Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930-1939 / Edition 1

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The advent of color, big musicals, the studio system, and the beginning of institutionalized censorship made the thirties the defining decade for Hollywood. The year 1939, celebrated as "Hollywood's greatest year," saw the release of such memorable films as Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Stagecoach. It was a time when the studios exercised nearly absolute control over their product as well as over such stars as Bette Davis, Clark Gable, and Humphrey Bogart.
In this fifth volume of the award-winning series History of the American Cinema, Tino Balio examines every aspect of the filmmaking and film exhibition system as it matured during the Depression era.

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Editorial Reviews

The six contributors to this volume examine aspects of the filmmaking and film exhibition system as it matured during the Depression era. Topics include the production code and the Hays office, technological change and classical film style, production trends, and avant-garde film. B&w film stills. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520203341
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/1996
  • Series: History of the American Cinema Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 483
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Tino Balio is Program Director of the Arts
Institute and Professor of Communication Arts and Academics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he also served as Director of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research from 1966 to 1982. He is the author of Hollywood in the Age of Television (1990), among other titles.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Surviving the Great Depression 13
3 The Production Code and the Hays Office 37
4 Feeding the Maw of Exhibition 73
5 Technological Change and Classical Film Style 109
6 Selling Stars 143
7 Production Trends 179
Prestige Pictures 179
Musicals 210
The Woman's Film 235
Comedy 256
Social Problem Films 280
Horror Films 298
8 The B Film: Hollywood's Other Half 313
9 The Poetics and Politics of Nonfiction: Documentary Film 351
10 Avant-Garde Film 387
App. Variety's Top-grossing Films 405
App. Major Academy Awards 407
App. Film Daily's Ten Best Films 411
List of Abbreviations 413
Notes 414
Bibliography 441
General Index 449
Index of Films 473
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2001

    Delights of 'Grand Design.'

    Grand Design goes behind the glammar of Hollywood's Golden Age and eloquently debunks a curious myth about the American Motion Picture Industry - that it is depression proof. The market crash of 1929 effected Hollywood as it did the rest of the country and the text gives the reader a real sense of what was at stake. This book in combination with the previous text in the series about the Talkie Revolution are books any true film buff, student, or professional would want to have in their collection. this series is great.

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