Four sets. (10) 30 min. videos for the silent film enthusiast. Richard Dyer MacCann has taught film writing, documentary film, film and society, and American motion picture history at the University of Southern California, the University of Kansas, and at the University of Iowa. Professor MacCann was honored as Distinguished Life Member of the University Film and Video Association. In 1973 he was awarded the first senior fellowship for film studies given by the National Endowment for Humanities and in 1977 studied American silent films at the Library of Congress on a grant from the University of Iowa. Professor MacCann has authored forty published articles and twelve books, produced five works on film and two video series, including the illustrated lectures about the first 30 years of silent film history. MacCann's autobiography, Student at Large, presently extends to 1995. (film)
* Thomas Edison tries to make movies a monopoly * The kinetoscope and the nickelodeon * Biograph, Essanay and Vitagraph - three members of Edison's trust * The immigrant Adolph Zukor follows the public demand for star personalities and feature-length productions * Paramount Pictures, the distribution company * Mary Pickford becomes "the best known female personality in the world".
* The Birth of a Nation, A Girl and Her Trust, and Intolerance mold D. W. Griffith's career * For ten years the most famous motion picture director in the world * Strong influence on other directors * Producer Thomas Ince, director and actor William S. Hart, immigrant producer Erich von Stroheim * Favorite themes of Cecil B. DeMille and King Vidor films.
* "A collection of legends" and insights into the production of many of their films * Florence Lawrence, first movie star * Geraldine Farrar, opera star on silent screen * Mary Miles Minter and Theda Bara (first "vamp") * Lillian Gish * Mary Pickford * Douglas Fairbanks * Clara Bow, "It" girl * Gloria Swanson * Rudolph Valentino, magnetism as a foreigner * 1920's - beginning of the "star" system, Golden Era of magnificent silent motion pictures.
* Important comedians in the first 30 years of silent film making * John Bunny * Mack Sennett and his Keystone factory * Mabel Normand * Fatty Arbuckle * Charlie Chaplin's rise to fame and fortune, directing and troubles with politics * The Great Stone Face, Buster Keaton.