Charles Ashton and British Silent Films

British Silent Film Star – Charles Ashton

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John Stuart, A forgotten silent star rediscovered

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Jonathan Croall’s latest book  “Forgotten Stars: My Father and the British Silent Film World”  describes the life and silent film career of his father, John Stuart, and his contemporaries.  John Stuart was a hugely popular film actor who played romantic leads opposite all the leading actresses of the day.  He worked with directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Maurice Elvey, Anthony Asquith and Victor Saville.  Yet like most other stars of the 1920s he is all but forgotten today.  Drawing on a unique family archive, Jonathan Croall’s book examines the working conditions of the stars, the physical dangers they endured, the pressures they faced from their fans and the press, and the lure of Hollywood.  He also covers the revolution in British Cinema caused by the arrival of sound, and the devastating impact of the ‘talkies’, which affected so many of the stars’ careers, some of them tragically.

On Wednesday, 26th June 2013 at 7.30 p.m., Jonathan’s book “Forgotten Stars” will be launched at a free event at the Cinema Museum in London, when the author will show clips from his father’s silent films, talk about his career and sign copies of the book.  The films will include Her Son (1920), Alfred Hitchcock’s first film The Pleasure Garden (1925), Hindle Wakes (1927) and Kitty (1929), the first British part-talkie.  For more information about this event see the Cinema Museum’s events calendar:

Jonathan Croall is the author of twenty books, including the acclaimed biographies John Gielgud: Matinee Idol to Movie Star and Sybil Thorndike: A Star of Life.

Forgotten Stars: My Father and the British Silent Film World is published in June by Fantom Films.


Written by anneramsden

June 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm