~ IVAN SMITH ~

   I opened the book, and I was hooked immediately. You wrote a marvelous history of many of the movie actors that I grew up with.  It took me back to the long ago Saturday afternoon matinees of the 1940s.

   The very first movie star named in the book is Basil Rathbone.  For me, he was, and sixty years later, still is Sherlock Holmes.  

   I had not known that Ward Bond appeared in more Best Picture-nominated movies than any other actor. Walter Brennan.  Randolph Scott.  So many others…

   And all those great images.  Your generous use of images — I’ve seen only one page (15) that is solid text with no image.  I’m a big fan of images (photographs, maps, scans of historic documents…) in association with any history, but many historians neglect them.

   The Arthur Kennedy tombstone photo I took on page 28 looks great.  It reproduced very well, sharp and fully legible, better than I had hoped. Thank you for the mentions on pages xvi and 115.

Best regards,


Ivan Smith
Nova Scotia, Canada