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The ABCs of Classic Hollywood by Robert B. Ray

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Performing Arts Books


Speaking about the kind of filmmaking now known as Classic Hollywood, the most popular and influential cinema ever invented, Vincente Minnelli once gave away its secret: "I feel that a picture that stays with you is made up of a hundred or more hidden things. They're things that the audience is not conscious of, but that accumulate."
What are those hidden things? Can we invent a method that will enable us to discover them?
Robert Ray attempts to answer those questions by looking closely at four movies from the 1930-1945 period when the American studio system reached the peak of its economic and cultural power: Grand Hotel, The Philadelphia Story, The Maltese Falcon, and Meet Me in St. Louis. To avoid the predictable generalizations that have plagued film studies, Ray works with the movies' details-Grand Hotel's room assignments or Meet Me in St. Louis's ketchup-which are treated as mysterious but promising clues. By producing at least one entry for every letter of the alphabet, Ray demonstrates that a movie's details have much to tell us. The ABCs of Classic Hollywood is a movie primer, a deceptively simple book that spells out a fascinating account of the most powerful storytelling system ever designed.


Author: Ray, Robert B.
Binding: TP
Desirability: 2
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Subject: Film & Video - History & Criticism

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