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1 Burnside Film and Television- Film History and Theory

The Star Machine

by

The Star Machine Cover

ISBN13: 9781400041305
ISBN10: 1400041309
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From one of our leading film authorities, a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis.

Jeanine Basinger gives us an immensely entertaining look into the "star machine," examining how, at the height of the studio system, from the 1930s to the 1950s, the studios worked to manufacture star actors and actresses. With revelatory insights and delightful asides, she shows us how the machine worked when it worked, how it failed when it didn't, and how irrelevant it could sometimes be. She gives us the "human factor," case studies focusing on big stars groomed into the system: the "awesomely beautiful" (and disillusioned) Tyrone Power; the seductive, disobedient Lana Turner; and a dazzling cast of others — Loretta Young, Errol Flynn, Irene Dunne, Deanna Durbin. She anatomizes their careers, showing how their fame happened, and what happened to them as a result. (Both Lana Turner and Errol Flynn, for instance, were involved in notorious court cases.) In her trenchantly observed conclusion, she explains what has become of the star machine and why the studios’ practice of "making" stars is no longer relevant.

Deeply engrossing, full of energy, wit, and wisdom, The Star Machine is destined to become an invaluable part of the film canon.

Review:

"Ms. Basinger...ingeniously picks apart the gears and levers of the machine, analyzing the careers of a handful of stars whose ups and downs illustrate the studio system at its smooth-functioning best, or reveal its hidden inefficiencies." William Grimes, New York Times

Review:

"The Star Machine is studded throughout with scores of photographs....[T]he prose is agreeably nonacademic." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Ms. Basinger is one of the most down-to-earth film historians writing today, as well as one of the most readable." Dallas Morning News

Book News Annotation:

An excellent storyteller, Basinger has ransacked the archives for an in-depth history of the policy in early movie making to "make" a star. The lives and careers of a number of stars are examined to demonstrate the policy--including Tyrone Power, Lana Turner, Deanna Durbin, and Norma Shearer--and concludes with the abandonment of the starmaking machine after WWII. Many b&w plates are included. Basinger, who teaches film studies at Wesleyan U. and curates their cinema archives, has written a number of books on film. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A leading film authority presents a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis.

About the Author

Jeanine Basinger is the chair of film studies at Wesleyan University and the curator of the cinema archives there. She has written nine other books on film, including A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women 1930–1960; Silent Stars, winner of the William K. Everson Award for Film History; The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre; and American Cinema: 100 Years of Filmmaking, the companion book for a ten-part PBS series. She lives with her husband in Middletown, Connecticut.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

rogerzotti, March 1, 2008 (view all comments by rogerzotti)
Jeanine Basinger's most recent book is entertaining and knowledgeable, and her prose style easygoing. The chapter on how the star machine typecast the immensely talented Tyrone Power is painful to read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400041305
Author:
Basinger, Jeanine
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Film & Video - General
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
Motion picture actors and actresses
Subject:
Motion picture industry
Subject:
Telecommunications
Subject:
Motion picture industry - California -
Subject:
Film - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071023
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
222 PHOTOS IN TEXT
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.32x6.56x1.50 in. 2.14 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Film History and Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism

The Star Machine Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.50 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9781400041305 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ms. Basinger...ingeniously picks apart the gears and levers of the machine, analyzing the careers of a handful of stars whose ups and downs illustrate the studio system at its smooth-functioning best, or reveal its hidden inefficiencies."
"Review" by , "The Star Machine is studded throughout with scores of photographs....[T]he prose is agreeably nonacademic."
"Review" by , "Ms. Basinger is one of the most down-to-earth film historians writing today, as well as one of the most readable."
"Synopsis" by , A leading film authority presents a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis.
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