[BOOKS] ✪ Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara ✴ Eve Golden – Saudionline.co.uk

Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara pdf Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, ebook Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, epub Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, doc Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, e-pub Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara 213dace6dff Theda Bara Became An Overnight Superstar With Her Film Debut In The Scandalous Hit, A Fool There Was, And For The Rest Of That Decade Stayed At The Top Of The Heap, Along With Mary Pickford And Charlie Chaplin Despite Her Fame And Notoriety As The Movies First Sex Symbol, No Biography Of The Original Vamp Has Ever Been Written, Even Though Bara Threatened To Pen Her Own Because Nobody Ever Wrote A True Word About Me Finally, Someone Has Bara Had One Of The Most Bizarre And Colorful Careers Of The Silent Era, Starring In Cleopatra, Salome, And Scores Of Other Hit Films Before Vanishing Mysteriously From The Screen Now, Read For The First Time How A Nice Jewish Girl From The Midwest Became Satan S Handmaiden, Scandalized A Nation, And Abruptly Fell From The Heights

10 thoughts on “Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara

  1. says:

    Posterity has been both cruel and kind to Theda Bara.In a sense, she s luckier than most of the forgotten stars of the early silent movies, because, even though most people no longer know her name, there is at least one iconic image of her that has seeped into the collective consciousness her intense brooding gaze, directed at us from eyes surrounded by dark makeup rings and a head bedecked in faux Egyptian headdress her plumpish body sprawled and barely covered, her breast contours exposed and nipples barely hidden by wispy asp ornaments.The famous photo still is from Cleopatra, the biggest movie hit of 1917 and like virtually every one of the 40 plus movies she made it is entirely lost to us.Theda Bara the first sex symbol of the movies ground out an astonishingly ample number of movies from the start of her film career in 1915, becoming one of the biggest stars of the World War I era Less than five years after her debut in A Fool There Was, the movie that solidified the idea of the merciless vamp, or maneater, in the public mind, Bara was washed up and quickly forgotten All but four of her films were pretty much lost to fires and disintegration by the 1930s.Because we have so little of her, and because the studio publicity printed about her in her heyday was all lies, there is almost a cold trail about who this star really was.Eve Golden does an admirable job of reconstructing the life and career of this icon, who, as it turns out, was the complete opposite of her film persona genteel, well bred, cultured, conservative, studious, cautious, hardworking and non scandalous in her private life.As a film buff, I d always dismissed Bara as a footnote which is something Golden says has been done by virtually all film scholars The problem with Bara is that with so few of her films available it is hard to grasp and gauge the quality and impact of her allure and talent particularly the range of her onscreen personality Although it doesn t impress many viewers today, her first film, A Fool There Was actually does give some indication of Bara s seductive power It was such a huge hit that it made fledgling Fox Film viable, leading to the movie company 20th Century Fox that we ve known for decades Bara films such as Cleopatra continued to solidify the studio s place in Hollywood But, like many stars of the past and present, Bara struggled against typecasting, unsuccessfully Producer William Fox always returned her to vamp roles whenever she d try acting in serious fare The public loved the vamp, but the critics were merciless, and Bara was not inclined to disagree with them.Although Bara did have the air of the diva, it was all part of the image and partly something earned by hard work She never came to the set unprepared, heavily researching her roles before filming them.Although the subtitle of this book is The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, there s nothing especially dramatic about Bara s decline in show business As younger flappers emerged in the 1920s and she began to push middle age, her role as the vamp became ludicrous to the public, and she was no longer a novelty Luckily, she saved her money, married well and enjoyed a life of luxury for the rest of her days.It is that lack of a flame out sensational life that probably also accounts for the lack of interest in Bara today She didn t commit suicide or have affairs or so on Nothing about Bara could have made it into Hollywood Babylon The initial image of her pushed by the studio s PR liars that she was an exotic import born in the shadows of the Sphinx who was raised in a tent in the desert sands was eaten up by the press and the public of the day, even though they didn t really believe it Bara, though she did put on airs, was simply Theodosia Goodman of Cincinnati, Ohio, a plump and fairly homely looking girl, who somehow transformed herself into the first sex symbol of the movies.Golden does a good job of digging into the sparse record including, miraculously, Bara s own surviving scrapbooks in which she kept both her good and bad press reviews and does the best she can with the material The book is efficient, straightforward and well enough done, not exactly scintillating Many buffs will want this simply for the liberal inclusion of many, and often rare, photos of Bara on and off the set Even though I m rating it relatively low, that should not be taken as a lack of a recommendation This is the first and so far only biography of Bara, and I think it s a good start Perhaps a better book on her can t be done, due to the dearth of surviving information, but even after reading it I never quite felt that I really got to know her The book does an excellent job of surveying Bara s films, and one begins to feel pained wondering how she must have moved in those regal stages of undress in Cleopatra and Salome, how funny and versatile she must have been as the tomboyish action hero in Under Two Flags and how wicked she must have seemed as the vamp who takes down a whole town in Destruction.I m giving this kudos as a piece of informative movie archeology and less of a pass as great read, though again, it reads swiftly.

