Hollywood's White House: The American Presidency in Film and History / Edition 1

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Winner of the 2003 Ray and Pat Browne Book Award, given by the Popular Culture Association The contributors to Hollywood's White House examine the historical accuracy of these presidential depictions, illuminate their influence, and uncover how they reflect the concerns of their times and the social and political visions of the filmmakers. The volume, which includes a comprehensive filmography and a bibliography, is ideal for historians and film enthusiasts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Winner of the 2004 Ray and Pat Browne Award given by the Popular Culture Association." —

"The essays are supported by numerous sources that provide some good leads... the chronological filmography will come in handy. Recommended." — Library Journal

"This well-written book, with contributions by both film critics and historians, is an interesting study of the real presidency and the reel presidency." — USA Today Magazine

"An excellent example of the American theater.... We are the audience. We will be a much more informed audience after reading the essays in this book." — Ray Browne, Journal of American Culture

"A scholarly examination of the portrayal of the American presidency in film." — Choice

Library Journal
This collection of 23 essays edited by Rollins (editor, Film and History) and O'Connor (coeditor, Hollywood's Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film) takes an academic look at the presidency in film, various miniseries, television's The West Wing, and even Saturday Night Live. The title is a bit misleading since the subject matter extends beyond Hollywood, and the range of films is narrower in scope than expected. Adopting a decidedly historic rather than a cinematic point of view, these essays compare fact and fiction. As the editors state in the foreword, "A main theme of this book is Hollywood's failure to depict adequately the presidents of the United States." Some interesting theories appear in Luc Herman's "Bestowing Knighthood" regarding the use of media to connect presidents Kennedy and Clinton and Ian Scott's "Populism, Pragmatism and Political Reinvention," which discusses director Frank Capra and the politics of his time. The essays are supported by numerous sources that provide some good leads to more on the subject, and the chronological filmography will come in handy. As Linda Alkana says in "The Absent President," "Historians use film to teach history." In that respect, this book is useful. Recommended for academic libraries.-Barbara Kundanis, Batavia P.L., IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813191263
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 2/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 1.02 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
George Washington, The Crossing, and Revolutionary Leadership 19
The Adams Chronicles: Domesticating the American Presidency 30
Jefferson in Love: The Framer Framed 50
Abraham Lincoln in John Ford's The Iron Horse: Both Trumpets and Silences 62
Redeeming Lincoln, Redeeming the South: Representations of Abraham Lincoln in D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Historical Scholarship 76
Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: A Century of Leadership in Film 96
Wilson in Technicolor: An Appreciation 115
A Juxtaposition of Conflicting Images: Hubert H. Humphrey and the Television Coverage of Chicago, 1968 125
Motion Picture Presidents of the 1930s: Factual and Fictional Leaders for a Time of Crisis 143
Gabriel Over the White House (1933): William Randolph Hearst's Fascist Solution for the Great Depression 159
Populism, Pragmatism, and Political Reinvention: The Presidential Motif in the Films of Frank Capra 180
The Absent President: Mr. Smith, The Candidate, and Bulworth 193
Who's In Charge Here? Technology and the Presidency in Fail-Safe (1964) and Colossus (1970) 206
The 100 Million$ Men: Presidential Action/Adventure Heroes of Independence Day (1996) and Air Force One (1997) 223
A Man of His Word: Aaron Sorkin's American Presidents 234
Hollywood's Presidents, 1944-1996: The Primacy of Character 251
Richard Nixon as Dick (1999) and the Comedic Treatment of the Presidency 263
"Biological Business-as-Usual": The Beast in Oliver Stone's Nixon 275
Myth and Reality in the Hollywood Campaign Film: Primary Colors (1998) and The War Room (1994) 288
Bestowing Knighthood: The Visual Aspects of Bill Clinton's Camelot Legacy 309
Hollywood, Impersonation, and Presidential Celebrity in the 1990s 320
Television Satire and the Presidency: The Case of Saturday Night Live 333
The Transformed Presidency: The Real Presidency and Hollywood's Reel Presidency 351
A Filmography for Images of American Presidents in Film 383
Contributors 403
Index 411
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