This introductory chapter begins with details surrounding Thomas Ince's death at the height of his career on November 19, 1924, which sparked a flurry of misinformation that continues to the present. Movie aficionados today often know Ince best through Steven Peros's dramatization of his passing in the 1997 play The Cat's Meow and its 2001 film version. Unfortunately, while often assumed by audiences to be based on fact, The Cat's Meow recounts an imaginary version of Ince's career and death. The discussion then turns to Ince's role in the creation of Hollywood. Ince was a producer or director of some eight hundred films, and was involved closely with motion pictures over a fifteen-year period. He is widely mentioned in film histories, and usually accepted as a “pioneer” in the early years.
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