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From the silent era and The Black Hand (1906) to The Sopranos, Hollywood has had a love-hate affair with Italian Americans. This book is a celebration of nearly one hundred years of images of Italians in American motion pictures. It covers all the stars as well as directors: Danny Aiello, Frank Capra, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Brian De Palma, Leonardo Di Caprio, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Dean Martin, Vincente Minnelli, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese, Frank Sinatra, Marisa Tomei, John Travolta, Rudolph Valentino, and scores of others. Dozens of films are discussed, including, very often, their literary and European-cinematic roots. Hollywood Italians is capped by a definitive examination of Coppola's Godfather films as well as the international-television phenomenon The Sopranos.
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“This is the overview that the field has been waiting for ... . Bravo!” —Fred Gardaphé, Director, Italian American Studies Program, SUNY Stony Brook
"An engaging look at the Italian American of make-believe, as portrayed and marketed by others and by himself, as seen by others and himself." - NICK TOSCHES
“Bondanella documents the evolution of Italian American stereotyping in this interesting, well researched book.” – The Sons of Italy Book Club, Summer 2004
“He [Bondanella] expertly blends history, analysis, and commentary in an informative reference that is also an entertaining read. Recommended.” -Library Journal, 5/1/04 (Carol J. Binkowski)
“A top scholar of Italian literature and film at Indiana University... Bondanella turns his attention to the larger Dream Factory’s portrayal of Italians over nearly a century in Hollywood Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos, a sweeping, scholarly, virtually film-by-film analysis of its subject. An so, with graceful scholarly confidence, Bondanella reflects in Chapter 1 on how ‘people are generally more sophisticated about dealing with stereotypes in their cultures than is generally assumed or acknowledged.’... In his comprehensive, common-sense approach, packed with full plot descriptions, Bondanella... cites Hollywood’s many positive depictions of Italians over the years.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 5, 2004 (Carlin Romano Philadelphia Inquirer)
"perceptive....essential for understanding how "the Sopranos" employs, celebrates and sometimes satirizes the images of Italian-Americans that have enabled Hollywood to transform this ethnic group into a mythical entity that embodies some of this country's deepest and most cherished ideals." —St. Petersburg Times, 8/1/04 (Tom Valeo)
"Hollywood Italians is...a tour de force of knowledge spanning nearly a century of Italian-Americans in American cinema." —The Italian Newspaper, December 2004 issue
"...When Bondanella traces the frequently distorted and unflattering representations Italian Americans have endured on screen he does so with a relatively light touch attuned to the artistry and fun of so many of these films." —Marco Calavita, Cineaste, January 2005
"With Peter Bondanella's 'Hollywood Italians' we finally have a thorough survey of the ways and means Italians have made and been made by Hollywood....Bondanella has done the field and the culture a great service by taking on such a grand study. Bravo!" —Fred L. Gardaphe, Fra Noi: Chicagoland's Italian-American Voice, January 2005
Review in Italian. –Rosso Fioventino, 3/05
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