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June 19 , 2009

The Sound of Silence

Conversations with 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies


Marion Shilling began her career as a silent film ingenue for MGM and went on to play heroines in Westerns of the 1930s. Stage actress Esther Muir made the transition from Broadway to Hollywood just as talkies became popular. Hugh Allan was a leading man in the last years of the silents only to leave the film business in 1930 because of the uncertainty surrounding his transition to sound films and his disgust with studio politics. These three performers and thirteen others (Barbara Barondess, Thomas Beck, Mary Brian, Pauline Curley, Billie Dove, Edith Fellows, Rose Hobart, William Janney, Marcia Mae Jones, Barbara Kent, Anita Page, Lupita Tovar, and Barbara Weeks) reminisce here about Hollywood and the movie business as it made the transition.

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