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The American Cinema

Sarris, Andrew

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ISBN 10: 0525472274 / ISBN 13: 9780525472278
Published by E.P. Dutton, New York, 1968
Soft cover
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

No edition stated. Original cover design. Near fine condition (slight cover curl) and spine fade. Sarris's definitive take on American directors up till the date of publication. Invaluable resource for any moviegoer. 383 pp. SBN 0-525-47227-4. Bookseller Inventory # 2485

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The American Cinema

Publisher: E.P. Dutton, New York

Publication Date: 1968

Binding: Softcover

About this title


Profiles of American film directors are given and their influence on the art is discussed


Since its publication in 1968, The American Cinema has been the manifesto of the auteur theory. Written by Andrew Sarris, the theory's chief advocate, the book traces the history of movies by examining the careers of more than 200 film directors. Covering everyone from D.W. Griffith to Francis Coppola, Orson Welles to Roman Polanski, Sarris argues that directorial greatness is marked by a personal style and consistency of excellence that can be traced throughout a career. Sarris's commentary is sometimes worshipful, sometimes acrid, but almost always quotable. Alfred Hitchcock is "the supreme technician of the American cinema." John Huston coasted "on his reputation as a wronged individualist with an alibi for every bad movie." Stanley Kubrick holds "a naive faith in the power of images to transcend fuzzy feelings and vague ideas." Michelangelo Antonioni makes films so pessimistic and alienating that Sarris dubs him "Antoniennui."

You may not agree with all of Sarris's assessments, but this book provides the best possible opportunity to consider auteurism, an approach to cinema that, in an age that reveres Scorsese, Spielberg, and Tarantino, seems more relevant than ever. The book closes with an essay called "The Auteur Theory Revised," Sarris's attempt at a definitive theoretical statement. --Raphael Shargel

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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