira

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon May 14, 2018 1:54 pm

Thought of the Selznick book which was around £35 when it appeared. It has since plummeted somewhat as my copy cost £5 from a car boot sale and a friend speculated on a copy to sell online then thought best to flog to my shop...

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Keatonesque
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Keatonesque » Mon May 14, 2018 2:06 pm

Behold:

Image

Dave Pitts
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Tue May 15, 2018 9:46 am

There are so many. At the top of the heap, for me, would be The Silent Clowns by Walter Kerr, for a perfect match of exquisite stills and exquisite writing. Another very personal choice would be Hitchcock/Truffaut -- I still have the first edition hardcover that I bought for $10 (a big sum for me in '67, as a 13-year-old) at Waldenbooks. I know every page of the book and every still and have perfect recall of dozens of Hitchcock's comments. Daniel Blum's Pictorial History of the Silent Screen is another book I obsessed over from the late 60s onward, never dreaming back then how many of those films I'd finally be able to see.

busby1959
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by busby1959 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:41 am

Going back a few years (1970), a personal favorite of mine is FOUR FABULOUS FACES by Larry Carr, which paid homage to Swanson, Garbo, Crawford and Dietrich. I bought that one around 1973 at the long vanished Marboro Book Store in New York on 86th Street off of Lexington Avenue. It was around the size of a football field and overflowing with books, most of them at discounted prices. As a youth, I could usually be found either there or at the Theater 80 St. Marks. I forgot what I paid for it but I'm sure it was a lot for a 13 year old. There have been a great many since then, and among more recent titles I would have to mention WARNER BROTHERS: THE ULTIMATE BACKLOT by Steven Bingen with a forward by Doris Day and absolutely both of James Layton and David Pierce's masterworks THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and KING OF JAZZ: PAUL WHITEMAN'S TECHNICOLOR REVUE.

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Dean Thompson
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Tue May 15, 2018 3:41 pm

I've collected nearly every one of those books through the years--Pickford, L&H, Selznick, CC, 4FF, Silent Clowns, &c--and they're all great. But nostalgia's siren call being what it is, I'm still enthralled by Daniel Blum's A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen, which I snapped up with grass-cutting money at a used book store when I was ten. It's almost--almost--too much of a good thing, but it was my primer and deserves all due obeisance.
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by radiotelefonia » Tue May 15, 2018 9:00 pm

Image

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed May 16, 2018 2:37 pm

busby1959 wrote:Going back a few years (1970), a personal favorite of mine is FOUR FABULOUS FACES by Larry Carr, which paid homage to Swanson, Garbo, Crawford and Dietrich. I bought that one around 1973 at the long vanished Marboro Book Store in New York on 86th Street off of Lexington Avenue. It was around the size of a football field and overflowing with books, most of them at discounted prices. As a youth, I could usually be found either there or at the Theater 80 St. Marks. I forgot what I paid for it but I'm sure it was a lot for a 13 year old. There have been a great many since then, and among more recent titles I would have to mention WARNER BROTHERS: THE ULTIMATE BACKLOT by Steven Bingen with a forward by Doris Day and absolutely both of James Layton and David Pierce's masterworks THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and KING OF JAZZ: PAUL WHITEMAN'S TECHNICOLOR REVUE.
I bought the Larry Carr last year when buying shop stock, but thought it best to keep it at home...

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Harlowgold
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Harlowgold » Wed May 16, 2018 3:22 pm

busby1959 wrote:Going back a few years (1970), a personal favorite of mine is FOUR FABULOUS FACES by Larry Carr, which paid homage to Swanson, Garbo, Crawford and Dietrich. I bought that one around 1973 at the long vanished Marboro Book Store in New York on 86th Street off of Lexington Avenue. It was around the size of a football field and overflowing with books, most of them at discounted prices. As a youth, I could usually be found either there or at the Theater 80 St. Marks. I forgot what I paid for it but I'm sure it was a lot for a 13 year old. There have been a great many since then, and among more recent titles I would have to mention WARNER BROTHERS: THE ULTIMATE BACKLOT by Steven Bingen with a forward by Doris Day and absolutely both of James Layton and David Pierce's masterworks THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and KING OF JAZZ: PAUL WHITEMAN'S TECHNICOLOR REVUE.

FOUR FABULOUS FACES has got to be the largest and heaviest film book ever!! I bought mine via ebay almost 20 years ago, would hate to imagine how much this beautiful monster would cost to ship today even special fourth class rate!!

