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Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio Hardcover – October 28, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (October 28, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813117690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813117690
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,522,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For anyone seeking a frank, readable history of the movie business, this 'Portrait of a Studio' sheds light on one part of a frenzied, fractious industry." -- New York Times Book Review



"An excellent reading experience for movie buffs and historians." -- West Coast Review of Books

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I have entitled this review the history and style of Columbia Pictures for one central reason. The text of Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio is divided fairly evenly between
the two approaches, between a short introduction detailing the history of Columbia to about the early 1990's, followed by stylistic essays penned by associate authors. The later
delve into the stylistic approaches and stylistic specialties that marked the earlier decades of Columbia's production. Columbia was really the largest of the minor Hollywood
studios, focusing in its early years on mostly B movie production. That is until Frank Capra's Academy Award win in 1935 for "It Happened One Night" which put Columbia on the
track to compete with the majors as, perhaps, the smallest "major" studio. The material that author/editor Bernard Dick apparently researched and included is very much like the
historical sketch that introduces the studio book, "The Columbia Story". The studio book is far better illustrated, of course, than the more modest book edited by Bernard Dick.
Dick's book is very much like the type of monograph that college professors write in fulfillment of their contractual research and teaching responsibilities as university
faculty members. Dick's "Portrait of a Studio" is very much in the vein of that type of monograph. The history part of the book runs only 64 pages with notes and a chronology.
To fill-out the remainder of the book's 230 pages,the author/editor includes essays of associates or colleagues who, in the main, are other professors of English at the college
level. So I would characterize this book as more an academic monograph than a trade publication.
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