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Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  279 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Hailed as the definitive work upon its original publication in 1975 and now extensively revised and updated by the author, this vastly absorbing and richly illustrated book examines film as an art form, technological innovation, big business, and shaper of American values. 80 black-and-white photos.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 5th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1975)
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Oct 10, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it
Movie-Made America is a cultural history of the movies. As such it asks deep questions about how movies have altered our desires and conception of reality, especially related to consumerism, and about the limits of its ability to make alterations, especially regarding social class and capitalism. Looking at movies and directors, but also at the business of the film industry and its relationship to the larger American culture, this is an excellent overview. It would be great if it carried through ...more
Feb 09, 2014 Mike rated it liked it
Let me say that this was an incredibly important work when it was published. Up to that point, histories of film had mostly been indices of movies or Great Man texts. Sklar took movies off the screen and into the streets, so to speak. With that said, it is overly broad and attempts to tackle too much. As a introductory text, it is great. However, I did not learn much new from it. It is certainly a foundational text and worth reading just to see what conversations were happening back in the mid-7 ...more
Really liked the early history (the first part of the book), but grew bored as it moved into the late 2oth century. This might be because the book was originally written in the 1970s, so what was present then is history now and I think that gives a different perspective and probably leads to different historical conclusions. And that problem is even worse for the updated portion of the second edition (which takes us up through the early 1990s).

The Story of Film: An Odyssey was much more enjoyab
Really nice read about the cultural history of movies in the United States. Some very interesting stuff. My only complaint is having read the original 1975 edition. As a result, 34 years of American movie culture go untouched. At any rate, it addresses the beginning of film quite nicely. I think it'll end up having been a good jumping off point to other books that go into more (recent) detail.
Feb 19, 2008 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, graduate
This is a fairly dreadful "history" of the American film industry that relies heavily on the ideas of the "great man" theory of history and definitely takes the view that nothing good happened after the break-up of the studio system in 1948. FAR too many metaphors and a great many unsubstantiated claims about audience reception.
Ke Huang
Oct 09, 2011 Ke Huang rated it really liked it
This books provides a sweeping history of the American film industry (as the title may suggest), but the title may not suggest that it gets in depth in some parts more than others. Nevertheless, I recommend it to anyone who believes that America is culture-less.
Teresa Wang
Mar 27, 2014 Teresa Wang rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting but verrryyyyy longggggg
Jul 10, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
Some bias at the end makes me wonder a little about how objective the beginning is. And of course it's lacking a bit due to when it was published/revised. Overall, though, a very readable and informative overview of American cinema history. Worthwhile.
May 24, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Recommended to Rebecca by: Film Class
Shelves: nonfiction
I had to read this for my film class. I didn't read the entire thing, but I read most of it. The content was pretty interesting, and it would be even more so if I could view the films it discusses. It is a new and interesting way to look at films.
Mar 12, 2010 Sandra added it
Increased my knowledge on how films are made and was part of my reading when I was in Film Studies at Concordia University. Still on my shelf at home. As well as others on documentaries, and books on film theory.
Aug 31, 2013 Blair rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, film
Very, very dry. More like an archive/reference book on the history of film in the US than I'd expected - even though it was required reading on a university film course I graded for.
Sep 23, 2012 Camille rated it really liked it
A brilliant work on American cinema from the 1890s to the early 1990s which deals with movies as a form of entertainment as well as a business.
Caitie Pugh
Apr 12, 2016 Caitie Pugh rated it liked it
This book was okay, but sometimes it was hard to follow with all the people and films mentioned in every chapter. Interesting read though.
J. Lynn
May 13, 2015 J. Lynn rated it it was amazing
I wondered why this book stopped its exploration into movie history in the 70s... Until I saw it was published in 1975. Whoops.
Jul 06, 2008 Christian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: think
A great introductory book for anyone who wants to become more knowledgeable on the history of American cinema.
Aug 21, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
great history of the evolution of cinema and the culture it created and was created around
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
Sep 16, 2013 Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere) marked it as owned-due-for-a-reread
Shelves: film-television
(Mine's the 1975 paperback, via used bookstore. Checking to see if I have the newer edition too.)
Apr 28, 2013 tim rated it really liked it
A clear, and dense history of film's impact on America. It's a pretty essential history, I think.
Dec 19, 2011 Marianna rated it liked it
Shelves: school-reading
Liked it, but anything I have to read for a class gets downgraded a bit by default.
Jan 27, 2009 Whitney rated it really liked it
I learned a ton from this book about film in American culture!
Apr 09, 2007 Kathy rated it liked it
Film 106A, and I actually read this one too. Rarity!
Jul 02, 2007 Katharyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: college
Read for HISTAA365: History of American Film
Sarah Sammis
Mar 23, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite textbooks from film school.
Trejon marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Crystal marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2016
Brian rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2016
taylore marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2016
Glen Farrelly
Glen Farrelly rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2016
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