Myth and the Movies: Discovering the Mythic Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films / Edition 1

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With this collection of essays exploring the mythic structure of 50 well-loved U.S. and foreign films, Stuart Voytilla has created a fun and fascinating book for film fans, screenwriters, and anyone with a love of storytelling and pop culture. An informal companion piece to the best-selling The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, Myth And The Movies applies the mythic structure Vogler developed to films as diverse as "Die Hard," "Singin' in the Rain" and "Boyz N the Hood." This comprehensive book offers a greater understanding of why some films continue to touch and connect with audiences generation after generation. Movies discussed include Annie Hall, Beauty and the Beast, Chinatown, Citizen Kane, E.T., The Fugitive, The Godfather, The Graduate, La Strada, The Piano, Pulp Fiction, Notorious, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Searchers, The Silence of the Lambs, T2- Judgment Day, Sleepless in Seattle, Star Wars, Unforgiven, and many more.

Audience: Cinema enthusiasts and scriptwriters.

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Editorial Reviews

Identifies the common ingredients in movies as varied as , and , and shows how their structures follow established storyteller patterns, in particular the hero's journey. The movies are organized into ten genres. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Internet Bookwatch
Myth And The Movies: Discovering The Mythic Structure Of 50 Unforgettable Films is a unique and original approach to showing aspiring screenwriters how story development problems were solved by analyzing the production scripts of classic Hollywood films ranging from The Godfather, Some Like It Hot, and Citizen Kane to Dances with Wolves, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Star Wars Trilogy. Engaging, informative reading for film researchers, teachers, and playwrights, Myth And The Movies will also be of immense interest to film buffs and cinema historians, as well as the non-specialist general reader with an interest in enhancing their enjoyment of the movies by understanding the mythic roots of theatrical storytelling.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780941188661
  • Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 412,931
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.95 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Voytilla is a writer, script consultant, and teacher of acting and screenwriting.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
The Stages of the Hero's Journey 5
Archetypes: The Roles Characters Play 13
The Mythic Structure of Action Adventure 17
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948 23
Seven Samurai 1954 27
Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 30
Die Hard 1988 35
Thelma and Louise 1991 42
The Mythic Structure of the Western 47
High Noon 1952 53
The Searchers 1956 56
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 61
Dances With Wolves 1990 65
Unforgiven 1992 69
The Mythic Structure of Horror 73
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1956 78
Jaws 1975 82
Halloween 1978 87
The Fly 1986 92
The Silence of the Lambs 1991 96
The Mythic Structure of the Thriller 99
Double Indemnity 1944 104
Notorious 1946 109
Chinatown 1974 113
La Femme Nikita 1990 118
The Fugitive 1993 122
The Mythic Structure of War 129
All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 134
They Were Expendable 1945 137
The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 141
Das Boot 1981 146
Platoon 1986 150
The Mythic Structure of Drama 155
Citizen Kane 1941 159
All About Eve 1950 164
The Godfather 1972 168
Ordinary People 1980 174
Boyz N the Hood 1991 179
The Mythic Structure of Romance 183
Casablanca 1942 189
The African Queen 1951 194
La Strada 1954 198
Beauty and the Beast 1991 202
The Piano 1993 206
The Mythic Structure of Romantic Comedy 209
Bringing Up Baby 1938 214
Singin' in the Rain 1952 219
Annie Hall 1977 223
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands 1978 227
Sleepless in Seattle 1993 230
The Mythic Structure of Comedy 235
Some Like It Hot 1959 240
The Graduate 1967 245
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown 1988 249
Home Alone 1990 252
The Wrong Trousers 1993 256
The Mythic Structure of Science Fiction and Fantasy 259
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 1982 264
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 268
The Star Wars Trilogy 273
Star Wars 1977 274
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 279
Return of the Jedi 1983 285
Epilogue 293
Bibliography 295
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2000

    A Great Read

    Stuart Voytilla's 'Myth and the Movies' has relegated most of my other film books to the back room. Voytilla continues the marvelous journey begun by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler. 'Myth and the Movies' contains the brilliant, insightful analyses of 50 of our greatest and most popular films. Voytilla patiently, yet with a rich writing style, walks the reader through the mythological foundation found in all well told films. If you could only read one book on what makes stories work, you would serve yourself well by selecting Stuart Voytilla's 'Myth and the Movies.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2000

    The Ultimate Gift

    Stuart Voytilla's book 'Myth and the Movies' is the ultimate gift to a writer. As a recent student of Voytilla's I can't even being to explain how helpful this book was in developing my screenwriting skills. I highly recommend this book to writers of all ages and levels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2000

    Unforgettable, Buy it, Just Do It!; Your writing will never be the same again.

    Myth and the Movies is not just about the mystic structure to 50 unforgettable films; it is an unforgettable book! The concept of the mystic path, which is 'a path less traveled' is being forged into my daily life. I am re-writing a script while re-writing the script of my life with the principles, concepts and incredible writing in Myth and the Movies. movie will join the other 50. I have a library full of writing books. Voytilla has captured all of them with the mystic structure and set the story-teller on 'the path less traveled' Buy it! Don't loan it out...send them to Barnes and Nobel to buy their own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

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