Laura's Reviews > Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

Pictures at a Revolution by Mark  Harris
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's review
Jan 03, 15

bookshelves: 2009-mt-bookpile, old-reads
Read in September, 2009

The only one of the 1968 Oscar nominees for Best Picture that I saw during it's original theatrical release was Dr. Doolittle, so the impact of the other four (The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming for Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Bonnie and Clyde) was completely missed. For those older and more aware at that time, I can only imagine what it was like to see such a change in the American movie scene.

The struggle that all five films encountered - finding stars and directors, studio funding (or lack thereof), public opinion and public taste, not to mention the final year of the old Production Code - is part of what makes this book enjoyable. Getting the behind-the-scenes scoop on how Beatty threatened a studio, or how Truffaut and Goddard might have directed Bonnie and Clyde, or the search for both Hoffman's Graduate and the Doctor's love interest was as much fun to read as was the political commentary about how the times were a-changing.

Harris' research was, of course, made easier by the memories and the bits of paper left behind - as he remarked at RUSA's Notable Tastes breakfast, how will future researchers be able to find the same depth of detail among the discarded bytes of this electronic era?

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Reading Progress

12/31 marked as: read
01/03 marked as: old-reads

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