It could be said that the career of Canadian-born film director Allan Dwan (1885-1981) began at the dawn of the American motion picture industry. Originally a scriptwriter, Dwan became a director purely by accident. Even so, his creativity and problem-solving skills propelled him to the top of his profession. He achieved success with numerous silent film performers, most spectacularly with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Gloria Swanson, and later with such legendary stars as Shirley Temple and John Wayne. Though his star waned in the sound era, Dwan managed to survive through pluck and ingenuity. Considering himself better off without the fame he enjoyed during the silent era, he went on to do some of his best work for second-echelon studios (notably Republic Pictures' Sands of Iwo Jima) and such independent producers as Edward Small. Along the way, Dwan also found personal happiness in an unconventional manner. Rich in detail with two columns of text in each of its nearly 400 pages, and with more than 150 photographs, this book presents a thorough examination of Allan Dwan and separates myth from truth in his life and films.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book for both the serious student of film history and the more casual film history buff.The amount of research is phenomenal but the meticulous scholarship is presented in a style that is imminently readable and entertaining.Mr.Lombardi has done a marvelous job of examining the long career of a less well known movie pioneer and of proving his relevance to all of film history.If you are already familiar with Allan Dwan you will appreciate the manner in which his career is detailed and if you are not,you will come away with a new understanding and appreciation of the early days of movie making.
A well-done piece about an oft-overlooked Hollywood legend. My interest was his time as the starting QB at Notre Dame.
It just never took off for me. Rambling. I couldn't finish it, which is a drag, because I love film.
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