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It's an ambitious project to say the least, and the movie business is probably too complex a subject to sum up in 350-plus pages. Often a reader can start a chapter, purportedly on one topic, and find themselves completely off the grid--or at least buried under a lot of words--a few pages later. Like that favorite uncle, Thomson isn't necessarily quick to make his point, nor afraid of straying from his main subject. Nevertheless, many parts of the book are enjoyable and valuable--particularly for those who really want to learn about the history of American filmmaking, and wouldn't mind finding out what Brando got paid for Last Tango in Paris in the process. --Leah Weathersby
An erudite, implicitly well filet of what Hollywood is and what it has meant to and for society in America and abroad. Read morePublished 7 months ago by ROLEX
Rambling but excellent, incisive historian who gets down to facts and opinionsPublished 16 months ago by R. MAY
I had such expectations upon ordering this. Usually, I make pretty good selections to read from the various book review sources I use. In this case, I was duped. Read morePublished on December 31, 2010 by F. noyes
Thomson's book is a great read despite (maybe because of) the idiosyncracies of the author. (We have to remember that Hollywood fashions fantasies and Thomson's wordy, often... Read morePublished on December 12, 2010 by Roger Fraser
THE WHOLE EQUATION reads more like separate observations than anything that coheres. David Thomson, so good in his WHO's WHO, seems to be in his own little world in a book that I... Read morePublished on September 27, 2010 by olingerstories
Unfortunately, many reviewers here seem to be disappointed that this is not a standard history book---the author (or more likely, the publisher) perhaps bears some responsibility,... Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by Arthur Maisel
As someone who has casually perused his monumentally encyclopedic "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film", I recognize author David Thomson for the deep well of cinema knowledge... Read morePublished on February 23, 2006 by Ed Uyeshima
Discursive and digressive, David Thomson's `The Whole Equation' is less a history of Hollywood than a meditation on the business of making pictures. Read morePublished on September 2, 2005 by Steven Hellerstedt
I hate Hollywood with the heat of a billion suns. Let me elaborate on that statement: I hate the Hollywood CULTURE with the heat of a billion suns. Read morePublished on September 1, 2005 by Jeffrey Leach