Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film” as Want to Read:
A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  6 reviews
It was the most chaotic era in the history of American entertainment, possibly its most dynamic, and in some ways its least understood. In a stunningly brief time, as the Jazz Age roared to a close, the art of the silent film became extinct, thrown over in favor of the unknown, virtually untested medium of talking pictures. Leading the way was a brand new American art form ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Oxford University Press, USA
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Song in the Dark, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Song in the Dark

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  6 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Diane
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film
Richard Barrios' most meticulously researched and readable book
is a perfect companion to "The First Hollywood Musicals" in what
is, to me, the most fascinating era in movies. Who would have
imagined that in the same year (1928) as Harold Lloyd's "Speedy"
and Lillian Gish's "The Wind", a tin pot film with mediocre
stars and amateurish direction would pave the way for the death
of silent films. The movie was "Lights of New York", the first
all talking feature film, the dialogue was laughable but it
combi
...more
Kelley Ceccato
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good read focusing on a little-examined period of Hollywood history: the rise of the musical film in the earliest days of the talkies, followed by its near-extinction. Lots and lots of detail, a readable style, and welcome touches of humor.
Melissa
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
A great summary of how musicals took the screen by storm. Barrios is an entertaining writer and keeps the content fresh, but after a while, your head will start aching at all of the names of unknown films and actors until you can't keep them straight.

I was glad to add a couple of early musicals on my Netflix list and was also saddened to learn about how many of these pieces of early film heritage, although not that old, are lost.
Raquel
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Song in the Dark is an essential guide for anyone with a keen interest in film history and musicals. There is a lot of information here and I feel like it was delivered effectively. The author is very opinionated and that takes some getting used to. Read my full review here: http://www.outofthepastblog.com/2013/...
Florence Craye
Jul 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: film history lovers, musical people
This is my favorite non-fiction book. I love film musicals and older films. This combines both- it's all about early film musicals. Barrios is frequently witty and wise, and his footnotes are fantastic!

Reading this book makes you want to see each film he describes. It's definitely a keeper, and one that I keep going back to for fun and reference.
Ruby
Feb 17, 2011 is currently reading it
Probably one of the most thoroughly researched books on early film musicals I've ever seen.
Michael Samerdyke
rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2013
Suzanne
rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2015
Jonas Nordin
rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2011
Amelia
rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2012
Marcos
rated it really liked it
May 10, 2014
Roberta
rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2010
Jay
rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2010
Richard Findlay
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2014
Christopher Krakora
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2012
Saskia
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2012
Arthur Pierce
rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2017
Roland
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2012
LB Johnson
rated it it was amazing
Jul 01, 2012
Eleonora
rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2018
Lisa
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2011
Ashley
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2019
Caitlin
rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2012
Susan
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2018
Ihsan
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2018
Brian
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2013
Catherine
rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2015
Catherine
rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2012
John Oswalt
rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2013
Ron
rated it really liked it
Jul 04, 2009
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »