Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker

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9780060731403: Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker

Oscar Micheaux was the Jackie Robinson of film, the black D. W. Griffith—a bigger-than-life American folk hero whose important life story has been nearly forgotten today. The son of freed slaves, he roamed America as a Pullman porter before making his first mark as a homesteader in South Dakota—and going on from there to become the king of the "race cinema" industry, producing and/or directing nearly forty films during a time of Jim Crow segregation when African-American artists were not welcome in Hollywood.

In this groundbreaking new biography, award-winning film historian Patrick McGilligan offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of a true pioneer of American culture who was equal parts visionary, hustler, huckster, innovator, and raffish Barnum-like showman—and the first great African-American filmmaker.

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About the Author:

Patrick McGilligan is the author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light; Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast; and George Cukor: A Double Life; and books on the lives of directors Nicholas Ray, Robert Altman, and Oscar Micheaux, and actors James Cagney, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. He also edited the acclaimed five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters and (with Paul Buhle), the definitive Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not far from Kenosha, where Orson Welles was born.

Review:

“McGilligan deftly assembles the sterling research of scholars of early black filmmaking into an enormously moving and compelling account of a quixotic life defined by arduous toil and perpetual optimism.” (DGA Quarterly)

“a well researched, passionately felt and endlessly fascinating look at a singular American life.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“McGilligan has made this incredible, half-forgotten life newly available to us all.” (The Guardian)

“An enormously moving and compelling account of a quixotic life defined by arduous toil and perpetual optimism.” (Directors Guild Association Quarterly)

McGilligan does a fine job of reaffirming Micheaux’s significance beyond the appreciation of cineastes. (Publishers Weekly)

“In the skilled hands of Patrick McGilligan, Oscar Micheaux’s life story bristles and takes flight.” (Pearl Bowser, author of Writing Himself into History: Oscar Micheaux, His Silent Films and His Audiences)

“a lively, readable tale” (New York Times Book Review)

Praise for Alfred Hitchcock: “Staggering... illuminating... The Master of Suspense finally gets and authoritative life.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred))

Praise for Alfred Hitchcock: “Enthralling, scholarly, and candid.” (Publishers Weekly)

Praise for Alfred Hitchcock: “Magnificently exhaustive, absolutely definitive, marvelously magesterial...” (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

Praise for Alfred Hitchcock: “A hugely satisfying portrait of the artist.” (Entertainment Weekly)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Oscar Micheaux was the Jackie Robinson of film, the black D. W. Griffith--a bigger-than-life American folk hero whose important life story has been nearly forgotten today. The son of freed slaves, he roamed America as a Pullman porter before making his first mark as a homesteader in South Dakota--and going on from there to become the king of the race cinema industry, producing and/or directing nearly forty films during a time of Jim Crow segregation when African-American artists were not welcome in Hollywood. In this groundbreaking new biography, award-winning film historian Patrick McGilligan offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of a true pioneer of American culture who was equal parts visionary, hustler, huckster, innovator, and raffish Barnum-like showman--and the first great African-American filmmaker. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060731403

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Oscar Micheaux was the Jackie Robinson of film, the black D. W. Griffith--a bigger-than-life American folk hero whose important life story has been nearly forgotten today. The son of freed slaves, he roamed America as a Pullman porter before making his first mark as a homesteader in South Dakota--and going on from there to become the king of the race cinema industry, producing and/or directing nearly forty films during a time of Jim Crow segregation when African-American artists were not welcome in Hollywood. In this groundbreaking new biography, award-winning film historian Patrick McGilligan offers a vivid and fascinating portrait of a true pioneer of American culture who was equal parts visionary, hustler, huckster, innovator, and raffish Barnum-like showman--and the first great African-American filmmaker. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060731403

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Oscar Micheaux: The Great and Only: The Life of America's First Black Filmmaker, Patrick McGilligan, Micheaux's saga is unique among Hollywood backstories. The son of freed slaves, he grew up in the homesteading communities of South Dakota. After working as a Pullman porter, he was inspired by Jack London to write fiction, and soon began an entrepreneurial career successfully publishing a series of his own autobiographical novels. Then, in 1919, he formed his own film production company after Hollywood failed to bid high enough for film rights to his stories. He would go on to produce or direct twenty-two silent and fifteen sound films in his lifetime, becoming the king of the "race cinema" industry at a time before black-produced films could be shown in white-owned theaters.Part visionary, part raffish Barnum-like showman, Micheaux would buck the odds throughout his life. He made a fortune and lost it again, launching repeated con games that were followed by public arrests and bankruptcies. He also eagerly took credit for the work of others - including his unsung-heroine wife; in his desperate later years, as McGilligan reveals here for the first time, he even sunk to plagiarising his final novel. In this searching exploration, McGilligan tracks down long-lost financial records, unpublished letters, and unmarked pauper's graves, pinpointing his birthplace, his tangled personal life, the circumstances of his tragic death. The result is an epic that bridges a fascinating period in American and cultural history. Bookseller Inventory # B9780060731403

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