  2. says:

    More of an enigma than an actress, Theda Bara continues to captivate far long after her reign as the Vamp That in part has to do with the fact that only a couple films of hers survived after Fox Studio s film reels caught fire There remains just a very small footage of her most intriguing film, Cleopatra, that only succeeds in heightening mystery that surrounds her The still shots however remain and draw you to her captivating presence This biography gives good insight into who she really was, and not the mysterious fictitious character that the studio made up when they set out to create their first star the exotic, Theda Bara.

  3. says:

    This is a necessarily brief biography of an important cultural figure Almost all her films have disappeared and the published information about her early life is almost entirely studio created nonsense she was born in the shadow of the pyramids actually Cincinatti Her active career as an onscreen sex bomb, the woman for whom the word vamp was invented, was also very brief only from 1914 to 1919 What s left of that career are a few films considered even at the time as some of her weakest and some tantalisingly wonderful and strange photographs and stills Like the author, I d love to see the extravagant production of Cleopatra she starred in in 1917, but no surviving copies are known Her public image was as the most dangerous, depraved woman in America, a woman with whom no decent man was safe offscreen, all the evidence suggests she was an intelligent, well read, kind, stable, and likeable woman.

  4. says:

    A brief, but highly enjoyable read one can complete in a day Eve Golden related the brief, brilliant, troubled film career of Theda Bara, one of the first femme fatales of the silent era Great for lovers of tall tales, as well as any film history buff.

  5. says:

    Theda Barathe name conjures up mystery and evil deeds Not a bad start for a Jewish girl from Cincinnati named Theodosa Goodman, plain and rather pudgy with a big chin and thin lips William Fox of Fox Studios later to morph into 20h Century Fox took her and turned her into the biggest silent star of all times Yet she is practically unknown today except to the silent film fan..most of her films have been lost so the viewer doesn t see all her work but her first huge hit A Fool There Was is still extant Her character was the vampire taken from the poem of the same name by Kipling , soon shortened to vamp , a woman who led men to destruction, alcoholism and usually suicide And the public loved it To say that her acting, the character,her make up flowing hair and the stories were ludicrous is putting it mildly Why she became so popular is rather puzzling.This short, easy to read biography is full in information but is somewhat dull Ms Bara never had a breath of scandal associated with her life and married British director Charles Brabin..and stayed married The times soon passed by the public s enjoyment of her films and she retired before the talkies began, after trying a disastrous Broadway outing She lives a privileged and social life until her death in 1955 Her passing was barely noticed by film fans who hadn t a clue who she was A bittersweet ending for a pioneer of the film industry, albeit it a rather strange one.

  6. says:

    More informative than it was entertaining , but I think that s because I ve been conditioned to equate scandal with excitement, and this lady had no scandals to speak of Pure class Learned a lot about the silent age and the failure we ve had in preserving our past I recommend this.

