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American Film: A History 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393979220
ISBN-10: 0393979229
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon Lewis (Ph.D., 1983 UCLA) is a Professor in the English department at Oregon State University, where he has taught film and cultural studies since 1983. He has published five books: The Road to Romance and Ruin: Teen Films and Youth Culture (Routledge, 1992); Whom God Wishes to Destroy . . . Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood (Duke UP, 1995); The New American Cinema (Duke UP, 1998); Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry (NYU Press, 2000); and The End of Cinema as We Know It: American Film in the Nineties (NYU Press, 2001). In the past two years, Professor Lewis has appeared in two theatrically released documentaries on film censorship: Inside Deep Throat (Fenton Baily, 2005) and This Film is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006). From 2002 to 2007, he was the Editor of Cinema Journal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (November 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393979229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393979220
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
American film is among the most thorough books about American film I have ever read. Jon Lewis makes sure he keeps it objective, which is difficult when writing about media, because we all have our own taste. Lewis goes in depth with different genres, styles of acting, colors, cinematography, and time periods for both setting and when each film was made. He elaborates on many other topics as well.
This book could also serve as a guide for the movies you need to see before you die, because the titles he mentions are usually ground-breaking in some way and are, in my own opinion, quite tasteful. I really enjoyed this and the fact that this isn't just another book filled with opinions, its very objective and could help an individual understand what makes a good movie in terms of art, and what movies represent certain parts of our culture, as opposed to just what movies he likes or not.
I recommend American Film: A History, and I think more book should be written like this one because the art side of film is slowly dying and the spectacle and technology of film are crowding out the art. I also enjoyed his style of writing. You could tell that Jon Lewis was incredibly interested in the subject and this therefore is more capable of keeping any readers attention.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is definitely a for the classroom kind of book, unless you love reading textbooks. I have to say for its purpose it's really good. It's an easy read which is a lot different than a lot of film history textbooks and that's what I love about this book. It details the history and the movies really well. It's hard to fit 110+ years of film into one book and think this was well done. My recommendation is if you get this book get a subscription to Netflix as well because you will want to see the films you are reading about. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book. It illustrates the history of the American film industry. I really enjoyed reading this Book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My professor chose the book for our film class and it is required reading. I am happy with this purchase. :)
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By Franklin on December 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what I expected. Needed this book for my American Cinema Class and helped me a lot. The book is very straight forward and very informative on the many subject of the class.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis touches upon all the important parts of film in history, The language isn't too academic, but chock full of information!
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Format: Paperback
This book describes what was happening in Hollywood in conjunction with certain films. The main complaint I have about this book is that a good portion of it is just one paragraph summaries of movies and the importance of those movies to the era is lost. I could [..] and read what the movies were about any time I want, but understanding how they fit into the time period and reflect that era, that has value. The book contains some of this, but not as much as it should.
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By Lame Dad on November 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great deal, fast shipping!
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