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Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,131 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews
The epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967-Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde-and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever

It's the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies and blockbuster m
Hardcover, 490 pages
Published February 14th 2008 by Penguin Press HC, The
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Francisco It's infinitely more rewarding to see four of the five. Dr Dolittle is terrible and unnecessary.

I also checked out other films mentioned in the film…more
It's infinitely more rewarding to see four of the five. Dr Dolittle is terrible and unnecessary.

I also checked out other films mentioned in the film like:
Gun Crazy
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I recommend you do that too :)(less)
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter BiskindHitchcock by François TruffautPictures at a Revolution by Mark  HarrisThe Great Movies by Roger EbertAdventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
Books ABOUT Movies
3rd out of 425 books — 168 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTrue Hollywood Noir by Dina Di MambroAva Gardner by Lee ServerMemo from David O. Selznick by Rudy BehlmerNorma Shearer by Gavin Lambert
Classic Film Books
66th out of 293 books — 65 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 25, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Recommended to David by: Pinky
Last night's demoralizing Oscar ceremony—like many stillborn ceremonies before it—makes me wonder why people continue to give a damn at all. Yes, I know there are a bunch of you cranks out there who (loudly) disavow an interest in showbiz spectacle, and you're only too anxious to take a steaming piss on the red carpet to assert some kind of hazy moral superiority. We thank you very kindly for your tsk-tsking, but everybody already knows full well that the frivolous ostentation and shameful self- ...more
Carol Storm
Jan 23, 2015 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
Five movies were nominated for Best Picture that year. BONNIE AND CLYDE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, DR. DOOLITTLE, and THE GRADUATE. Each movie had something to say about how Old Hollywood was coping -- or not coping -- with the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the Sixties. But BONNIE AND CLYDE and THE GRADUATE in particular were movies that suggested a New Hollywood was being born among the ashes of the old.

This is the most wonderful, amazing, and insight
Charles Matthews
Dec 06, 2009 Charles Matthews rated it it was amazing
Oscar plays it safe. You can trust the Academy to pick a “Forrest Gump” over a “Pulp Fiction,” an “Ordinary People” over a “Raging Bull,” or a “Kramer vs. Kramer” over an “Apocalypse Now.”

Or a well-made, socially conscious melodrama like “In the Heat of the Night” over groundbreaking movies like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Graduate.” That’s part of the story that Mark Harris tells in his richly fascinating book, “Pictures at a Revolution,” which focuses on the five nominees for best picture in 1
Aug 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book was a honking huge volume. Luckily, I really enjoy books about production history, I was already familar with all of the films... and we had talked a little bit about the birth of "New Hollywood" in several of my critical studies film classes at USC. So, I came into the book knowing that I would love it.

Oh, boy, did I ever.

Mark Harris really delves into a detailed history of each movie, from conception to pitching to production to marketing to the actual Academy Awards ceremony. I lov
Jun 22, 2011 Megankellie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: comedy nerds, film nerds
Recommended to Megankellie by: film nerd.
This is pretty film-geekily interesting and just the complete detail you want behind the scenes of the five movies that were nominated for Best Picture in 1967 - In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Dr. Dolittle. Great history and context and the detailed battle of getting something produced and marketed. So detailed, you start from the second the screenwriters behind Bonnie and Clyde thought of the script and the million years until they sa ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing
This is your book if you appreciate thoroughness, historical accuracy and narrative momentum with your cinema journalism. Mark Harris captures the essence of mid-60s filmmaking in a bottle, exhaustively documenting the making and promotion of the five films nominated for the best picture Oscar in 1967: Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and (seriously) Dr. Doolittle. Harris masterfully weaves the story of each film's creation into a united t ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're a big movie and movie history buff like me, this book is a must-read! It's a wonderful glimpse into what it was like right at the cusp of "old" and "new" Hollywood, full of direct quotes from many of the actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers who weathered the changes. It mainly focuses on 5 movies that, in their own ways, heralded the change: Look Who's Coming to Dinner; In the Heat of the Night; Bonny & Clyde; The Graduate; and Doctor Dolittle. It was quite fascinating!
This book is journalism at its absolute best; impeccable research and a wonderful story. The best histories are not just about their own subject, but give you a whole feel for the time and place. Harris has got into every part of this story; he's spoken to everyone, and read everything, but most of all he can really tell a great story. One of the best film books I've read, and I've read many. This is up there with Steven Bach's Final Cut for me.
Richard Block
Aug 25, 2014 Richard Block rated it liked it
New Hollywood, Old Bitchiness

