History of the American Cinema, 1st Edition

  • Charles Harpole
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0684315513
  • ISBN-13: 9780684315515
  • DDC: 791.43
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • eBook
  • Original Copyright 1991 | Published/Released November 2006
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 1991
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This award-winning examination of the American film industry has already been acclaimed as "A major achievement in film history, unlikely to be surpassed for many years" (AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW) and an "indispensable" set (FILM QUARTERLY) that "should become the standard reference work in every American library" (CHOICE). The 10-volume illustrated series considers the film industry from its early roots in the 19th century up to 1990. It examines the development of film and the film industry, analyzing both the genres, themes, and technology that defined each decade, as well as the political and economic background that gave rise to them. Each volume focuses on a separate decade, providing a narrative on the evolution of both the business and the art of film in America. Each volume is heavily illustrated, and ends with several indexes, notes, a bibliography, and a variety of appendixes of top-grossing films, stars and Oscar winners, and more.

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Alternate Formats

  • Casebound Edition

    ISBN-10: 0684314304 | ISBN-13: 9780684314303

Products Included

History of the American Cinema: The Emergence of the Cinema: The American Screen to 1907, Volume 1  (ISBN-10: 0684315203 | ISBN-13: 9780684315201)

The origins of motion picture technologies are described and analyzed by Charles Musser in this lavishly illustrated volume. He considers social and economic as well as aesthetic aspects of the beginnings of movie making.

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History of the American Cinema: The Transformation of Cinema, 1907-1915, Volume 2  (ISBN-10: 0684315211 | ISBN-13: 9780684315218)

Eileen Bowser chronicles the history of the American film business from the days of storefront nickelodeons to the premiere of D. W. Griffith's The Birth Of A Nation. The effect of the surroundings--the size of the hall; whether the film was shown alone or along with vaudeville entertainment; and the size, quality, and relevance of the musical background--are all examined for their impact on the film-going experience.

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History of the American Cinema: An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915-1928, Volume 3  (ISBN-10: 068431522X | ISBN-13: 9780684315225)

The silent cinema was America's first modern entertainment industry, a complex social, cultural, and technological phenomenon that swept the country in the early years of the twentieth century. Richard Koszarski examines the underlying structures that made the silent-movie era work, from the operations of eastern bankers to the problems of neighborhood theater musicians. He offers a new perspective on the development of this major new industry and art form and the public's response to it.

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History of the American Cinema: The Talkies: U.S. Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926-1931, Volume 4  (ISBN-10: 0684315238 | ISBN-13: 9780684315232)

Offers readers a rare look at the time when sound was a vexing challenge for filmmakers and the source of contentious debate for audiences and critics. Donald Crafton presents a panoramic view of the talkies' reception as well as in-depth looks at sound design in selected films, filmmaking practices, censorship, issues of race, and the furious debate over cinema aesthetics that erupted once the movies began to speak.

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History of the American Cinema: Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930-1939, Volume 5  (ISBN-10: 0684315246 | ISBN-13: 9780684315249)

The advent of color, big musicals, the studio system, and the beginning of institutionalized censorship made the 1930s the defining decade for Hollywood. The year 1939, celebrated as "Hollywood's greatest year," saw the release of such memorable films as Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, and Stagecoach. It was a time when the studios exercised nearly absolute control over their product as well as over such stars as Bette Davis, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart. In this fifth volume of the award-winning series History of the American Cinema, Tino Balio examines every aspect of the filmmaking and film exhibition system as it matured during the Depression era.

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History of the American Cinema: Boom and Bust: The American Cinema in the 1940s, Volume 6  (ISBN-10: 0684315254 | ISBN-13: 9780684315256)

Traces the movie industry through the momentous decade of the 1940s. It discusses changes in the structure of the studio system---including the shift to independent production---and the dominant stars, genres, and production trends through the period.

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History of the American Cinema: The Fifties: Transforming the Screen, 1950-1959, Volume 7  (ISBN-10: 0684315262 | ISBN-13: 9780684315263)

Volume 7, written by Peter Lev of Towson University, covers the tumultuous period of the 1950s. The volume explores the divorce of movie studios from their theatre chains; the panic of the blacklist era; the explosive emergence of science fiction as the dominant genre (The Thing, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, War Of The Worlds, etc.); the rise of television and Hollywood's response in widescreen spectacles (The Robe, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, etc.) and mature Westerns ( High Noon, Shane, The Searchers , etc.); and more.

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History of the American Cinema: The Sixties: 1960-1969, Volume 8  (ISBN-10: 0684315270 | ISBN-13: 9780684315270)

Amid the turbulence of political assassinations, the civil rights struggle, and antiwar protests, American society was experiencing growing affluence and profound cultural change during the 1960s. The film industry gradually redirected its energies, resulting in a distinctive break from traditional business and stylistic practice and emergence of a new "cinema of sensation." Feature films became faster-paced and more graphic, the antihero took his place alongside the classic Hollywood hero, and "downer" films like Midnight Cowboy proved as popular as those with upbeat fare. Paul Monaco gives a sweeping view of this exhilarating decade, ranging from the visceral sensation of Bonnie And Clyde, to the comic-book satire of Dr. Strangelove, to the youthful alienation of The Graduate.

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History of the American Cinema: Lost Illusions: American Cinema in the Age of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979, Volume 9  (ISBN-10: 0684315289 | ISBN-13: 9780684315287)

Some of the films discussed in this book include: Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, Carnal Knowledge, Straw Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, Mean Streets, The Conversation, Nashville, Shampoo, Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now.

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History of the American Cinema: A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under the Electric Rainbow, 1980-1989, Volume 10  (ISBN-10: 0684315297 | ISBN-13: 9780684315294)

Facing an economic crisis in the 1980s, the Hollywood industry moved boldly to control the ancillary markets of videotape, video disk, pay-cable and pay-per-view, and the major studios found themselves targeted for acquisition by global media and communications companies. This volume examines the decade's transformation that took Hollywood from the production of theatrical film to media software. Some of the films discussed in this volume include: Platoon, Do The Right Thing, Blue Velvet, Diner, E.T., Batman, and Body Heat.

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