From Publishers Weekly
Film and theater critic Clive Hirschhorn tells the stories behind two major motion picture studios that epitomized the Golden Age of Hollywood in The Columbia Story and The Universal Story; he studies the works of these studios' tycoons and chronicles each film made, with numerous pictures and facts. Each year of the companies' existences is displayed showing the movies produced and reviews of the major films of that year. All the films that earned or were nominated for an Oscar appear in a timeline at the end of each book with specific award distinctions for the studio, from Columbia's It Happened One Night, Tootsie and The Shawshank Redemption to Universal's Dracula, ET and Jaws. These two volumes stand as excellent references for the powerhouses of American film.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The resurgent popularity of independent filmmakers in recent years makes it easy to forget the colossal movie-making empire created by the original Hollywood mega-studios, of which Columbia Pictures and Universal Studios are prime examples. Hirschhorn (formerly film and theater critic for the London Sunday Express), who pioneered the glossy, lavish studio history with his groundbreaking The Warner Bros. Story (LJ 3/1/80), here offers revisions of two works published in the 1980s, maintaining their exceptional quality. The logistical dilemma of how to cram into a volume of manageable size photos and critiques for every film produced by a studio since the silent movie era (over 3000 for Universal) is cleverly overcome by the judicious use of tiny arrows to match text with illustrations, omitting captions as well as cast and production credits. Hirschhorn's virtuoso command of cinema history and the motion picture industry is demonstrated throughout, a typical example being his critique of His Girl Friday, in which he relates the film to the original Broadway play, identifies the overlapping dialog technique as having been borrowed from an earlier Frank Capra film, and provides an articulate and entertaining critique of the plot. Not only are there a multitude of black-and-white photo stills, but they are especially well selected and capture the films' mood and impact. In addition to the main, year-by-year section featuring the films, there are excellent narrative histories of each studio. Highly recommended for all libraries and essential for cinema collections. Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.