Vitaphone Films

A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts


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About the Book

The headline of the Variety extra on October 27, 1926, proclaimed “Vitaphone1 Thrills L.A.!” Vitaphone, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. formed in association with Western Electric, was one of the major producers of talkies, even though its sound-on-disc technology barely lasted four years. The Vitaphone features and shorts that have survived intact, or that have been so carefully restored, preserve much of the show business history that might otherwise have been lost with the industry’s fast-paced advances in movie making.
This book is a catalogue of Vitaphone features and shorts. The first section lists the features and shorts by release number. The New York productions (1926–1940) are listed first, followed by the West Coast productions (1927–1970). For shorts, the following particulars, if known and if applicable, are given: title, alternate title(s), instrumental and vocal selections performed on screen, composer(s) and performers of instrumental and vocal selections, release date and synopsis of the film, names of major cast members and directors, set information if two or fewer sets were used, and the amount paid to early performers. For features, entries list release dates, genre, and major cast members. The section on performers includes only those who appeared in shorts, listing dates and places of birth when known.

About the Author(s)

Roy Liebman, formerly a librarian and film bibliographer at California State University, works at the Los Angeles Public Library. He is the author of several reference books on the cinema, published by McFarland. A book reviewer for Library Journal and Magill Online Reviews, he lives in California.

Bibliographic Details

Roy Liebman
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 463
Bibliographic Info: 163 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4697-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0936-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5

I. The Films      11

Sequence 1–2100      11

Sequence B1–B275      158

Sequence 2101–9999      172

Sequence 1A–3485A      267

II. The Performers      345

Appendix One: Vitaphone Films with Other Numbering Sequences      393

Appendix Two: Films with Unknown or No Assigned Vitaphone Release Numbers      394

Appendix Three: Text of the Standard Vitaphone Talent Agreement      396

Appendix Four: A Brief History of Vitaphone      397

Bibliography      399

Name Index      401

Title Index      421

Book Reviews & Awards

“a comprehensive list”—Classic Images; “useful”—ARBA; “This is a book I herald as one the most important film catalogs available today….thoroughly concise, accurate, totally absorbing…justifiably the best book on the subject so far…major contribution to film history…should be obtained by every film historian, writer, and aficionado of the Golden Age of Hollywood and Vaudeville”—The Film Biographer.