Sergei Bertensson's diary of his trip to Hollywood with Russian theatre great Nemirovich-Danchenko is a unique record of an extraordinary and under-documented chapter in film and theatre history. For a year Bertensson followed his employer as he met with directors, producers, and stars, forever discussing projects that would never be realized. Some of the leading figures in Hollywood history appear in this record, including Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and John Barrymore. Bertensson's observations of life in Hollywood on the eve of the talkies revolution provide us with a compelling snapshot of movie history in the making, seen from the unusual perspective of an outsider.
Bertensson, assistant to Nemirovich-Danchenko, cofounder of the Moscow Art Theatre and rival of method acting innovator Stanislavsky, met his employer in Hollywood as the company toured the US in the late 1920s. Fryer...introduces this unique record of the transition period from silent to talking pictures. His diary is replete with references to well-known actors and directors. The preface is reprinted from the Russian edition published in the 1960s by K. Arensky in California.--Reference and Research Book News