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

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  2,900 ratings  ·  367 reviews
Explores 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.
Hardcover, 490 pages
Published February 14th 2008 by Penguin Press
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Franco 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)

Community Reviews

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4.18  · 
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 ·  2,900 ratings  ·  367 reviews


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David
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to David by: Jason
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
Dec 13, 2014 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
...more
Jason Pettus
Over at the film-nerd social network I belong to, Letterboxd.com, one of the tasks in this month's "Movie Scavenger Hunt" is to watch one of the films discussed in Mark Harris' 2008 book Pictures at a Revolution; and I thought this would give me a good excuse to finally read the book itself as well, which I've been wanting to do ever since it came out. An ingenious blend of Hollywood insider tale and legitimate history text, Harris takes the five movies nominated for the 1967 Best Picture Oscar ...more
Charles Matthews
Dec 06, 2009 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
...more
Jennifer
Jul 01, 2009 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
...more
Anthony McGill
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding study of the five films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award of 1967. The year was of particular significance as it was a critical turning point in Hollywood film production with the old studio system gradually giving way to the New Hollywood of maverick filmmakers and a new vision of movie making.
Mark Harris has brilliantly told the story of this dynamic period through five films ('Bonnie and Clyde'; 'Doctor Dolittle'; 'The Graduate'; 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' and 'In t
...more
Emma
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.
Matt
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, audiobooks, film
Phenomenal, both as film history and as an exploration of the cultural upheaval of the sixties. It’s impossible to summarize 17+ hours of history in a review written with one hand on an iPhone, so I won’t try, but suffice to say that this absolutely recommended to cinephiles.
Brent Ecenbarger
I’m embarrassed to admit something, but first some background info: My friends and family know I love movies. Beth and I watch a new release every weekend and have for about 5 years now, but we also own tons of dvds and watch them regularly as well. Our viewing isn’t confined to genre fare (although we happen to love horror, sci-fi, western, etc.) or American (Kurosawa, Bergman, Truffaut, etc. are all well represented in our home), and most years we even try to see all the films nominated for Be ...more
Megankellie
Jun 17, 2011 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
Michael
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This comprehensive, engaging, and dishy account of the five Best Picture nominees from 1967 is one of the most entertaining books I've read in a while. The movies in question marked a turning point in American filmmaking, when daring, unusual works (BONNIE AND CLYDE and THE GRADUATE), social commentary (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER) and stodgy, big budget road shows (DOCTOR DOLITTLE) were vying for prominence and ticket sales.
Rather than tell the story of each film o
...more
Kris
May 20, 2011 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
Sue
Sep 13, 2011 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!
Michael
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michael by: Greta Gerwig
I've just finished this terrific Oscar-themed book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris. Though it was published in 2008 I missed it when it came out. I picked it up when I saw it mentioned by Greta Gerwig (writer-director of Lady Bird) in a NYTimes interview earlier this month.

(Gerwig said of it: "I love the Mark Harris book Pictures at a Revolution, which I think does an amazing job of looking at a moment of culture through the best-picture
...more
Yagori
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first time I held Harris’s work between my hands was also the first time I learnt about its existence. I got it as a present due to my fondness for cinema, and it looked very promising.
Now that I’ve finished it, I can’t highlight enough how it has changed my vision on cinema history, and of course how much I’ve enjoyed it. Harris is able to create a cinematic universe in his book about cinema, where he manages to make readers cheer for production A or to create animosity towards production B
...more
Jo Marie
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book for movie lovers, or anyone interested in how movies are made. This is about the five movies nominated for the 1968 best picture Oscar yes, but it's full of observations and anecdotes about other movies as well. Fascinating accounts of actors, producers, directors, writers - really everyone involved in the movie business.
Bill
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! I had this book sitting on my shelf for 10+ years. Wish I had read it sooner. Entertaining, insightful, I breezed through 425 pages in two days!!! If you like movies and stories about making them...it doesn't get much better than this!
Paul
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Paul by: Jim Hagler
Fascinating - the story of the five film nominated for Best Picture in 1967 - Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Dr. Doolittle. From the first plans by the writers to the night of the awards. Now I have to go watch all of those films again.
David Keaton
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Detailing one particular Oscar race and the state of American movies in 1967 teetering on the verge of Frenchification and finally New Hollywood-ing it up, where In the Heat of the Night, Bonnie & Clyde, and The Graduate went toe to toe to toe, and the cringey Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and the wretched Dr. Doolittle were just happy to crash the party. A bit insular to the film community but understandably concerned about how so many people get it wrong at first until the world catches up ...more
Richard Kramer
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Richard Block
Aug 25, 2014 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
...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
Kasa Cotugno
Jul 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Garrett Cash
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mark Harris does an incredible job of mapping the progression of the five films that made up the 1967 Best Pictures nominees from their idea stages in 1963-64, to their release in 1967 and subsequent critical and popular responses. The first half of the book is remarkably slower and more difficult to get through than the second, since the first half is mainly about all the different people that considered signing onto the films. The second half is about the filming, release, and reactions to the ...more
Stephanie
Nov 19, 2014 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
Neil
Jan 12, 2010 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... http://bfgb.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/...) that I don't feel compelled to write more here. Suffice it to say that Harris did a wonderful ...more
Grburbank
Nov 11, 2011 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
Josh
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, film, history
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
Robert
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
Elizabeth
Sep 14, 2012 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!
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Goodreads Librari...: Date of Publication? 4 15 Dec 03, 2016 11:50AM  

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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