Anyone who has ever doubted that filmmaking is a collaborative craft should consider Davis's (history, Southern Methodist Univ.) book. Under the studio system of Hollywood's Golden Age, making movies was a business based on assembly line-like production, with many departments contributing to the finished film. Drawing primarily from the oral history collection on the performing arts at SMU, Davis uses the recollections of former employees to illustrate this process. Each chapter is devoted to a specific department or an aspect of film production and how it was handled. Use of quotes from both famous and unknown people adds freshness and authority. Davis successfully proves that filmmaking during Hollywood's Golden Age was far from glamorous and that those involved considered it a business rather than art. For serious film collections.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.
This history of the Hollywood film industry draws primarily on taped and transcribed interviews with director, actors, and others--from the Southern Methodist University Oral History Collection on the Performing Arts, which the author founded in 1972 and continues to direct. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)