From the Publisher
Consolidating major figures and film movements into their decade of greatest influence or prestige, this "no-nonsense" book offers a generously illustrated, concise, and very readable history of fiction movies with an emphasis on American cinema. Eclectic in methodology and written in a plain English style that students can relate to, it examines the full scope of traditional film history and criticism, viewing film as both an art and an industry as it mirrors popular audience values, social ideologies, and historical epochs.
From the Inside Flap
WE SET OUT TO WRITE A REALLY BRIEF BOOK. Just the basics, no frills. After considerable deliberation, we finally decided on a mechanical form of organization by decade. We then proceeded to cheat left and right, cramming major figures and film movements into their decade of greatest influence or prestige. Here, then, is a bare-bones history of fiction movies, copiously illustrated with photos, many of them rarely reprinted. Since this book was written primarily with an American audience in mind, we have emphasized the American cinema. Eclectic in our methodology, we have adhered to a broad consensus tradition of film history and criticism; except for a humanist bias, we have had no theoretical axes to grind. Nor have we attempted to dazzle the reader with a fresh array of jargon; the text is in plain English, with essential terms in boldface to indicate that they are defined in the glossary. Our main concern has been with film as art, but when appropriate we also discuss film as industry and as a reflection of popular audience values, social ideologies, and historical epochs. History books are filled with value judgments, and this one is no exception. We have not hesitated to call a bomb a bomb. On the whole, however, our attitude has been similar to that of Andre Breton, the founder of the surrealist movement, who said, "The cinema? Three cheers for darkened rooms." Acknowledgments
We gratefully acknowledge the input received from the following reviewers of the manuscript: Marilyn K. Ackerman, Foot Hill College; Susan Scrivner, Bemidji State University; Jack Riggs, Dekalb College-Gwinnett Campus; and Davis A. March, Rowan Cabarrus Community College.
Others who have helped us include Jonathan Forman of Cleveland Cinemas; Dave Wittkowsky of the Cleveland Film Society and International Film Festival; and the CWRU Observer. Mary Araneo performed her customary miracles in her layout design, Lisa Sloane went beyond the call of duty in designing the cover, and Phil Miller of Prentice Hall expedited matters by being sane and rational. We thank them all.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.