LUCKY STARS: JANET GAYNOR & CHARLES FARRELL by Sarah Baker

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978-1593934682

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"There can never be a Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell love team again."

--Janet Gaynor, 1970

From their first iconic pairing in 7th Heaven (1927) and in eleven films that followed, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell created an unparalleled cinematic romance. Their partnership was so utterly complete that in the minds and hearts of their adoring public, they were as one. Even though both enjoyed successful solo careers-Janet Gaynor won the first Best Actress Oscar and played Vicki Lester in the original A Star Is Born (1937) and Charles Farrell enjoyed a successful television career, playing Vern Albright on My Little Margie-their work as a team stood out. Even decades after their onscreen partnership ended, any mention of Gaynor in the press merited a mention of Farrell, and vice-versa.

Behind the camera, Gaynor and Farrell carried on a secret romance that lasted from their first meeting in 1926 until Gaynor's first marriage in 1929. Supporting and encouraging each other's lives beyond Hollywood, they were able to maintain a mellow friendship that lasted their entire lives.

Drawing upon previously unpublished interviews with Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor, formal interviews with family and friends who knew them best, and meticulous archival research, author Sarah Baker details the fascinating behind the scenes story of the greatest romantic team of all time. The book includes a detailed filmography and is lavishly illustrated with over 100 photographs, many from Charles Farrell's estate. Includes a foreword by director Allison Anders (Grace of My Heart, Things Behind the Sun).

Sarah Baker achieves the same distinction with Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor & Charles Farrell (with a foreword by director Allison Anders), a dual bio of two of the most important and popular starts of the late silent/early sound era. Immortalized by Frank Borzage in the extraordinary 7th HEAVEN (1927), STREET ANGEL (1928), and LUCKY STAR (1929) Gaynor and Farrell were screendom’s greatest romantic team during this period, and under his exquisite direction touched the hearts of an entire generation. While they made eight other films together with such directors as David Butler and Raoul Walsh, it is the three Borzages that represent their penultimate collaboration, three movies that represent the great artistic heights possible during the late silents. All three titles are available in 20th Century-Fox’s Borzage/Murnau set from a couple of years ago and endlessly reward the viewer. In Lucky Stars the author includes previously unpublished interviews with Gaynor and Farrell, over 100 photographs, and has drawn upon the Fox Archives at UCLA, among others.  - National Board of Review's April 2010 webpage

Sarah Baker's first foray into classic film was a seven-year labor of love-a documentary film about silent film star Olive Thomas. Over the course of her research, Baker located ten of Thomas' twenty films-all of which had been considered lost. The resulting documentary, Olive Thomas: Everybody's Sweetheart, executive produced by Hugh Hefner, was released to DVD (2004) along with Thomas' film The Flapper -the first time this film had been available to the public since 1920. She is currently in production for another documentary, Blues Man: The Life and Times of Sean Costello.

San Francisco Examiner Names Lucky Stars One of Ten Best Books of 2009

Review in Rogue Cinema

Interview with the Author

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