By Jennifer M. Bean, Richard Abel, Giorgio Bertellini, Mark Cooper, Scott Curtis, Christine Gledhill, Kristen Grant, Rob King, Professor Daisuke Miyao, Anne Morey, Gaylyn Studlar, Kristen Whissel

Today, we're so acquainted with eating the amplified lives of movie stars that the origins of the phenomenon could appear inevitable on reflection. however the conjunction of the phrases "movie" and "star" was once unimaginable sooner than the 1910s. Flickers of Desire explores the emergence of this mass cultural phenomenon, asking how and why a cinema that didn't even run display credit constructed so speedy right into a venue within which performers grew to become the yankee movie industry's so much profitable mode of product individuation. participants chart the increase of yank cinema's first galaxy of stars via quite a few archival sources--newspaper columns, renowned journals, fan magazines, cartoons, dolls, postcards, scrapbooks, own letters, limericks, and dances. the long-lasting prestige of Charlie Chaplin's little tramp, Mary Pickford's golden curls, Pearl White's bold stunts, or Sessue Hayakawa's expressionless masks replicate the wild variety of a public's wanted beliefs, whereas Theda Bara's seductive flip because the embodiment of female evil, George Beban's functionality as a sympathetic Italian immigrant, or G. M. Anderson's construction of the heroic cowboy/outlaw personality reworked the fantasies that formed American filmmaking and its very important function in society.

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In this case, of course, “originality” came from Anderson himself as a “picture personality”: his embodiment onscreen was necessary for “Broncho Billy” to exist and to circulate as a recurring fictional character to admire and even emulate. At the same time, however, as a serial figure, “Broncho Billy” was not unlike Buffalo Bill, Deadwood Dick, Jesse James, Young Wild West, and others on whom G. M. ANDERSON 29 earlier dime novel series had been constructed. The name functioned much like a brand that could guarantee repeated spectatorial satisfaction.

That same month the Scripps-McRae newspaper chain proclaimed that its “moving picture expert,” Gertrude Price, would be entertaining readers with stories about the “MOVING PICTURE FOLKS ” because “‘the movies’ [were] the biggest, most popular amusement in the world” (“The Movies,” Des Moines News, 11 November 1912, 2). These stories soon turned into a syndicated series of “personality sketches” (illustrated with line drawings) that could appear up to several times a week, not only in Scripps-McRae newspapers located in the Midwest but also in many others that subscribed to the United Press Association.

6. “Chats with the Players” first appeared in Motion Picture Story Magazine in February 1912 (135–38). 7. —Heroine of the Movies” (Des Moines News, 17 November 1912, 7). 8. A similar boast can be found in a wide range of daily newspapers: Gaiety ad, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (2 June 1912, 9); Royal ad, Mansfield News (13 July 1912, 16); “Among the Theatres,” Charleroi Mail (10 August 1912, 3); Colonial ad, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (25 August 1912, 8); and Ada Evening News (4 December 1912, 3).

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