John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars

Actor John Gilbert was one of the most revered silent film stars of his day. Often a daring swashbuckler on screen, his off-screen life was equally as exciting during his heyday. He romanced the likes of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in addition to sparring with Louis B. Mayer, among a variety of other conquests and conflicts.

Sadly, the advent of sound would quickly and drastically reshape his career for the worse, plunging Gilbert into a swift decline. Unfortunately, many myths about Gilbert and his personal and professional tragedies persisted long after his untimely death.

In John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars, author Eve Golden separates fact from fiction while telling the story of Gilbert’s life and career. Leaving no stone unturned, Golden debunks rumors about Gilbert, including the notorious myth about him having a squeaky voice that destroyed his career in talkies.

Golden provides readers with a definitive biography on Gilbert that is well-supported and respectful of Gilbert’s life and legacy. The book is also amply supplemented with interesting photographs and an interesting glimpse into the grand and brutal behind-the-scenes reality of Gilbert’s time during the Golden Age of Hollywood.


John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars is available for purchase via the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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1 Response to John Gilbert: The Last of the Silent Film Stars

  1. This one sounds like a real winner — I am heading over to Amazon right now to put it in my cart. I already have a fascination with John Gilbert, and cringe whenever I hear or read something that insists his career ended with the silent era (have they never seen Downstairs?!?). But you had me at “Eve Golden” — I loved her book on Jean Harlow. Thanks for this!

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