- Paperback: 488 pages
- Publisher: Duke University Press Books; 1st edition (October 11, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0822323745
- ISBN-13: 978-0822323747
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Bold! Daring! Shocking! True: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 Paperback – October 11, 1999
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Eric Schaefer's readable history of exploitation movies begins with a description of what the genre ain't--the rabid "nudie pics" of Russ Meyer (Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!) and the drecky, knowing arthouse flicks made by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey (Andy Warhol's Dracula). Though these camp movies are sometimes labeled "exploitation," they do not exactly fit Schaefer's definition. For him, exploitation is the brand of movie that puts nudity and antisocial behavior up on the screen in the name of civic-mindedness and healthy social conscience--and with a wink. Between 1919 and 1959, sexual hygiene and antidrug movies with kicky, lascivious titles such as No Greater Sin (1939), Call Girls (1959), Nudist Land (1937), and Paroled from the Big House (1938) traveled through the country outside regular theater chains, advertising themselves as "shocking" yet educational. The posters didn't slouch either. No Greater Sin promised viewers, "You'll gasp, you'll wince, you'll shudder... so powerful, many will faint!" Schaefer argues that studying the films tells us cartloads about the way Puritanical America grappled with complex issues like premarital sex, drugs, infidelity, and alternative lifestyles. And he may be right: by 1959, audiences had begun turning to European films like And God Created Woman, films that treated exploitation movie subjects legitimately. The story of a lost culture, Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! is finally an archaeology of the immediate past that throws our present incoherence about sex, public-mindedness, virtue, and immediate gratification into high and sometimes hilarious relief. With priceless historical black-and-white photographs. --Lyall Bush
From Library Journal
The "classic" exploitation film of the silent to postwar eras was made cheaply with glaringly poor production values by a small independent firm, was independently distributed and usually shown in theaters not affiliated with the majors, and generally featured a forbidden topic. The genre was created when the major studios began to realize the economic advantages of some sort of self-censorship; what Hollywood would no longer put on the screenAsex, drug use, venereal disease, prostitution, and nudityAthe exploitation filmmakers would. With minuscule budgets and no identifiable stars, the exploitation film maker only had the lure of the forbidden to get people into the theater. The first half of this book looks at the mechanics of the films; production, distribution, advertising, and exhibition differed greatly from Hollywood norms. The second half examines the major catagories of exploitation films. A good look at a neglected topic; for academic and larger public libraries.AMarianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., SC
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The producers of these movies were the ultimate in low-budget operators, and it often showed: the films they made are often unintentionally funny due to their overacting, cheap sets and over-the-top writing. The most well-known of the classic exploitation films is probably Tell Your Children, more commonly known as Reefer Madness; it's overreaction to the threat of marijuana make it pretty amusing to those who watch it today.
Indeed, the focus of many of these movies is supposed social ills: drug use, venereal disease and prostitution being the most significant. Often based more on fiction than fact, these films took a condescending, rather prudish view of drug use and sex. A single, even inadvertent, puff of pot was enough to ruin a life, and any act of sex for pleasure (as opposed to procreation) was equally ruinous. The audience is asked to condemn the actions of the characters even while they are entertained by their vices.
Schaefer discusses these different types of exploitation films along with the background of the industry. In the classic era, these movies acted as an alternative to the major studio releases, which during the height of the Production Code, offered an often whitewashed view of life. The exploitations films may have been poorly made, but they provided a grittier (and often more exciting) perspective on the world.
This is a good, well-detailed book that details the history of a film world that is rarely discussed and produced movies that are rarely seen today. If you like watching these films for the pure so-bad-they're-good amusement value of them, Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! will add to your enjoyment by giving you insights into the people that made them.
Much of the first half of the book is devoted to describing the production techinques, marketing and commercial appeal of these films. Film makers and hardcore cinema junkies will probably be intrigued. But this portion of the book held little interest for me. I did, however, enjoy the chapter on censorship. It discussed Hollywood history and how exploitation films developed as a sort of "alternative cinema" following the implementation of production codes by the the Hays Office in the 1920's - which censored much of the sex and other taboo topics out of the big studio movies of the era.
The second part of the book is a lengthy chronicling of dozens of these exploitation films. I enjoyed reading about the various story lines, actors and directors, though it did get a bit repetitive at times.
Schaefer is a decent writer and this book largely suceeds in its scholarly intentions. But one should remember, before purchasing, that this is an academic work directed towards a specific audience - devoted exploitation film fans, movie makers and film students. I, as someone with a more casual interest in these types of movies, was hoping for a more accessible book that covered a wider range of cult films. The appendix does serve as a good resource for the directors and films covered. It was this part of the book that I found most useful.
If you are one of those persons who just likes knowing "stuff"; if you enjoy _Longtitude_ or the _The Professor and the Madman_ then you will find this book entertaining.
The subject matter is both tillitating and important. The films encapsulate both the desires and the anxieties of the time; gratuitious scenes of sex tempered with doctor's warnings of veneral disease. What a wonderful juxtaposition of the double standards of the time.
Schaefer's style is soo easy to read too.