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This comprehensive introduction to Hollywood cinema provides students with a fascinating account of the world's most powerful film industry and its cultural and aesthetic significance. Taking a broad–ranging approach, it explores and interprets Hollywood cinema, in history and in the present, in theory and in practice. Examining films as diverse as Rudolph Valentino's The Son of the Sheik and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall, this indispensable text provides:
an account of the production of movies under the studio system and after, up to the present.
an explanation of how the film industry works, including distribution and exhibition.
an exploration of Hollywood's place in American culture and in international mass culture.
an analysis of the formal properties of Hollywood movies (including space, time, performance and narrative).
a chronology of Hollywood cinema.
Richard Maltby is the author ofHarmless Entertainment: Hollywood and the Ideology of Consensus, and Dreams for Sale: Popular Culture in the Twentieth Century. He is Senior Lecturer in American Film at the University of Exeter.
'Comprehensive and accessible, thought–provoking, lucid and scholarly, this is not just the best single–volume book on Hollywood there is, it is also in many ways an ideal introduction to film and film studies.'Dr Steve Neale, University of Kent at Canterbury
'Hollywood as a business, a fantasy, an organiser of felt experience – all the necessary bases are covered in an engaged and scholarly accountof how Hollywood is made: manufactured by what the 'consumerist criticism' deployed by Maltby and Craven calls a 'commercial aesthetic'. It is rare to find such a graceful, knowledgeable, and clear–headed account of this complex operation: the authors are unmatched in their negotiations of the twentieth century's principal engineering of our lives.' Professor Ian F. A. Bell, University of Keele
'Finally, this is the textbook for which I have waited so long – a thoroughly researched, wittily written text for introductory courses in Hollywood cinema. Richard Maltby and Ian Craven have synthesized aesthetic, economic, and cultural approaches for the introductory college student. They have been exhaustive in their incorporation of the best of American film history and criticism while remaining sensitive to the student's joy at discovering old Hollywood movies for the first time. They never forget that Hollywood is a cultural phenomenon always more than the sum of its movies, and they have bottled their own enthusiasm for its rich, complex history.' Lauren Rabinovitz, University of Iowa
'A lucid and provocative account of how the aesthetic conventions and formal properties of Hollywood film making were conditioned by economic, social, and cultural factors.' Tino Balio, University of Wisconsin–Madison
'Richard Maltby's Hollywood Cinema belongs to that small bookshelf of stimulating, accessible and rigorously argued textbooks that enlighten both the student and the instructor. A classroom text that benefits from the inghts of cultural and American studies, it examines in separate chapters Hollywood's production economies and logics, its ideological workings, its stylistic hallmarks, and its varied meanings and uses as entertainment in the politics of American culture, from its beginnings through the 1990s. Hollywood Cinema is rich in basic information and draws upon the best in current theoretical and historical thinking about the movies. Even better, it makes intriguing connections between what Maltby calls Hollywood's 'multiple logics of production' and the films' social resonances – providing an array of new and distinctive ideas about American film that instructors will welcome into the classroom and that American film historians will be sure to engage.' Matthew Bernstein, Emory University
'Having taught Hollywood cinema for many years, I know from experience how difficult it is to find a textbook that combines intelligent critical studies of individual film: detailed knowledge about the industry's development and structure, and informative contextual reference to American social history. It's no wonder that Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction is as big as it is: it contains multitudes, and it will certainly influence multitudes of students in coming years.' Peter J. Baxter, Queen's University