TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

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Thomas Reeder
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TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby Thomas Reeder » Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:33 am

TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN by Thomas Reeder is now available!

This sequel of sorts to my earlier MR. SUICIDE: HENRY “PATHÉ” LEHRMAN AND THE BIRTH OF SILENT COMEDY continues the saga of Lehrman’s L-Ko Komedy Kompany under the new leadership of the Stern Brothers, and the subsequent comedy brands that evolved from it.

The reputation of the Sterns and their comedy brands—L-Ko, Century, Rainbow, and Stern Brothers Comedies—have suffered over the years, a combination of the inaccessibility of their films, a comparative lack of star power among their comedians, and, I might add, a touch of professional jealousy on the part of their competitors

“Our comedies are not to be laughed at!” was the quip most associated with the brothers and their films. A funny line, admittedly, but dead wrong. Purported to have been uttered by one of the Stern Brothers, this is another example of the legend becoming “fact,” and has defined—and tarnished—the lasting reputation of the brothers and their films. As Picture-Play Magazine put it back in 1930, “If all the stories, which are always told in dialect, ridiculing the Sterns, were laid end to end, they would extend from the city hall in Whittier, California, to the right elbow of the Statue of Liberty.”

The reality is that Julius and Abe Stern were important figures in the industry for most of the silent era, having a foothold from the very beginnings in 1905 and surviving–thriving–until its end in 1929. Businessmen foremost and creative artists secondarily, it didn’t hurt that they had a champion in no less than Carl Laemmle, Universal’s head and their supportive brother-in-law—for awhile, at least. Ultimately they were on their own, however, with a business model that worked for them throughout the silent era. Savvy investors as well, they were both millionaires by the time they retired, unlike so many of their peers who were left penniless by the Depression. Quietly living out their lives until their deaths—Abe in 1951 and Julius 1977—Julius’s humanitarian exploits included the sponsoring of the emigration of numerous Jews from Hitler’s Germany.

With a nearly six hundred one- and two-reel comedies to their credit from 1917 on—nearly nine hundred if you include the former L-Ko’s—their output was staggering. And while there were no Chaplins or Keatons in their ever-changing roster, their films boasted such dependable stars as Baby Peggy Montgomery, Alice Howell, Mack Swain, Gale Henry, Hughie Mack, Wanda Wiley, Charles Dorety, Jack Cooper, Harry Sweet, Jimmie Adams, Bud Jamison, Vernon Dent, Bartine Burkett, Phil Dunham, Max Asher, Buddy Messinger, and others far too numerous to list here, not to mention a whole menagerie of two- and four-legged animal friends. Helming these comedies was a veritable who’s who of comedy directors who would go on to considerable success in the industry, including the likes of Gus Meins, Alf Goulding, William Watson, Tom Buckingham, Arvid Gillstrom, Norman Taurog, Edward Ludwig, Jess Robbins, Charles Lamont, and Sam Newfield.

TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN finally reveals the intriguing and unbiased story of the lives and careers of Julius and Abe Stern. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 rare photos, TIME IS MONEY! details the making of the brothers’ films, and delves into their previously undocumented, behind the scenes importance to Laemmle and the growth of Universal.

Now available through both Amazon.com and the publisher, BearManorMedia.com.
Foreword by Richard M Roberts. Afterword by Gilbert Sherman.
562 pages, 328 rare images. Hard-Cover: $45, Soft-Cover: $35.
For an autographed copy, please contact me at ThomasReeder@Live.com.
https://www.amazon.com/Century-Rainbow- ... oks&sr=1-6

Richard M Roberts
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Re: TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:35 am

I thought I would let everyone know that the printing problems Amazon was having with the soft-cover editions of Tom Reeder's book have been solved and it is now safe to order or re-order the book from Amazon and the copies you receive should be fine. The one I received today looked very nice. There was never any problem with the hard-cover editions if one wants to get one of those.

Of course you should go out and get this book if you are seriously interested in silent film comedy, it fills an important history niche' as did Tom's Henry Lehrman book, and just like the Lehrman book, TIME IS MONEY! is well researched, lavishly illustrated, and an entertaining read. I would recommend it even if the Foreword was not written by one of my favorite writers.

Whattye' waiting for, go get it!

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Tommie Hicks
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Re: TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby Tommie Hicks » Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:00 am

Thank you so much for this information. I didn't know who was responsible though I was certain it was not Tom.

Researching historical facts and putting them in a book is not enough. You have to present these facts in an interesting and entertaining way and Tom Reader certainly does just that. "The Sterns? Get me outta here!" does not suffice anymore. The Sterns had a tremendous impact on silent comedy, good and some bad, and their story needs documenting. Laurel and Hardy both worked for the Sterns. You will learn a lot about silent film comedy and it's players from reading this book. Like Tom's last book on Lehrman, there are some new titles for the Jimmie Adams filmography.
I highly recommend this book and I am re-ordering.

Thomas Reeder
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Re: TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby Thomas Reeder » Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:57 am

Thanks for the kind words, guys. Yes, those initial printings caused some days of angst, but they are now well behind me. Admittedly, the story of the Sterns is not for everyone, but then I didn’t do the research and writing for “everyone,” rather that tiny subset of individuals who want a look beyond all the misinformation and borderline mean-spirited tales that have served to define the Sterns for nearly a century since they exited the film production business. I hope I’ve succeeded.

As for that “other” guy who wrote the Foreword, I’m glad I could coax him out of hibernation to do so!

William Ferry
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Re: TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby William Ferry » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:40 pm

My lovely wife bought me a copy for our anniversary. I'm up to the 1919-1920 "season", and I'm really enjoying the ride. I've heard Steve Massa mention the Universal Joker and Century comedies many times. I don't think I've seen more than a few, but I'm now intrigued enough to seek out more. Nice work, Tom! And thank you, Richard, for your perspective.

Ed Watz
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Re: TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN

Postby Ed Watz » Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:38 pm

MR. SUICIDE is an incredible work and I am so looking forward to TIME IS MONEY! Hopefully I'll receive it any day now. Thank you Tom for the time and effort you spend tracking down such detailed research and I'm sure your latest book is equally delightful. Richard's introduction will no doubt be extra icing on the cake.

Sorry I've been quiet here lately but as Mr. Fields once observed, "Things happened."
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)


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