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Hollywood vs. America: The Explosive Bestseller that Shows How-and Why-the Entertainment Industry Has Broken Faith With Its Audience Paperback – August 4, 1993

3.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

PBS film critic Medved's jeremiad charges that Hollywood is profoundly out of touch with the values and lifestyles espoused by most Americans.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Film critic Medved, cohost of PBS's Sneak Previews , presents a scathing indictment of Hollywood that is sure to be controversial. Asserting that "the dream factory has become the poison factory," he criticizes Hollywood movies for portraying religion unfavorably, glamorizing violence, and celebrating immorality. Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) is among the films censured at length, and there are many others whose objectionable scenes are singled out, from Total Recall (1990) to The Prince of Tides (1992). Those who lament America's loss of what lately have been generally called "family values" will agree with Medved, while others are likely to dismiss his impassioned text as a windy sermon. A marginal purchase for general collections.
- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (August 4, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060924357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060924355
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Few people discuss the excellent documentation and cold, hard statistics Medved supplies - perhaps because they are irrefutable. And also because it's easier to make subtle charges of racism and bigotry. One reviewer even claimed Medved wants a world where everyone is white and Christian - Medved is Jewish and discusses his religion at length in the book!!! But then, you'd have to actually READ the book to know that...
Medved shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Hollywood is more interested in what it thinks of itself than in anything else - true art or even money.
Strange that many of the same movie buffs who decry the dumbing-down of film within the past 15 years suddenly rush to defend Hollywood (even the trash!) in order to avoid agreeing with Medved.
An excellent book - an excellent tool for analyzing American culture.
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Format: Paperback
I came to a bookstore shortly after this book was released with $25 in my wallet, which was intended for another book. I flipped through "Hollywood vs. America" and not only couldn't I put it down, I decided that I owed it to Medved to buy the book at full list price, before it went on sale. Finally, someone with some clout was saying what I had been saying for years about show business and the people in charge.
A previous reviewer faulted Medved for detailing a laundry list of vomit and urination scenes, but this is exactly what is necessary to illustrate how far "entertainment" has fallen. True humor and plot development is abandoned in favor of "realistic" special effects gore, more F-words, and bodily function gags.
Especially important is his illustration of the way showbiz takes great pains to prop up evil religious straw-men/women for the purpose of demonizing traditional religion per se. He also shows how "dramatic license" is used to distort the lives of actual religious figures so that their faith is unrecognizable. Medved wrote this seven years before NBC's outrageously inaccurate and blasphemous "Noah's Ark."
If you are a moviegoer, read this book. Peek into the slaughterhouse and see what's in the sausage they feed you.
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Format: Hardcover
Well known movie critic resigns from doing so, because of his strong conviction that Hollywood is unwilling to be responsible cultural contributor.
Leaning even more to the dangerous trends Medved exposes in this book in 1992, Hollywood does not feel any responsibility to nation's moral troubles, only freedoms which they certainly are given under our laws.
It's only entertainment? Of the foulest, sickest kind. History will concur with Medved that this increasingly slippery slope has led all other leading civilizations to decay, disease and collapse. Can we be of such historic stuff?
Medved provides convincing evidence in this, and most disturbing is Hollywood's seeming "don't care" attitude.
Suffice recent stars stance on Iraq as infuriating most of country's citizens.
More like Medved and this reviewer, should boycott most of Hollywood. Wake up America, thanks Mike for this helpful classic work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've wondered why in the world so many anti-American, anti-family, anti-religion movies manage to earn Oscars, this book is for you.

In it, Michael Medved takes a long hard look at the stuff produced by the movie industry and shows that there's a pattern to it all.

It's not "greed" and "profit." Despite the attempts of numerous left-leaning folks to smear capitalism and the free market, it isn't "corporate greed" that drove the movies down into their current state. As Medved shows, lots of studios could have done much better at the box office if they had produced moral and uplifting films that respected (not "promoted," just "respected") the values held by the vast majority of Americans.

No, the movie industry is just out of touch with its market. And why? The culprit isn't "greed" but a false idealism.

What Medved shows in effect is that the moviemakers are playing to the chorus -- looking for accolades from their peers based on their alleged "artistic achievement." And that achievement is based on a view of "art" that most of us probably wouldn't find congenial.

Medved shows that there is an overarching pattern in what's been coming out of Hollywood for the last three of four decades. Its destructive "art" (with some exceptions that should have taught the industry something about its customers) tends deliberately to take traditional religion and morality as its intentional target, and regards the trashing of those values as a "success."

Disagree? Then let Medved convince you. Watch him summarize, e.g., Hollywood's recent portrayals of clergy and other religiously devoted people, and then ask yourself what would have happened if the movie industry had similarly targeted, say, gays and lesbians. If you give the obvious answer, then you'll know there's a powerful bias at work in the "entertainment" world.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Medved's "Hollywood Vs. America" is an excellent observation of how out of touch Hollywood is with America and how they are influencing our youth.
Michael looks at many different aspects of Hollywood and the media but he really takes a good look at how they handle the subject of sex. He points out how Hollywood has made sex a requirement for any movie to be "romantic." Because of his observations on this subject, it has made me review some of the movies I consider "my favorites" and I've made a decision to not watch them or recommend them anymore.
While he makes his Judeo-Christian views apparent in many different parts of the book, he also uses a lot of common sense when addressing many of the issues. He points out that some of us can watch a movie and see people brutally murdered and we sit there with no reaction at all. I have caught myself becoming "numb" to a lot of the violence in movies. Sure, it isn't going to make me run out and commit these acts, but it has become commonplace to see heads explode or people dismembered that a lot of us are not even aware of how horrific these scenes are.
He also points out that less than 5% of movies in the past 15 years show religion in a positive way. I couldn't agree more. Recently, there have been movies (Return To Me, The Apostle, Signs) that show how a long-suffering faith in God can bring you through everything. Why is it that Hollywood can't see that a lot more than 5% of Americans have a religious faith and would like to see more of that in films? It is a shame.
This is an excellent commentary on today's time. It does tend to get a little repetitive and tedious toward the end but he does make excellent observations and leaves it up to you to decide.
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