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Comment: Former library copy with standard library markings, no other markings throughout, shows standard wear, hardcover with dust jacket in protective plastic
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Setting the Scene: The Great Hollywood Art Directors Hardcover – September 15, 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This stunningly illustrated album is a glorious, highly perceptive tribute to Hollywood's unsung heroes-art directors or production designers, who, with responsibility for settings, special effects and a film's overall look, can make or break a movie. Moving from the earliest silents to recent box-office hits, Sennett (Photography and Photographers to 1900) throws a floodlight on the techniques, working habits, personal idiosyncrasies, lives and styles of art directors such as Frank Wortman (Birth of a Nation), Richard Day (On the Waterfront), William Menzies (Gone with the Wind), Dean Tavoularis (The Godfather) and Anton Furst (Batman). He devotes separate chapters to musicals, horror films, westerns, movies with exotic or foreign locales (Lost Horizon; Amadeus) and Alfred Hitchcock, who designed his own films. Film buffs and casual readers will gain a new perspective on cinematic history and how art direction interacts with plot, character and acting to create a unified statement. (Nov.) Fiction
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Sennett, son of prolific film historian Ted Sennett, has produced an attractive book about Hollywood's art directors-those individuals usually most responsible for the "look" of a film. Wisely, Sennett eschews a straight chronological approach and instead organizes his book by film genre (e.g., musicals, Westerns, science fiction). The illustrations are well chosen, although more color would have been welcome, and the color photos used would be more effective were they not all grouped together. Unfortunately, Sennett's text is only serviceable and relies too much on plot synopses. A detailed look at a film or two, along with the once-over-lightly approach used on the other films, would have helped, as would some interviews. Only for comprehensive film studies collections.
John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Manalapan, N.J.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (September 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810938464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810938465
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,149,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This book has it all from the silent era to today. All the great films and art directors are covered. Do yourself a favor and buy this book, you will not be disapointed.
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A deep heartfelt thank you to Robert S. Sennett for his book "Setting the Scene". At long last we have a book that pays tribute to the great Art Directors of Hollywood. The movie stars and film directors get all the glory and credit these days, but those who do the heavy lifting are usually forgotten or not even mentioned. This book covers most of the great Art Directors of the Golden era of Hollywood, and also covers a number of the current generation.
I have long felt that William Cameron Menzies was the most influential Art Director in the history of Hollywood, and Sennett's book confirms this (in fact William Cameron Menzies is pictured on the cover). His work alone deserves an entire book devoted to it. But I'm so pleased we have this fine book for now.
If you ever wondered why movies, the great movies, look the way they do, why the sets and costumes and locations catch your eye and take you to places you've never been or only dreamed about, you'll understand who is responsible for all of this -- the Art Director (or Design Director). This is the book that will explain this with beautiful photographs and artwork sketches from these masterpiece films...enjoy! Bravo to Robert S. Sennett, your work is much appreciated.
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