Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

by
4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,336 ratings  ·  243 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...more
Hardcover, 490 pages
Published February 14th 2008 by Penguin Press HC, The
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter BiskindPictures at a Revolution by Mark  HarrisThe Great Movies by Roger EbertHitchcock/Truffaut by François TruffautAdventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman
Books ABOUT Movies
2nd out of 366 books — 119 voters
The Great Movies by Roger EbertLeading Ladies by Turner Classic MoviesLeading Men by Turner Classic MoviesLeading Couples by Turner Classic MoviesDark City by Eddie Muller
Great Movie Guides
29th out of 32 books — 9 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,880)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
David
Feb 25, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Mike
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
Tangoswithtext
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
Megankellie
Jun 22, 2011 Megankellie rated it 4 of 5 stars 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
Charles Matthews
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...more
Neil Fox
A remarkable book - captures a fascinating time for American cinema beautifully and underscores it with a nuanced understanding of wider societal issues. Both anecdotal and analytical it's superbly written, engaging and rewarding, particularly for movie lovers.
Kris
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
Grburbank
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
Josh
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
Sue
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!
Craig Werner
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
Elizabeth
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!
Sara
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.
James
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.
Matt Isenhower
An examination of the development, production, and release/promotion of the five films nominated for Best Picture at the 1967 Academy Awards. This was a transitional time, when the old Hollywood studio system was breathing its last, but before the new wave of “movie brats” (Coppola, Scorsese, Spielberg) had fully picked up the gauntlet. Edgy, unsettling films appealing to a growing trend of cynicism and anti-authority feelings (represented by Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and Mike Nichols’ The...more
Jennifer
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...more
Samantha Klein
I don’t know about you, but I love all the behind-the-scenes details of the film-making industry. I don’t necessarily mean the bloopers and deleted scenes you get on the DVD, but rather the nitty-gritty of how the movie went from an idea to the images on the screen. The changes, the deals, the failures and successes … it’s all so interesting. I also like thinking about movies in a greater context; where they stand in the history of film and in the broader narrative of society. Well, if you get i...more
Carrie
Pictures at a Revolution is an incredibly well-researched history of the five films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1968. Harris argues that this particular class of nominees represents the shift in power from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood. His point is made strongest (and most interestingly) when he analyzes the ways in which Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate challenged the Motion Picture Production Code and the differences between In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's C...more
Steven
This made a list of best non-fiction book for 2008 in the New York Times, and since it was in my library, I thought I'd check it out -- and it seems I was the first person to do so.

I have only seen one of the five 1967 Best Picture Nominees which are the subject of this book -- and that one, arguably the worst of the lot, "Doctor Dolittle" not since I was a child. My first mission is to put all five of these films on my Netflix list and bump them to the top of the queue. How does one live to be...more
Kasa Cotugno
The reader doesn't have to had been around in 1968 to find this book interesting, but it enhances the enjoyment. Those who remember movies prior to the formation of the rating system, when the infamous Hays Code was dictating what could and could not be seen, will recognize the advances in maturity nascent in four out of the five movies nominated for the Oscar that are featured here. Harris employs a straight chronological structure, following the development of all five films, managing to make...more
Greg Pettit
Jul 08, 2008 Greg Pettit rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: film buffs
This was a very interesting and entertaining read about a dynamic time in movie history.

The author believes the five films nominated for the 1968 Academy Awards (Doctor Doolittle, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, and Bonnie & Clyde) represent a watershed moment between "old" and "new" Hollywood.

The book chronicles the making of the films from the earliest pre-script phase, through casting, production, and finally ending at the awards themselves. It is a f...more
Tina
May 28, 2008 Tina rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: film buffs
Shelves: non-fiction, 2008
Very detailed and interesting account of 1967's five best picture nominees from their inception to their fruition onto film. The train wreck, and film I was least interested in, "Doctor Doolittle", was the most fun to read, although all the movies had an interesting tale behind them. I was touched by Sidney Poitier's personal struggles being a rising African American star in Hollywood. Equally touching was Tracy and Hepburn's swansong appearance in "Guess Whose Coming to Dinner" and Tracy's mer...more
Dan
I'm a sucker for tell all volumes on Hollywood (one of my favorite books is Easy Riders Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind). This book is very much in the vein of Biskind's book, serving as a kind of prequel in fact. The book details the genesis and production of the films nominated for Best Picture at the 1967 Oscars-- Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, and Dr Doolittle.

