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The Hollywood History of the World: From One Million Years B.C. to Apocalypse Now

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  84 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The author analyzes historic film moments alongside historical facts. The result is a highly entertaining book on Hollywood's extravagant relationship with the past, a celebration of the cinema as an illuminator of the story of mankind. By the author of the bestselling Flashman novels. 200 photos.
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published December 31st 1988 by Beech Tree Paperback Book (first published September 28th 1988)
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Patricia
Oct 29, 2007 Patricia rated it really liked it
How often have you watched an historical movie such as The Charge of the Light Brigade or Young Mr Lincoln and wondered whether or not it actually really happened that way?

There is a widely held belief that Hollywood "gets it wrong", and it does, quite often. But just as often, Hollywood gets it right, too, and this book compares the screen story to actual history. Fraser, author of the many Flashman books, certainly knows his history, and while he cringes at David Niven as Bonnie Prince Charlie
...more
Michael K.
Nov 09, 2014 Michael K. rated it really liked it
Any book which undertakes to argue the author’s choice of the best or worst of anything has a good shot at being a lot of fun -- and an even better shot when the author is a very knowledgeable, highly opinionated, and notably talented wordsmith. Fraser is best known for his “Flashman” comic-historical novels -- highly regarded for their detailed accuracy -- but he was also an experienced and professional playwright and screenplay writer. And in this volume he considers how history has been treat ...more
JZ Temple
Sep 01, 2007 JZ Temple rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Film buffs and those interested in history as portrayed on screen
Shelves: history
An excellent book, well written and comprehensive without being tiresome. The author is British and makes no apologies when he assumes the reader is familiar with many aspects of the cinema, but a good book should challenge you to learn more and a quick check of Google can be of benefit. His writing is witty and opinionated, but never dull.
Matthew
Nov 30, 2008 Matthew rated it did not like it
Shelves: film-studies
For a book about history as depicted in the movies, George MacDonald Fraser comes across as SPECTACULARLY ill-informed on both subjects. He would have us believe that movies like One Million B.C. are accurate because the dinosaurs look correct while completely ignoring the problem of dinosaurs and humans cohabiting the earth.

When discussing the Richard III mystery, Fraser claims the bodies of the king's nephews were found beneath the stairs at the Tower of London. This is patently false. A few b
...more
Ensiform
Jan 31, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Lavishly illustrated with movie stills. The writer of historical fiction, and WWII vet, discusses a wide range of films that can be called “historical” (some more justifiably than others). The book is somewhat disappointing at times, in that many films receive only a brief mention, even if (as in the case of “Apocalypse Now”) they may merit weightier consideration. Eventually the sheer number of the paragraph-length overviews of films tend to fade and blur; it might have been better to focus on ...more
Allan
Jun 03, 2008 Allan rated it really liked it
George MacDonald Fraser has long been a favorite author of mine. I first ran across him with his Harry Flashman character in "Royal Flash," the second in his long series of fantastic historical novels about the 19th century and the adventures of the heroic coward, Harry Plashman.

Fraser wrote "The Hollywood History of the World" as a tribute to the cinema and it is a howl from start to finish. His own work as a screenwriter helped him, but his love of movies and the wonderful stories he tells mak
...more
Lianna
Jul 14, 2008 Lianna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy-me, history
What a delightful book. A lot of the references go over my head b/c I'm not a British 70's screenwriter / former resident of India as a colony / WWII vet, etc etc. The author goes off on all these odd tangents like the imanginary argument he has with the person who asserts that British people in 1946 did not wear underwear.

I like history and I like movies. This book about history as told by movies is just awesome. The author includes all this intriguing trivia about how the movie differs from th
...more
Roy
Jul 17, 2016 Roy rated it liked it
Good read of an interesting idea that Hollywood gets it wrong in the historical movies . Lots of photos
John
Jun 22, 2009 John rated it liked it
Fraser was a Hollywood insider, so I expected his take on Hollywood's treatment of history to be worth a read. It was, sort of. He first proposes that Hollywood has actually done a pretty good job presenting historical events -- and then disproves his proposition time and again.
Steven
Mar 30, 2012 Steven rated it really liked it
If you have friends in the SCA. Citing both primary and secondary sources he shows how Hollywood (especially in costumes) worked very very hard to get it right.
Joe  Noir
May 12, 2013 Joe Noir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is how history looks from the Hollywood point of view. A cool book with many photos from the author of the Flashman series.

Bill Peschel
Aug 29, 2010 Bill Peschel rated it it was amazing
A light-hearted review of Hollywood history, showing that it wasn't as bad as perceived.
Milton Soong
Highly entertaining for the history buff (and purveyor of costume drama)...
reed
Feb 14, 2008 reed rated it it was ok
didn't finish
Lord Groan
Lord Groan marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
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May 27, 2016
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Mar 30, 2016
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14220
He is best known for his Flashman series of historical novels, purportedly written by Harry Flashman, a fictional coward and bully originally created by Thomas Hughes in Tom Brown's School Days. The novels are presented as "packets" of memoirs written by the nonagenarian Flashman, who looks back on his days as a hero of the British Army during the 19th century. The series begins with Flashman, and ...more
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