I have to give my #1 vote though to THE MGM STORY by John Douglas Eames ,a book unlike any before it and still the best of the half dozen other similar books subsequently published on the other studios. 1978-79 brought three of my alltime favorite movie books, FLESH AND FANTASY by Penny Stallings, CLOSEUPS by Danny Peary (articles on stars written by various individuals, including several by stars themselves, Joel McCrea, Irene Dunne, etc.) and THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE WORLD'S GREAT MOVIE STARS by Ken Wlaschin - all three key in making my teenaged self a certifiable classic movie buff. That reminds me I need new copies of the Stallings and Peary books - my originals long ago fell apart and are gone - I still pull out the Wlaschin book several times a year for a quick reference. The entries are brief but they get to the point about what titles are the star's best works and it's written in a friendly, engaging style (you can't really tell which stars the author dislikes, unlike most books of this sort.)

STARRING MISS BARBARA STANWYCK by Ella Smith is the best of the star "coffee table" type books Miss Lillian's DOROTHY AND LILLIAN GISH is a must too for any silent fans.

ajabrams
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by ajabrams » Thu May 17, 2018 11:28 am

One of my favorites is John Springer's THEY HAD FACES THEN which covers the female players of 1930's Hollywood. It's pretty inclusive and is a terrifically "browse-worthy."

busby1959
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by busby1959 » Thu May 17, 2018 12:18 pm

And how could I forget MAE WEST by Tim Malachosky? Just lifting it is tantamount to a workout at the gym. If you're a fan of this remarkable lady, this book is a must. It was privately published in 1993 by Malachosky, who was an assistant to Ms. West, and is more of a valentine to her than a book dedicated to cinema. The book chronicles the star's career from stage to screen to stage to screen and everything in between, and contains a plethora of photos in black and white and color, most of which had been previously unseen by the public. It was released in a limited edition but I'm pretty sure you can still find it on amazon.

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Jim Roots
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu May 17, 2018 2:36 pm

Any and all of Jeffrey Vance's picture books: Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd and Fairbanks. Surprised no one has mentioned them yet.

Not big enough to be a true coffee-table book, nevertheless I would add Grand Illusions, a gathering of beautiful photos of beautiful movie stars.

And if you can find it, the original coffee-table book version of Chaplin's My Life In Pictures.

Jim

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westegg
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by westegg » Thu May 17, 2018 5:21 pm

Dean Thompson wrote:I've collected nearly every one of those books through the years--Pickford, L&H, Selznick, CC, 4FF, Silent Clowns, &c--and they're all great. But nostalgia's siren call being what it is, I'm still enthralled by Daniel Blum's A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen, which I snapped up with grass-cutting money at a used book store when I was ten. It's almost--almost--too much of a good thing, but it was my primer and deserves all due obeisance.
Absolutely--this was THE movie book of my childhood, circa 1965.

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Ray Faiola
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Ray Faiola » Fri May 18, 2018 9:14 am

VALLEY OF THE CLIFFHANGERS!!
Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com

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Harlowgold
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Harlowgold » Fri May 18, 2018 1:19 pm

ajabrams wrote:One of my favorites is John Springer's THEY HAD FACES THEN which covers the female players of 1930's Hollywood. It's pretty inclusive and is a terrifically "browse-worthy."
Actually one of my least favorites due to his flagrantly partisan writeups on his p.r. clients and moreso for the rather harsh comments about the acting and/or films of stars he's not particularly a fan of (even panning Stanwyck's 30's output!!). I don't have the book any more - clipped it up when my used, jacketless copy began falling apart - but recall I was particularly miffed at his false take on gentle, lovely Anita Page - misremembering her screen image as some sort of Iris Adrian brash floozy.

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Harlowgold
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Re: Best Coffee Table Books on the Movies?

Unread post by Harlowgold » Fri May 18, 2018 1:30 pm

busby1959 wrote:And how could I forget MAE WEST by Tim Malachosky? Just lifting it is tantamount to a workout at the gym. If you're a fan of this remarkable lady, this book is a must. It was privately published in 1993 by Malachosky, who was an assistant to Ms. West, and is more of a valentine to her than a book dedicated to cinema. The book chronicles the star's career from stage to screen to stage to screen and everything in between, and contains a plethora of photos in black and white and color, most of which had been previously unseen by the public. It was released in a limited edition but I'm pretty sure you can still find it on amazon.
I didn't forget it - it's in my living room on a corner table with two other giants, THE LUCY & DESI REAL LIFE SCRAPBOOK by Elizabeth Edwards (alltime favorite tv related book and a top 10 show biz book to me) and HANNA-BARBERA CARTOONS by Michael Mallory but felt it was too specifically for Mae fans to be of interest to those not aware of it. LOVE all the rare color 1960s/70s photos of Mae in this book which was truly a labor of love and undoubtedly not a particularly profitable one due to the huge expense of just publishing these giants. Unfortunate that some joker posted a negative review of it on Amazon.com - likely one of those jealous types who believe they know more about a particular star than anybody else on earth or are possibly the author of another book or project on the subject, lots of people like that posting reviews and comments on Amazon and elsewhere. Alas, it was one of the first reviews posted - just checked and was pleased to see several five-star reviews have since been published.

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