Description : Over the last twenty-five years, the field of cinema studies has offered a dramatic reassessment of the history of film in general and of Hollywood in particular. Writers have drawn on the methodologies of a number of disciplines—literary criticism, sociology, psychology, women's studies, and minority and gay studies—to deepen our understanding of motion pictures, the film industry, and movie theater audiences. In Hollywood's High Noon, noted film historian Thomas Cripps offers a lively narrative history of Hollywood's classical age that brings the insights of recent scholarship to students and general readers. From its origin during the First World War to the beginning of its decline in the 1950s, Cripps writes, Hollywood operated as did other American industries: movies were created by a rational production system, regulated by both government and privately organized interests, and subject to the whims of a fickle marketplace. Yet these films did offer consumers something unique: in darkened movie palaces across the country,audiences projected themselves—their hopes and ideas—onto silver screens, profoundly mediating their reception of Hollywood's flickering images. Beginning with turn-of-the-century moving-picture pioneer Thomas Edison, Cripps traces the invention of Hollywood and the development of the studio system. He explores the movie-going experience, the struggle for social control over the movies through censorship, the impact of sound on the style and content of films, alternatives to Hollywood's oligopoly including "race" films and documentaries, the paradoxical predictability and subversive creativity of genre pictures, and Hollywood's self-proclaimed "shining moment" during the Second World War. Cripps concludes with a discussion of the collapse of the studio system after the war, due in equal parts to suburbanization, the emergence of television, and government anti-trust action.
Description : This author's analytical approach will be appreciated by historians as well as film buffs. He examines Hollywood's response to the rise of fascism and the beginning of the Second World War. Welky traces the shifting motivations and arguments of the film industry, politicians, and the public as they negotiated how or whether the silver screen would portray certain wartime attributes.
Description : The little-explored story of how politics, propaganda, and profits were combined to create the drama, imagery and fantasy that was American film during World War II. 32 black-and-white photographs.
Description : This fully revised and updated edition of an award-winning classic traces the history of Hollywood from the silent era to the present day. The Hollywood Story comprehensively covers every aspect of movie-making in America, taking in nickelodeans, drive-ins and multiplexes; the transition from silent to sound, black and white to color; the relationships of producers, directors, stars and technicians; and the function and output of the studios - their major hits and most expensive flops. Praise for the first edition: 'The Hollywood Story is a must for the movie buff... Never has so much information been compiled into one, easy to read, accessible volume.' Bob Dorian, American Movie Classics 'A book that more than lives up to its claims... For all those unable to store sixty years of Variety under the bed, Mr Finler has performed an invaluable service. The Economist
Description : George Gallup in Hollywood is a fascinating look at the film industry's use of opinion polling in the 1930s and '40s. George Gallup's polling techniques first achieved fame when he accurately predicted that Franklin D. Roosevelt would be reelected president in 1936. Gallup had devised an extremely effective sampling method that took households from all income brackets into account, and Hollywood studio executives quickly pounced on the value of Gallup's research. Soon he was gauging reactions to stars and scripts for RKO Pictures, David O. Selznick, and Walt Disney and taking the public's temperature on Orson Welles and Desi Arnaz, couples such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and films like Gone with the Wind, Dumbo, and Fantasia. Through interviews and extensive research, Susan Ohmer traces Gallup's groundbreaking intellectual and methodological developments, examining his comprehensive approach to market research from his early education in the advertising industry to his later work in Hollywood. The results of his opinion polls offer a fascinating glimpse at the class and gender differences of the time as well as popular sentiment toward social and political issues.
Description : In Hollywood Left and Right, Steven J. Ross tells a story that has escaped public attention: the emergence of Hollywood as a vital center of political life and the important role that movie stars have played in shaping the course of American politics. Ever since the film industry relocated to Hollywood early in the twentieth century, it has had an outsized influence on American politics. Through compelling larger-than-life figures in American cinema--Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Edward G. Robinson, George Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda, Charlton Heston, Warren Beatty, and Arnold Schwarzenegger--Hollywood Left and Right reveals how the film industry's engagement in politics has been longer, deeper, and more varied than most people would imagine. As shown in alternating chapters, the Left and the Right each gained ascendancy in Tinseltown at different times. From Chaplin, whose movies almost always displayed his leftist convictions, to Schwarzenegger's nearly seamless transition from action blockbusters to the California governor's mansion, Steven J. Ross traces the intersection of Hollywood and political activism from the early twentieth century to the present. Hollywood Left and Right challenges the commonly held belief that Hollywood has always been a bastion of liberalism. The real story, as Ross shows in this passionate and entertaining work, is far more complicated. First, Hollywood has a longer history of conservatism than liberalism. Second, and most surprising, while the Hollywood Left was usually more vocal and visible, the Right had a greater impact on American political life, capturing a senate seat (Murphy), a governorship (Schwarzenegger), and the ultimate achievement, the Presidency (Reagan).