Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Lupack, Barbara Tepa

Silent Serial Sensations

The Wharton Brothers and the Magic of Early Cinema


    113,95 € / $130.00 / £103.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    Copyright year:
    To be published:
    April 2020
    See all formats and pricing


    Aims and Scope

    The first book-length study of pioneering and prolific filmmakers Ted and Leo Wharton, Silent Serial Sensations offers a fascinating account of the dynamic early film industry. As Barbara Tepa Lupack demonstrates, the Wharton brothers were behind some of the most profitable and influential productions of the era, including The Exploits of Elaine and The Mysteries of Myra, which starred such popular performers as Pearl White, Irene Castle, Francis X. Bushman, and Lionel Barrymore. Working from the independent film studio they established in Ithaca, New York, Ted and Leo turned their adopted town into "Hollywood on Cayuga." By interweaving contemporary events and incorporating technological and scientific innovations, the Whartons expanded the possibilities of the popular serial motion picture and defined many of its conventions. A number of the sensational techniques and character types they introduced are still being employed by directors and producers a century later.


    408 pages
    59 b&w halftones, 1 map 1 Fig.
    Whartons, Serials, Silents, Ithaca, Buffalo Bills, Eugenics, Wallingford, Myra

    More ...

    New York State Public Scholar (2015–2018) and Senior Fellow at the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies (2014 & 2018), Barbara Tepa Lupack is former Professor of English at St. John's University and Wayne State College and academic dean at SUNY. She has written extensively on American film, literature, and culture. Her most recent books on silent film include Early Race Filmmaking in America and the award-winning Richard E. Norman and Race Filmmaking.


    Diana Riesman, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Wharton Studio Museum:

    "Barbara Tepa Lupack's entertaining book puts the Wharton brothers squarely on the map as trailblazers in an emerging art form and industry. Silent Serial Sensations celebrates the indelible impact Ithaca's Wharton Studio had on early American filmmaking."

    Jan-Christopher Horak, Director, UCLA Film & Telivision Archive:

    "Barbara Tepa Lupack's history of the Wharton Brothers recuperates a lost chapter in American film history, one based not in Hollywood or New York City, but in Ithaca, New York,. One of several prominent regional filmmaking centers in the 1910s, Ithaca became a center for the production of film serials, featuring the "new Woman," especially Pearl White in The Exploits of Elaine (1915). With the serials,The Mysteries of Myra  (1916), Beatrice Fairfax  (1916) and Patria (1917), as well as numerous feature films, Leo and Ten Wharton turned Ithaca into a bustling hub for film production, before the pressures of World War I led to the studio's demise. Utilizing previously hidden sources, as well as local and national newspaper coverage, Barbara Lupack's narrative brings to life independent American filmmaking in the Teens, while reading the Wharton serials in terms of gender and race."

    Comments (0)

    Please log in or register to comment.
    Log in