Framing the Atmospheric Film Prologue in Britain, 1919–1926

Julie Brown

in The Sounds of the Silents in Britain

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199797615
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979738 | DOI:
Framing the Atmospheric Film Prologue in Britain, 1919–1926

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In the late 1910s and 1920s, film prologues were often dramatic and/or musical performances presented live on stage immediately before a feature film. Directly related to the feature and intended to bridge the gap between “the world of actuality” and the world of the feature, they sometimes consisted of live enactments of plot summaries or involved a short scene from the film performed on stage by members of the film cast itself, though they might equally have involved a thematically related operatic scena or simply a song performance. This chapter focuses on the ubiquitous film trade-paper reporting of the phenomenon in Britain. To read against the grain is to discover a different story about the prologue’s genealogy (early special presentation in Britain, pre-Rothapfel) and its embrace in Britain (less widespread than implied) than the one told by the industry publicity.

Keywords: live prologue; Francis A. Mangan; H. F. Kessler-Howes; advance prologue; cinematic atmosphere; The Miracle; With Allenby in Palestine; Mephisto; Samuel Rothapfel; Robb Lawson

Chapter.  9748 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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