- Paperback: 976 pages
- Publisher: It Books; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061778893
- ISBN-13: 978-0061778896
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success 1st Edition
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"This is a fascinating and carefully documented examination of the art and business of American moviemaking and its evolution over time - how our most popular pictures were made and received, how the landscape of film has shifted through the years. An invaluable historical tool." -- Martin Scorsese
About the Author
Alex Ben Block is an internationally known entertainment industry journalist, author, broadcaster, and show business historian. He was Editor of two of Hollywood's top trade publications-The Hollywood Reporter and Television Week, which Block helped successfully re-launch. He was also an Associate Editor of Forbes magazine and a movie critic in Detroit, Miami, and Los Angeles. He oversaw programming for the American Pavilion at Cannes, 2008. Currently Editor-at-Large for The Hollywood Reporter and Show Business Historian for Hollywood Today. Lucy Autrey Wilson began her career with Lucasfilm in 1974, typing the script to the first Star Wars movie on an IBM Selectric typewriter. She then explored areas as diverse as construction, film, special effects, licensing, and merchandising. In the late 1980s, she launched an all-new Star Wars publishing program comprised of more than 1,500 titles, including 63 New York Times bestsellers, before moving on to new challenges in nonfiction publishing. She currently serves as the Director of Publishing for George Lucas Books, a division of JAK Films.
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Liking the results he decides to get a few more people to write reviews on each film. And also throw in some trivia.
Despite the fact that it's not George who has written this weighty tome, it is an excellent resource. Whether you're a film trivia buff or you are interested in film making, you should get hold of this and read it. It is informative AND it is entertaining. In the very least you can pull out a few of the interesting background stories whether at lunch with friends or at a dinner party if any of the films covered comes up in conversation.
With good timing and the right delivery you'll come across as being more interesting and intelligent than you actually are.
I am writing this now, because I've just run across a remarkable piece of "information," that I'd never heard before, but is firmly asserted, that an earlier film version -- earlier than the John Ford film, starring Victor McLaglen -- of Liam O'Flaherty's play, "The Informer," was made in England in 1929, and starred (!) Victor's brother, Cyril McLaglen. Whoa! I never knew that.
Well, I looked it up in the IMDb, and it had no such information, listing instead a cast starring Lars Hanson. Cyril McLaglen's IMDb credits do not mention "The Informer." I Googled the elements and found an easy dozen respectable sources telling the same tale, that Cyril had starred in a 1929 version, including a piece in the NY Times (NOT the original review.) Well, I went a little further and found a note in the Times from 1929, "London Film Notes," which describes the film and lays particular emphasis on its Swedish star, Lars Hanson.
So there you go. Maybe the writer (Alex Ben Block) shouldn't be taken too greatly to task for his bobble, since it's a story of some broad currency, but it seems to be: UNTRUE. And so we can be forgiven for staring hard at the books other "interesting" assertions.
The 300 films profiled were picked by George Lucas. Arranged by decade, from the early silents to present-day (and including potential future trends), the information includes an overall look at each decade -- the trends, the culture, the innovations, the filmmakers -- and then profiles a number of films that have stood the test of time from each period. Charts, graphs and tables supplement the material, offering samplings of studio mogul and stars' salaries, film budgets, celebrities' popularity and more, with financial info presented both in original dollar figures as well as figures adjusted to 2005 levels. Amazing stuff.
Also included are easy-to-understand sidebars, like the section explaining the various "widescreen" formats (CinemaScope vs. VistaVision vs. Cinerama, etc.; something I always found confusing, until now), and interesting profiles on such popular luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers, Walt Disney, and others. A glorious look at movies, movies, and more movies. If you make them, finance them, write them, or simply LOVE them, this 975-page book is a great, almost overwhelming look at some of the greatest movie "blockbusters" of the silver screen. Highly recommended.