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Old 09-28-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Rin Tin Tin!

In light of the recent discussion of the Harry Potter dog, this new book might be of interest:

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, by Susan Orlean

Quote:
He believed the dog was immortal.

So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost ten years in the making, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—the ultimate must-read for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:50 PM   #2
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The first Rin Tin Tin stared in silent movies only. He lost his job when talkies came along. If you watch these silent movies with Rin Tin Tin his expressions are incredible. the dog had to be incredibly intelligent and it comes through in his movies.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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My familiarity with Rin Tin Tin is basically from the TV show in the fifties, which I think was Rin Tin Tin III. The Antenna TV network has been rerunning these shows on Sunday mornings, and I've been enjoying them immensely. I only had the vaguest notion of the earlier Rin Tin Tin.

I'm only 30 pages or so into the book, but it's quite interesting so far.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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The author is doing a book signing in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, October 18, at a showing of Rin Tin Tin's 1925 silent movie Clash of the Wolves.

http://www.michtheater.org/events.php#susan
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by anjirlly View Post
The author is doing a book signing in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, October 18, at a showing of Rin Tin Tin's 1925 silent movie Clash of the Wolves.

http://www.michtheater.org/events.php#susan
How funny; I just finished reading the section of the book about Rin Tin Tin's role in Clash of the Wolves, and it sounds really interesting--highly melodramatic! I'll have to check and see if the author and especially the movie will be coming to my area. Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache View Post
The first Rin Tin Tin stared in silent movies only. He lost his job when talkies came along. If you watch these silent movies with Rin Tin Tin his expressions are incredible. the dog had to be incredibly intelligent and it comes through in his movies.
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Butbut - why would whether the films were silents or talkies have mattered for him?
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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Butbut - why would whether the films were silents or talkies have mattered for him?
I guess they did not think his Voice was good enough. But it is true, he never made a talkie.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache View Post
I guess they did not think his Voice was good enough. But it is true, he never made a talkie.
Apache
Actually, according to Susan Orlean's book, he did make talkies, including some serials for Mascot Pictures after Warner canceled his contract: Lone Defender and Lightning Warrior.

She mentions that Rin Tin Tin would have had to be retrained for talkies--for silents, he would have been trained for voice commands, but for talkies, hand signals would have had to be used.

But the interesting point she makes is that for silents, a dog actor could be basically equivalent to a human actor--neither of them spoke, the story was told through action and the story cards. But talkies gave the human actors an added dimension that the animals could never have. It took the focus off the animals and put it on the human actors.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #9
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Ah, interesting.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Actually, according to Susan Orlean's book, he did make talkies, including some serials for Mascot Pictures after Warner canceled his contract: Lone Defender and Lightning Warrior.

She mentions that Rin Tin Tin would have had to be retrained for talkies--for silents, he would have been trained for voice commands, but for talkies, hand signals would have had to be used.

But the interesting point she makes is that for silents, a dog actor could be basically equivalent to a human actor--neither of them spoke, the story was told through action and the story cards. But talkies gave the human actors an added dimension that the animals could never have. It took the focus off the animals and put it on the human actors.
Good Points.
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