  7. says:

    Entertaining and witty account of Theda s life and career Very well researched , and manages to talk about the films and their plots without making them tedious.

  8. says:

    Unlike Gish, Pickford, and Bow, Theda Bara is a face associated with the silent era that we really know little about Her name and likeness are tossed around and she s often spoke of as one of the quintessential stars of the silent screen However, so little of her filmography exists that it s close to impossible to discuss her as anything than a name and likeness Aside from A Fool There Was , her existing films are trite melodramas and a hopeless comedy short Even her epic Cleopatra exists only as a half minute clip Also taking into consideration that Theda was a very private person and that most of the facts of her life were lies from the studio, a legitimate biography about her seems almost impossible.However, Eve Golden succeeds in writing perhaps the most credible biography that one could about Theda Bara She seems to have researched not only Theda herself, but also her films, poring over reviews and public reception of them in order to get a glimpse of what they might have been like One can gather that while Theda was only an occasional critical success, audiences couldn t get enough of her In fact, it s somewhat sad that she tried several times to break into diverse roles and was rejected each time In fact, even though this is common knowledge now than even a decade ago, Theda was a very down to earth, upstanding person who had a solid marriage and a generous spirit, and this book emphasizes those qualities In that way, this biography does what every biography should dispel myths and confirm the truth.My only complaint is that the book itself has a feeling of unprofessionalism It s well researched and educated, but the layout definitely feelsI suppose quaint, if one can describe a book as such One or two portions have clunky writing, and Golden offers some opinions that I personally differed with, so for these reasons, I couldn t give it 5 stars However, if one is looking for a genuine and informative book about Theda which is full of photographs as well, look no further than this lovely biography.

  9. says:

    Theda Bara was a silent film star of the 1910s who was very famous in her time for her femme fatale roles, but is largely forgotten today That s mainly because most of her films have been lost Only about five of her 42 movies exist today Most were lost in a studio fire I liked this book mostly because I m interested in its subject matter movie history, and especially the early history It didn t delve very deeply into the subject s personal life At times it almost reads like a filmography Most of the book is devoted to the four years or so when she made the bulk of her films Then again, there apparently isn t a lot of existing information about Theda Bara Most of what was written about her at the time were fabricated stories fed to the press by her movie studio s PR department For instance, the studio Fox claimed she was the daughter of a French actress and an Italian sculptor and grew up in Egypt and France Added to that, by the time anyone did a biography of her, she and most of her contemporaries were dead, so it was hard to set the record straight In fact, she was born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati and hadn t even been to Egypt or France at the time she started her film career And it would be hard to write about her career without it seeming like you were just describing the making of one film after another, since she made than 40 movies in only about four years and didn t really have any downtime between movies.The author did a good job of research, dispelling myths about Theda Bara for instance, the myth that her public bought her publicity hook, line, and sinker She also explains why early silent film stars seemed to have such a rigid, unrealistic acting style They were trained in the Delsarte method, a set of specific gestures that were supposed to represent particular emotions.

  10. says:

    This biography is about Theda Bara a silent movie star sex symbol I didn t know much about Theda so this was an interesting book I soon found out not only is this book about Theda but it s about the silent movie era It s interesting to read about how the movie culture was, what kind of make up they had to wear, the costumes, and different styles of directing I m impressed at how many women were so active in the film industry I knew about this but it was a great reminder that females were strong as directors too Theda is a very intelligent lady, and her style helped pave the way to her success It s a shame that most of her films are lost I ve noticed that some of her films were just plain sexy, the Cleopatra costumes are beautiful and very risqu If anything Theda s costumes shown skin than most films now a days, but in a burlesque form and leaving the mind to wonder No wonder she was one of the very first sex symbols in movie history I would love a coffee table book of Theda s costumes I wonder if this is where Princess Leia s Metal Bikini costume came from.

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