Movie History: A Survey: Second Edition / Edition 2

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How can we understand the history of film? Historical facts don't answer the basic questions of film history. History, as this fascinating book shows, is more than the simple accumulation of film titles, facts and figures. This is a survey of over 100 years of cinema history, from its beginnings in 1895, to its current state in the twenty-first century. An accessible, introductory text, Movie History: A Survey looks at not only the major films, filmmakers, and cinema institutions throughout the years, but also extends to the production, distribution, exhibition, technology and reception of films. The textbook is divided chronologically into four sections, using the timeline of technological changes: Section One looks at the era of silent movies from 1895 to 1927; Section Two starts with the coming of sound and covers 1928 until 1950; Section Three runs from 1951 to 1975 and deals with the coming and development of television; and Section Four focuses on the coming of home video and the transition to digital, from 1975 to 2010. Key pedagogical features include:
• timelines in each section help students to situate the films within a broader historical context
• case study boxes with close-up analysis of specific film histories and a particular emphasis on film reception
• lavishly illustrated with over 450 color images to put faces to names, and to connect pictures to film titles
• margin notes add background information and clarity
• glossary for clear understanding of the key terms described
• references and further reading at the end of each chapter to enhance further study. A supporting website will be available from June 2010 at, with lots of extra materials, useful for the classroom or independent study, including:
• additional case studies — new, in-depth and unique to the website
• international case studies — for the Netherlands in Dutch and English
• timeline - A movie history

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Covering everything from Edison to Avatar, Gomery and Pafort-Overduin have written the clearest, best organized, and most user-friendly film history textbook on the market. It masterfully distills the major trends and movements of film history, so that the subject can be taught in one semester. And each chapter includes a compelling case study that highlights an important moment in movie history and, at the same time, subtly introduces a methodological approach. This book is a pleasure to read and to teach." Peter Decherney, University of Pennsylvania, USA

"In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the development of film around the world, the book gives us examples of how to do film history, including organizing the details and discussing their implications." Hugh McCarney, Western Connecticut State University, USA

"Douglas Gomery and Clara Pafort-Overduin have created an outstanding textbook with an impressive breadth of content, covering over 100 years in the evolution of cinema. Movie History: A Survey is an engaging book that will reward readers with a contemporary perspective of the history of motion pictures and provide a solid foundation for the study of film." Matthew Hanson, Eastern Michigan University, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415775458
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 806,642
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Gomery is emeritus professor at the University of Maryland, USA. His publications include two prize winning books, Shared Pleasures: A History of Movie Presentation (1991) and Who Owns the Media (2000).

Clara Pafort-Overduin teaches at the Department of Theater, Film and Television Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and is a founding member of the International Cinema Attendances Research Group.

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Table of Contents





SECTION 1: The Silent Cinema 1895-1927

Chapter 1: The Invention and Innovation of the Motion Pictures

Case Study 1: Who Went to See Early Movies in the USA?

Chapter 2: The Triumph of Hollywood

Case Study 2: Government Control of What Audiences Saw - The Battle on Film Censorship in Germany and the USA

Chapter 3: Hollywood Establishes the Classic Narrative Style

Case Study 3: The Acceptance of the Classical Hollywood Filmmaking Style

Chapter 4: Influential Alternatives to Hollywood: European Cinema

Case Study 4: Carl Dreyer - A Danish Individualist

Chapter 5: Experiments in Filmmaking: The USSR

Case Study 5: Evaluation in Movie History - The Case of Odessa Steps

SECTION 2: The Hollywood Studio Era 1928-1950

Chapter 6: The Coming of Sound & the Studio System

Case Study 6: The Coming of Sound to Europe - The Triumph of National Film Production in Holland

Chapter 7: The First Golden Age of Hollywood Movie Making

Case Study 7: How was the Moviegoer Affected by the Movies? – Reconstructing the Meaning of Movies and Movie Going with the Help of Oral History.

Chapter 8: European Alternatives to Hollywood: France, Britain, Germany and Italy

Case Study 8: What Did the European Moviegoer Really Like? – Reconstructing the taste of the Moviegoer with the Help of Film Programming and Statistics.

SECTION 3: The Television Era 1951-1975

Chapter 9: Television, Wide-Screen and Colour

Case Study 9: Film Societies as Alternative Spaces for Movie Exhibition

Chapter 10: A Transformation of Hollywood Movie-Making

Case Study 10: A Critic who Changed the Status of Hollywood Movies

Chapter 11: The European Art Cinema Alternative

Case Study 11: Art Movie Theaters in the USA

Chapter 12: Alternative Film Industries – The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, South America, Australia and Japan

Case Study 12: The Importance of Film Festivals

SECTION 4: The Video to Digital Era 1975-2010

Chapter 13: Contemporary World Cinema History – 1975 and Beyond

Case Study 13: Film Historical Research in the Digital Age

Chapter 14: Hollywood Thrives

Case Study 14: The Reception of James Cameron’s Avatar




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