British-born Webb, former program director of the American Film Institute, has assembled a superb film book. Published in conjunction with an exhibit of the same title sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, this lavish celebration of the filmmaking craft offers insight into the creative process, along with a capsule history of films and their sociological impact. The book features more than 200 striking illustrationsa miscellany of costume sketches, special effects models, storyboards (North by Northwest, production art (Dune, memos (Selznick to F. Scott Fitzgerald), drawings (Harpo Marx by Dali), paintings (Edward Hopper), sculpture (Red Grooms), set designs, animation cels, song sheets, posters and New Yorker cartoons. The photo selection includes a number of unforgettable images from Life, such as Gloria Swanson in 1960 in the ruins of the Roxy movie palace. Literary Guild alternate. (May)
This book is published in conjunction with a Smithsonian Institution exhibition that is traveling to U.S. museums, 1986-88. Subject specialists won't find anything startling in the text, which consists mostly of excerpts from earlier publications. However, for novices there is a reasonably good introduction to the different areas of Hollywood production, as the book is organized into one chapter each on production, direction, screenwriting, design, scoring, etc. The illustrative material is of particular interest. While some of the items have been pictured in other books, most are rare. There are photographs of stars, directors at work, props, etc. Recommended. Literary Guild alternate. John Smothers, Monmouth Cty. Lib., Freehold, N.J.