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Flickering Empire


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Foreword, by Susan Doll Persons Discussed in Flickering Empire Preface: Hollywood Before Hollywood Part 1. Thomas Edison, Invention and the Dawn of a New Chicago 1. Edison's Kinetoscope and Pre-Motion-Picture Entertainment 2. The Columbian Exposition 3. The Dawn of Exhibition Part 2. Chicago Rising 4. Colonel William Selig 5. George Spoor, George Kleine, and the Rise of the Nickelodeon 6. Gilbert "Broncho Billy" Anderson 7. The Edison Trust Part 3. The Golden Age of Chicago Film Production 8. The Golden Age of Essanay 9. The Golden Age of Selig Polyscope 10. Essanay Signs Charlie Chaplin 11. Chaplin in Chicago: His New Job Part 4. It All Came Crashing Down 12. The Decline of the Chicago Studios 13. Major M. L. C. Funkhouser and the Chicago Censorship Code Epilogue Post-Script: Oscar and Orson Appendix A: Selig Polyscope's Pointers on Picture Acting Appendix B: A Complete List of the Extant Chicago-Shot Films Named in This Book and Where to See Them Appendix C: Some Censored Scenes of Chicago Films Noted in Local Newspapers Endnotes Index

About the Author

Michael Glover Smith is an independent filmmaker whose most recent films, At Last, Okemah! (2009) and The Catastrophe (2011), have won multiple awards at film festivals across the United States. He has taught film history and aesthetics at Oakton Community College, Triton College, Harold Washington College, and the College of Lake County, and lectures at Northwestern University and Facets Multimedia. Adam Selzer lives in Chicago and is a tour guide and the author of several books on history and folklore, including The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History.


Long overdue... Chicago Tribune An exceptional new book... that immediately joins the ranks of essential film references Chicagoist [Flickering Empire] is a goldmine for popular culture historians and early-film buffs... Recommended. Choice A fascinating read from beginning to end. The Midwest Book Review

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