The last of those pictures is the anomaly, an example of the overblown, expen...more
Mitchell Hahn-Branson
This is really something special: a fun, thorough history of Hollywood filmmaking between 1963 and 1967, as seen through they eyes of the people who made Bonnie and Clyde, Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night. Those were the five movies nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture of 1967, and Harris uses them as a jumping-off point to describe what was happening to American movies at the time.

It was, in short, an exhilarating time to be a film bu...more
Matt Lohr
A landmark volume in contemporary film writing. Harris's chronicle of the five Best Picture nominees at the 1967 Academy Awards is trenchant, intelligent, and brilliantly written, a long and densely layered book that seems to fly by in a matter of minutes (I have read this several times now, and the first time through I blew through it in a day). Harris deftly sketches the films, their import and impact, and the men and women who brought these works to life. Unparalleled thumbnail sketches of a...more
Richard Kramer
Yesterday I went into Book Soup, my favorite LA indie bookstore, somehow thriving after close to forty years.I found on a table a stack of copies of the book PICTURES AT A REVOLUTION, by Mark Harris. Now, there aren’t many necessary books about Hollywood; this is one of them. THE STUDIO, by John Gregory Dunne, is another; Dunne reports on the inner working of 20th Century Fox at the same time Harris writes about in his book; Dunne was there (bad idea; Joan Didion: Writers are always selling some...more
Alan
May 30, 2012 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Cineastes
Recommended to Alan by: Abby Weintraub, jacket designer
Its simple and eye-catching jacket, designed by one Abby Weintraub, adeptly announces the contents within—a sober history of a watershed year for American film, seen through the lens (heh... see what I did there?) of the five movies that were the Academy Award® Best Picture nominees for 1967. Each film took years to make it to the screen, turbulent years during which both American society, and that society's pale and flickering reflection on theater and television screens, changed tremendously....more
Kenneth
This book is the finest work of film history I have ever read, or more precisely listened to on audiobook.

It is a fascinating look at 1967, a pivotal time in Hollywood film when a new generation rose to challenge the old with challenging new work like the European influenced storytelling of Bonnie and Clyde or the irreverent comedy of The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman, a brilliant young actor who would redefine star appeal ever since. Meanwhile the old guard was falling on its face with emb...more
Shawn Roberts
This is beautifully written and well researched. It's a great example of how a highly researched book can be compelling and complete without feeling the need to exhaustively go through every single piece of information the author unearthed on the subject matter.

Harris does a fantastic job of depicting what working in film was like in the 60s: the commercial pressures, the mechanics of how projects were put together, the cultural milieu and the personalities driving the industry. The book is at...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Mark Harris, a former editor for Entertainment Weekly, combines his remarkable knowledge of film history with interviews and research that capture the Zeitgeist of the late 1960s, particularly the cloistered, changing world of Hollywood. The films that challenged the industry's expectations were, Harris writes, "game changers, movies that had originated far from Hollywood and had grown into critics' darlings and major popular phenomena." In the manner of Otto Friedrich's City of Nets, Peter Bisk

...more
James Loftus
Jan 09, 2009 James Loftus rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
This is one of the best books I have read in recent memory and certainly one of my favorite non-fiction reads in a very long time. The book follows the five 1967 Oscar nominated films (The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Bonnie and Clyde and Doctor Dolittle) from inception right up to the awards ceremony. The thesis of the book is that this awards ceremony and these films mark a transition point in Hollywood. The social commentary is interesting the book and the...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 95 96 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The New Biographical Dictionary of Film: Expanded and Updated
  • Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film
  • Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film that Sank United Artists
  • The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco
  • The Great Movies
  • The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968
  • Making Movies
  • Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System
  • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
  • My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure
  • Hitchcock/Truffaut
  • Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Film Directors
  • What Is Cinema?, Vol. 1
  • Scorsese on Scorsese
  • Midnight Movies
  • Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
  • City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's
  • American Journeys
1009244
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
More about Mark Harris...
Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

Share This Book