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Starred Review. While one might think that the films discussed in this book have been thoroughly plumbed (The Graduate; Bonnie and Clyde; In the Heat of the Night; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?), Entertainment Weekly writer Harris offers his take in this thorough and engaging narrative. Instead of simply retelling old war stories about the production of these five Best Picture nominees at the 1968 Oscars, Harris tells a much wider story. Hollywood was on the brink of obsolescence throughout the 1960s as it faced artistic competition from European art films and financial implosion due to an outdated production system and rising budgets. Harris doesn't shy away from complexity in favor of easy answers, and the personalities that he profiles—among them Sidney Poitier, Mike Nichols, Warren Beatty and Richard Zanuck—are certainly worthy of the three dimensional approach. Harris also peppers his narrative with moments that capture the rising cultural tide that broke in the late '60s: chipping away at the moralistic Production Code, and Hollywood's inconsistent engagement with the Civil Rights movement are continuous sources of interest throughout this fascinating book. (Feb.)
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Mark Harris, a former editor for Entertainment Weekly, combines his remarkable knowledge of film history with interviews and research that capture the Zeitgeist of the late 1960s, particularly the cloistered, changing world of Hollywood. The films that challenged the industry’s expectations were, Harris writes, “game changers, movies that had originated far from Hollywood and had grown into critics’ darlings and major popular phenomena.” In the manner of Otto Friedrich’s City of Nets, Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, and Ethan Mordden’s Medium Cool, the author does an admirable job of bringing that “revolution” to life. Drawing on his deep knowledge and a sly sense of humor (and irony) about Hollywood’s quirkier side (witness an account of Jane Fonda’s Fourth of July party in 1965), he crafts what Charles Matthews deems “likely to be one of the classics of popular film history.”
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great book for reading about the change that took place in movies. Also, fun to read about how movies are made.Published 12 days ago by Joanne
Extremely interesting and informative for those interested in the creative and business sides of the movie industry. Well written and easy to read!Published 3 months ago by Frederick Harrison
You have to like the 5 movies that are the main thrust of the book. I didn't like 3 of them and never saw two of them, so it was merely an exercise for me. Did not finish the book.Published 4 months ago by Bill M
A fantastic book about the transition from the big studios to the independents, featuring wonderful portraits of the players involved. Read morePublished 5 months ago by G. Gardner
A very engaging and interesting book. I learned lots about the movie climate of the 60s. Definitely would recommend it.Published 8 months ago by Seth
A great read about an interesting time in the evolution of American film. The stories behind each film, and how they relate to the era, are both fascinating and hilarious. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Joseph Rassenfoss
I used to teach The Art of the Film, and found this to be a superbly written book.Published 12 months ago by thepace