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Majestic Hollywood: The Greatest Films of 1939 Paperback – December 10, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (December 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762451564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762451562
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

As shown by these 50 films, 1939 was a landmark year in movie making. Arranged chronologically by release date, titles range from the well known (including The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind) to the lesser known but still powerful (e.g., Love Affair.)Each listing offers release dates, a brief story, production highlights, and concise critical reaction, along with wonderful black-and-white photo stills. The introduction offers reasons why these films succeeded and reminds readers that film preservation makes them available. An index interfiles names and titles. This coffee-table book is recommended for most public libraries and academic libraries supporting film studies. --Patricia Hogan

Review

“This popular history, complete with rare film stills, is recommended for vintage film fans.”
-Library Journal


More About the Author

Mark A. Vieira was born in Oakland, California on October 28, 1950. He is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer specializing in Hollywood history. He makes glamour portraits with George Hurrell's camera in the historic Granada Buildings, where Hurrell had his original studio.

In October 2009 Mark celebrated his fortieth anniversary as a professional photographer. In October 2010 the University of Southern California's ONE Archives Gallery and Museum presented a retrospective of his work entitled "The Glamorous Gaze."

Mark has lectured at USC, UCLA, at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Universal Studios, the Hollywood Heritage Museum, the Palm Springs Film Festival, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He has appeared on camera in Photoplay Productions' "Garbo," in Turner Classic Movies' "Moguls and Movie Stars," Playboy's "Sex at 24 Frames per Second," in Universal's "Forbidden Film," and on "CBS Sunday Morning." In the 2011 BBC documentary "Shooting the Stars," he photographed Leslie Mann and interviewed Jane Russell.

In 2009 Mark guest-curated the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences exhibition: "Irving Thalberg: Creating the Hollywood Studio System, 1920-1936." In 2011 he co-curated "Harlow at 100" for the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building.

Customer Reviews

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I enjoyed this book thoroughly and wish I would have reviewed this book for the Christmas buying season.
Crabigail Cassidy
Those expecting extensive coverage of each of the movies reviewed should look elsewhere but for pure enjoyment and visual delight this book will meet your needs.
C. M Mills
1939 was the best year for movies ever - I doubt that the films from the 2014 Academy Awards will be as remembered and loved as those from 1939.
CJS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
To dedicated cinema buffs, 1939 is THE year. As documented in Mark Viera's MAJESTIC HOLLYWOOD, 1939 represents the ne plus ultra of cinematic achievement with a selection of classic films that has never been topped.

Viera's book is arranged by date of release. The first film profiled - SON OF FRANKENSTEIN - was released on January 13th. GONE WITH THE WIND - the last flick covered - was premiered on December 28th. In between those two films are such greats as JESSE JAMES, YOU CAN'T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, DARK VICTORY, YOUNG MR. LINCOLN, BEAU GESTE, STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, GOLDEN BOY, DODGE CITY, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, THE ROARING TWENTIES, TOWER OF LONDON, OF MICE AND MEN and DESTRY RIDES AGAIN.

Most flicks get a two- to four-page write-up. A select few get more. THE RAINS CAME, for example, gets six pages. GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WOMEN rate eight pages. THE WIZARD OF OZ tops out at 10 pages. Each write-up is illustrated with production stills, glamour shots and poster art.

MAJESTIC HOLLYWOOD is much more than cinematic eye-candy. It's an affectionate, evocative tribute to and celebration of "a special time and place...a tumultuous decade (that) ended with an array of cinematic art." Highly recommended.

*****
6,700 Helpful Votes!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Crabigail Cassidy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you've reached this point you are probably a film buff or a friend or relative of one. No doubt about it, 1939 was one impressive year and offered a wealth of films from all genres. I just received this book as a Christmas gift and tore through this one like a hungry dog. Why wait until Christmas when I can enjoy it now.
Arranged in chronological order by release date, each film has a blurb written about it, pictures, a synopsis, cast listings, anecdotes, and critical comments. Because all these films represent the cream of the crop (aka the very best), expect the reader to be assaulted by the sheer number of films that made the cut. This book concludes with Gone With The Wind. It was the critical biggie and lengthy masterpiece that held the record for gross revenues for decades and to this day has few rivals, GWTW's inclusion was no surprise to me, but what surprised me was the sheer number of films released in in 1939 that were that good. Sure, I always think of stuff like Dark Victory and The Women; however, this book is a memory jogger and at times a bit of a revelation and/or a surprise. I watched Bachelor Mother last night on TCM. Yes, it was from 1939. Ditto for Five Came Back and In Name Only.
Fifty films from a year that offered so much entertainment.speaks well of Hollywood's output in'39. What I took away from Mark Viera's narrative is that through a confluence of factors the movies ----- specifically the "talkies" ----- finally got it right. All the movies from the decade taught the studios and film makers about what audiences wanted. Be it sophisticated comedy, drama, crime, horror, social commentary or the unique fantasy of a land called OZ, the movies came of age in 1939.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CJS on March 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1939 was the best year for movies ever - I doubt that the films from the 2014 Academy Awards will be as remembered and loved as those from 1939. This book starts in January and details all the major films released in 1939. There are numerous beautiful photographs from the films (although none in color but then just Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind were shot in color). There is a 2 page summary of some of the things that either went on behind the scenes or how casting was done or how the film did as well as one or two reviews. All of this is good. However, I would have also liked a full credit list of the cast and crew of the film. It also would have been neat to have a cross reference chart to see what person appeared or worked on the most of these beloved films of 1939. The book is a must for film buffs but could have had more detail and the cross referencing would have made it a lot of fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Stumacher on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You could not plick a better year for Hollywood film releases than 1939. The photographs were aabsolutely breathtaking. Mr. Viumberiera's description of each of his picks were excellent. If your a passionate film buff as I am, then you need to have this book among your film book collection. 1939 was a magic year for film lovers. Mr. Viera, why stop at just the nuTedmber you included in this book? Why not began preparing for volume 2 or 3 if necessary? Next to Ted Sennett's "Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939, this too captures the best year in Hollywood. Bravo to you!
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this is not the most in-depth book but it is so nice to have all the 1939 movies in one place
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