The Best of Eve Golden’s John Gilbert

Nothing cures the Monday blues like a great movie. . . .or several! And we love the classics.

Eve Golden, author of John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars, has put together some of her favorite clips of the classically handsome and endlessly talented actor.

“The best Greta Garbo and Gilbert film, to my taste is Love, the 1927 modern-dress Anna Karenina,” Golden says. “Their romance had already hit the rocks by then, but they worked together so beautifully, and this scene is indicative of their whole relationship: him impetuous, her standoffish and chilly.”

“I love this clip because it contains rare color footage of Jack with Norma Shearer and John Gilbert in a sketch from Hollywood Revue of 1929. The opening Shakespeare scene is not up to much, nor is the closing slang parody. What I love is the minute or two in between: as close as we will get to seeing a color, candid scene of Jack and his pal Norma kidding affectionately with each other.”

“An adorable home movie, taken in 1926 at San Simeon, of Cowboy Jack rescuing Irvina (Irving Tahlberg in highly unconvincing drag) from the clutches of director Anthony Asquith,” Golden says. “I wish Jack had been given more comedy to do!”

“Jack with the wonderful Bodil Rosing in his best talkie, Downstairs (1932), showing that not only was his voice fine, but that he was a terrific talkie actor, too. He could easily have had another 30 years of work as a character actor.”

Continue after the jump for more information about Golden’s book.

About the Book:

John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars  by Eve Golden Charming and classically handsome, John Gilbert (1897–1936) was among the world’s most recognizable actors during the silent era. He was a wild, swashbuckling figure on screen and off, and accounts of his life have focused on his high-profile romances with Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, his legendary conflicts with Louis B. Mayer, his four tumultuous marriages, and his swift decline after the introduction of talkies. A dramatic and interesting personality, Gilbert served as one of the primary inspirations for the character of George Valentin in the Academy Award–winning movie The Artist (2011). Many myths have developed around the larger-than-life star in the eighty years since his untimely death, but this definitive biography sets the record straight.

Eve Golden separates fact from fiction in John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars, tracing the actor’s life from his youth spent traveling with his mother in acting troupes to the peak of fame at MGM, where he starred opposite Mae Murray, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and other actresses in popular films such as The Merry Widow (1925), The Big Parade (1925), Flesh and the Devil (1926), and Love (1927). Golden debunks some of the most pernicious rumors about the actor, including the oft-repeated myth that he had a high-pitched, squeaky voice that ruined his career. Meticulous, comprehensive, and generously illustrated, this book provides a behind-the-scenes look at one of the silent era’s greatest stars and the glamorous yet brutal world in which he lived.


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