Ten Movies at a TIme: A 350-Film Journey Through Hollywood and America 1930-1970

Ten Movies at a TIme: A 350-Film Journey Through Hollywood and America 1930-1970

by John DiLeo
Ten Movies at a TIme: A 350-Film Journey Through Hollywood and America 1930-1970

Ten Movies at a TIme: A 350-Film Journey Through Hollywood and America 1930-1970

by John DiLeo


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From the advent of the talkies to the emergence of the ratings system, Ten Movies at a Time covers four decades of American movies, notably the glory days of the studio system, or, as it is more glamorously tagged, the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Through reviews of 350 representative films, author John DiLeo tells an alternative, idiosyncratic history of the movies, focusing on the trends, the sub-genres, the cultural and historical shifts, offering, in the process, the parallel story of America itself.

The 1930s include the birth (and near-death) of the movie musical, the wave of anti-war films for peacetime, the pre-Production Code looseness followed by an abrupt transition to “respectability,” and depictions of Depression America both realistic and escapist.

The 1940s show Hollywood in full war-effort mode, in battle and on the home front, followed by a post-war cinema consisting of groundbreaking realism as well as a spate of fantasy films, plus the new and exciting “film noir,” not to mention portraits of Cold War panic and the domestic bliss of suburbia.

The 1950s saw longtime stars like James Stewart admirably stretching their talents, with comparable maturity and depth brought to musical biopics and westerns, just as original movie musicals peaked and subsided, while television was being challenged by wider screens and colorful remakes of ’30s classics.

The 1960s courted audiences with soapy spectacles, macho epics, titillating sex farces, and mammoth Broadway-musical adaptations, but, as black and white was fading away, and as movies were getting more bloated, Hollywood was heading toward a new permissiveness and an uncharted landscape.

As Ten Movies at a Time moves with the times, DiLeo presents a vibrant vision of just how the movies traveled from 1930 to 1970, enhanced by his lively and piercing perceptions of the 350 movies highlighted. Whether they are wonderful or terrible, beloved or forgotten, significant or routine, each one contributes something worthy to the conversation about our film legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601826527
Publisher: Hansen Publishing Group, LLC
Publication date: 11/01/2017
Pages: 420
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

John DiLeo is the author of five other books about classic movies: And You Thought You Knew Classic Movies, 100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember-But Probably Don't, Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery, Tennessee Williams and Company: His Essential Screen Actors, and Screen Savers II: My Grab Bag of Classic Movies. His website is johndileo.com and his Twitter handle is @JOHNDiLEO.

Table of Contents


Our Jazzy Joan: Silent Sensation Turns Sound Superstar (1930-1932)

On Speaking Terms: The Talking Breed of Movie Star (1930-1933)

Interrupted Melody: The Birth and Near-Death of the Movie Musical (1930-1933)

“Lost Generation” Found: Making Peace with World War I (1930-1933)

The Whole Town’s Talking: Neglected Comedy Gems of the Early Sound Era (1930-1935)

“Code” Breakers: Loose-Living Ladies of the Pre-Code Era (1931-1933)

Hollywood’s “Crash” Course: More Than Just Escapism (1931-1934)

Mandatory Makeovers: Re-Accessorizing for the Production Code (1934-1938)

Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: The Pasteurization of the Biopic (1936-1946)

Wuthering Lows: 1939, Hollywood’s Worst Year?

Ruff Times: The 1940s Costume Picture (1940-1948)

Yankee Doodle Daffy: World War II, The Comic-Book Edition (1942-1945)

Making House Calls: Hollywood and the Home Front (1943-1945)

Lights Out: The Nocturnal Emergence of Film Noir (1945-1949)

Screwy Hooey: The Random Harvest Effect (1945-1950)

Pink Elephant in the Room: The Astonishing Stardom of Clifton Webb (1946-1954)

Heaven Can’t Wait: The Post-War Appetite for Fantasy (1947-1949)

Sensitivity Training: Issues, Messages, and Controversial Terrain (1947-1950)

Chilly Receptions: Welcome to the Cold War (1948-1956)

“Home” Movies: Domesticity in Post-War America (1948-1956)

Dark Victory: WWII for Grown-Ups (1949-1962)

Starlet Rising in the West: The Unsteady Climb of Marilyn Monroe (1950-1953)

I Feel a Song (of Woe) Comin’ On: Unvarnishing the Musical Biopic (1950-1957)

Westward Woe: The Civil War Western (1950-1959)

Shooting Scripts: The Western at Its Apex (1950-1959)

What’s Dunne is Done (Again): Remaking the 1930s (1951-1959)

The Genre that Got Away: Final Bows for the Original Hollywood Musical (1955-1957)

The Men from the Boys: ’30s Icons in the Age of Rebels (1956-1960)

Sex, Sin, and Sable: The Trashtacular (1959-1966)

Muscling In: The Mega-Macho Mission Movies (1960-1969)

“For Immature Audiences Only”: The Heavy-Breathing Sex Comedy (1961-1966)

With Songs They Have Sung: Broadway’s Takeover of the Hollywood Musical (1961-1969)

Fade to Color: The Glorious Demise of Black and White (1962-1967)

Side Effects Include Bloating: The Mad, Mad, Chitty, Chitty Productions (1963-1970)

Bonnie & Clyde & Ted & Alice: Approaching the 1970s (1968-1970)

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