Mark Harris is the wife/husband of author Tony Kushner, and his brilliantly detailed book about the 'revolutionary' year of 1967 makes a good read if that's your era - it is my era. It cannot be faulted for research or conclusions, and yet... It is also full of bitchiness, gay rumours and endless smugness about it's subjects that I felt like having a quick shower after reading it.

He takes the 5 films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and tells their stories from t
Harris' Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood chronicles five films nominated for best picture for the Oscars in 1968: Bonnie and Clyde, Guess Who's Coming For Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, and Dr. Dolittle. Harris gives in-depth research about the backgrounds of the films and by comparing them, explores the social and philosophical changes in the Zeitgeist of the time. The book illustrated the generation gap between parents and their children ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did the audiobook version of this...listening to only 30 minutes or so a day while at the gym. But it was a great way to take in the story, slow and deliberate. Harris weaves a very thorough tale with a sizable cast of characters. Sidney Poitier definitely emerges as the "star" of the story. Interesting were the bits about Rex Harrison and his wife Rachel Roberts. Jeez, whatta pair of jerks. Warren Beatty comes across as serious and low-key...just as you always thought he was. The tugging and ...more
Mar 06, 2010 Neil rated it it was amazing
The movies, books, music, and other cultural artifacts that we create at any given time in history are interesting both in themselves and as harbingers of where our society is at as a whole. That's why pop culture is not a trivial subject, nor just an aesthetic concern. I've written about this book in enough other places (http://bookgroupbuzz.booklistonline.c... that I don't feel compelled to write more here. Suffice it to say that Harris did a wonderful ...more
Dec 05, 2011 Grburbank rated it it was amazing
Shelves: narrative-nf
This narrative nonfiction work traces the making of the five Best Picture contenders at the 1968 Oscars to paint a picture of the revolution happening in Hollywood in the 1960s as the old studio system and production code crumbled and audiences hungered for something new, influenced by Italian Neorealism and French New Wave imports. His profiles of key players in the industry--both old and new--are delightful and insightful. I don't read much nonfiction but Harris was thoroughly engaging and kep ...more
A meticulously crafted, fascinating look at Hollywood in the year 1967, examining what happened when the old guard of the crumbling studio system collided with a new generation of maverick filmmakers - the filmmakers who ultimately set in motion the second golden age of Hollywood of the late 60's into the late 70's. Harris takes an anthropological view, underlining the ways in which Hollywood and the broader culture each influence and change with the other. This comes highly recommended for film ...more
Feb 11, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: film, history, favorites
Immediately the best, most fascinating and rigorously researched book on film I've ever read; but of course, it isn't JUST about movies, but about entire cultural paradigm shift, and so much more. It took me, oh, maybe twenty pages or so to get a feel for Harris' rhythm-- initially, I wondered if it might be just a bit dry-- but once I got the hang of it I was never anything less than totally captivated by it, and the kinds of historical anecdotes he digs up are s utterly bizarre, they couldn't ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally solid description of the movie business and what went into the making of these movies. I'll be honest: I find The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde to be monumental ground breaking movies, In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner lesser pictures, and Dr. Doolittle a complete joke, and I've seen them all. The Graduate descriptions and the Bonnie and Clyde descriptions were informative and entertaining, but paled in comparison to the descriptions of what went on during Dr. D ...more
Tom Stamper
Oct 22, 2015 Tom Stamper rated it it was amazing
The essence of the book is that 1967 was a watershed year what with the crumbling production code and young maverick filmmakers taking on controversial subjects. It's a sort of prequel to Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. He takes this challenge by looking at the 5 Best Picture nominees for that year as a starting point into the careers of the people who made those films. Some of these people were at the end of successful c ...more
Ted Hunt
Jun 18, 2014 Ted Hunt rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. It examines the changes that were taking place in the American motion picture industry in the 1960's by examining the five movies that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar for 1967: The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Dr. Dolittle, In the Heat of the Night, and Bonnie and Clyde. In doing so, the book shows how the "old" Hollywood was being supplanted by something very different. The behind the scenes look at these m ...more
Craig Werner
Mar 06, 2014 Craig Werner rated it liked it
Shelves: sixties, film
Chock full of interesting information and anecdotes about the five films nominated for the 1968 Oscars (for movies released in 1967). It's a telling list: Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and--pause to allow for guffaws--Doctor Doolittle, which wasn't even a commercial success. Writing in a breezy journalistic style that never gets in the way, Harris argues that this was the moment that marked the transition from the "Old Hollywood"--studio ...more
Christopher McQuain
Possibly ***1/2.
Dec 21, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fifth star was within grasp, but there were a few times when I wondered about why the author transitioned as he had from one story facet to the next. It was occasionally just a tad jarring to be listening about Sidney Poitier one moment, then Dustin Hoffman the next - perhaps without benefit of chapter headers

