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The Illustrated Who's Who of Hollywood Directors Volume 1: The Sound Era

Barson, Michael

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ISBN 10: 0374174520 / ISBN 13: 9780374174521
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1995
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About this Item

Hardcover with dustjacket. 8vo. First edition. Review material laid in. Book is in near fine condition; the glue used to bind the book has darkened the spine along front hinge. Jacket is in fine condition. 530 pp. including index. Bookseller Inventory # 10870

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Illustrated Who's Who of Hollywood ...

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Offers brief profiles of American directors and lists their major films

From Booklist:

Barson, a historian of American popular culture, profiles more than 150 directors who have worked in Hollywood between 1929 and 1995 and whose careers began before 1975. He excludes directors who have worked primarily in silent films (though he does include Charlie Chaplin) and those who have worked primarily in the British film industry, which he hopes to cover in later volumes. (He expects to include Hollywood film directors such as Oliver Stone and Rob Reiner in his next volume, which is devoted to directors who began their work after 1975.)

The book is divided into two parts: a main section consisting of two-to ten-page essays on prominent directors and a supplementary section titled "Short Subjects: More Profiles in Brief," which consists of shorter essays on lesser-known directors. Each entry in the first part of the book is accompanied by at least one black-and-white photograph showing the director "at work or at play" along with "graphics representing one of his or her most important films." (There are only two female directors in the book: Ida Lupino and Dorothy Arzner.)

Most of the essays begin with an overview of the director's influence on American cinema followed by a couple of paragraphs summarizing relevant biographical information. The largest portion of the essay consists of a descriptive and evaluative survey of each film directed by the person; this survey almost always includes a mixture of positive and negative comments about individual films of the director (even for highly acclaimed directors such as Capra, Ford, and Hitchcock). Barson is unusually upfront in his negative criticism of films by the masters (such as Hitchcock's I Confess and Capra's Here Comes the Bride) as well as in his favorable comments about films produced by less-talented directors (such as Mark Robson's The Harder They Fall). All of the films mentioned in the book's essays are indexed at the end of the volume.

The Illustrated Who's Who is an opinionated and informative analysis of Hollywood film directors; it is more focused on individual films than on how the directors fit into cinema history and what styles and philosophies of film direction they followed. World Film Directors (Wilson, 1987^-88), a two-volume set edited by John Wakeman, is more concerned with analyzing how the lives of the directors and their theories of film direction affected their work and set their place in film history; it contains longer essays than Barson but covers many of the same directors. Most academic libraries, large and medium-size public libraries, and specialized film libraries will find The Illustrated Who's Who an accessible source of information--either as a supplement to World Film Directors or as a primary reference source.

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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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