But the story was well done. For those of us who came of age during the '60s this is an excellent retrospective on the culture, generally, and the entertainment culture, specifically, w
Sep 19, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Mark Harris examines the evolution of the motion picture industry in the 2nd half of the 20th century through an examination of the 5 movies nominated for Best Pictue in 1967: Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and Doctor Doolittle. "67, he argues, is the year that "Old Hollywood" (typified by Doctor Doolittle) lost its punch and a new generation (see the other 4 movies) took over. He talks about financing, casting , production, and , most int ...more
Kate B
Mar 29, 2015 Kate B rated it it was amazing
Awesome read for anyone who is interested in American movies and how they get made. Mark Harris is a masterful storyteller.
Dec 27, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating subject and superbly written book about the point in cinema history where one old studio system comes to an end and a collection of writers, actors and directors with a new view took over the screen.

Some of the information in the book about certain details of the films, such as the way Poitier felt about his place in the racial cinema of the time, and really the pieces about how Anne Bancroft approached the role in The Graduate with such unbridled rage add another layer to some of th
Nov 10, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Learned so much that I didn't yet know about the behind-the-scenes. I now have a greater appreciation for some of these directors and/or actors, screenwriters, and all who are involved in this art. I am so tempted to share some excerpts but will refrain from spoiling your reading pleasure! You've got to read this!
This very entertaining and fast-paced work chronicles the planning, creation, and impact of the five best picture Oscar nominees for 1967, the year author Mark Harris pinpoints as the transition between old Hollywood (production values, stars) and new Hollywood (low budgets, sex, violence). For old Hollywood we have the slick, star-driven "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and the disastrous musical "Doctor Dolittle". As harbingers of the new Hollywood we have the anti-establishment comedy "The Grad ...more
Mar 26, 2016 Magnus rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. For me it reads like an (unoffcial) prequel to the equally fantastic 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls' by Peter Biskand. Anybody who likes that book, New Hollywood and or the demise of the old studio system will enjoy this, too, I reckon. It's researched in depth and well-written.
Highly recommended!
This is one of my all-time favorite nonfiction books, and was actually the basis of my final project for my readers' advisory class in library school, and it's funny and well-organized and sort of gently sweet in a way you don't always expect from a Hollywood history making-of kind of book.
May 26, 2010 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book this morning, and despite my rather hectic Monday schedule (on a truck I haven't driven in toto since forever ago), I am now roughly halfway through it, and if I don't finish it tonight, I certainly will tomorrow. This is one hell of a read, and deftly written.
Dec 10, 2015 Liz rated it it was amazing
Mark Harris identifies the 1968 Oscar nominees for best picture as revolutionary films, making 1966-1967 a watershed period for filmmakers channeling the rising youth culture in the U.S. Compare the 1967 and 1969 nominees to those of 1968, and you can see immediately that Harris has point. THE GRADUATE, BONNIE AND CLYDE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER are groundbreaking films that have stood the test of time, and DR. DOLITTLE is the exception that proves the rule. Wit ...more
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Mark Harris’s first book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, was published this year. He writes the “Final Cut” column for Entertainment Weekly and has also written about pop culture for many other publications, most recently The New York Times, Details, GQ, Portfolio, The Washington Post, Slate, The Guardian, and The Observer Film Quarterly. A graduate of Ya ...more
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