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1 Burnside Film and Television- Film History and Theory

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

by

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 musicals — Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music — dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.

By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.

What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow — we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation — and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.

The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.

Review:

"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,' 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... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Through these mini-portraits of key players...and pivotal films, Harris provides an engaging and rich narrative of an extraordinary moment in Hollywood and...the world." Very Short List

Review:

"A madly ambitious marriage of revelatory cultural history and great storytelling, Pictures at a Revolution is every bit as smart and radical and sexy as the movies it brings to life." David Hajdu, author of Lush Life and Positively 4th Street

Review:

"Mark Harris has pulled off brilliantly what many of us only attempt. He has used a narrowly focused subject-five movies competing for Best Picture in 1967 — to tell the larger, richly textured story of that tumultuous time. He traces the making of each of the movies — among them, Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate — with the kind of detailed, dramatic narrative that makes the book a page-turner, even for someone who is not a movie buff. And his profiles of the major characters (my favorites were Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, and Mike Nichols) are the most interesting I've seen." Connie Bruck, author of The Predator's Ball, Masters of the Game, and When Hollywood Was King

Review:

"Pictures at a Revolution is exactly what its title promises: an in-depth, up-close view of the films and filmmakers that transformed American cinema during an extraordinary period of innovation and insurrection. What we have here is a clash of the titans — Old Hollywood versus the New — with the entire enterprise of American filmmaking hanging in the balance. Like a skilled novelist, Mark Harris keeps us turning the pages, with heroes to root for, villains to hiss, and plenty of intrigue along the way — all set against the psychedelic backdrop of the turbulent 1960s. A remarkable reconstruction of perhaps the most significant artistic moment in the history of American film." William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger

Review:

"I've been waiting a long time for someone to explain to me exactly what happened to the movies during the 1960s — and someone finally has. Luckily he's witty, nervy, original, widely knowledgeable from the board room to the back room, and has no trouble putting Dr. Dolittle and Bonnie and Clyde in the same critical universe. That's the 1960s for you...all movie history books should be written by Mark Harris." Jeanine Basinger, author of The Star Machine

Review:

"An exhilarating read for anyone who cares about the myriad ways movies can shape popular and political culture. I loved it." Christine Vachon, producer, author of Shooting to Kill

Review:

"Harris's experience covering film and television shows on every page, as this is the most engaging and, dare this reviewer say, entertaining book on the movies to be written in years. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"No contest, this is one of the best film histories ever written. Don't miss it." Booklist

Review:

"[S]mart, savvy....[Harris] paints a colorful, comprehensive and nicely nuanced portrait of the movie industry in the throes of wrenching yet liberating change." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"American film in 1967 was heading into an unrivaled, if all too short, golden age, and Mark Harris's legwork and intelligence transport us gratefully back to that exhilarating moment when it was all still about to occur." Jim Shepard, New York Times

Review:

"Some of this material we vaguely know — but not in the detail that Harris reports it. I don't know of another book that is so rich a compendium of Hollywood moviemaking lore, so amusing, so appalling, so palpably true." Richard Schickel, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"With its huge cast, wealth of information and impressive gravitas, Pictures at a Revolution is a particularly accomplished debut book." Janet Maslin, New York Times

Synopsis:

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 musicals-Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.

By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.

What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow-we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation-and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.

The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestseller that follows the making of five films at a pivotal time in Hollywood history

In the mid-1960s, westerns, war movies, and blockbuster musicals like Mary Poppins swept the box office. The Hollywood studio system was astonishingly lucrative for the few who dominated the business. That is, until the tastes of American moviegoers radically- and unexpectedly-changed. By the Oscar ceremonies of 1968, a cultural revolution had hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami, and films like Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and box-office bomb Doctor Doolittle signaled a change in Hollywood-and America. And as an entire industry changed and struggled, careers were suddenly made and ruined, studios grew and crumbled, and the landscape of filmmaking was altered beyond all recognition.

About the Author

For fifteen years, Mark Harris worked as a writer and editor covering movies, television and books for Entertainment Weekly, where he now writes the "Final Cut" back-page column. He has written about pop culture for several other magazines as well. A graduate of Yale University, he lives in New York City with his husband, Tony Kushner.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594201523
Subtitle:
ywood
Author:
Harris, Mark
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Motion pictures
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
United States - 20th Century/60s
Subject:
Motion pictures -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20090127
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.58x6.36x1.50 in. 1.75 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Film History and Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594201523 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Through these mini-portraits of key players...and pivotal films, Harris provides an engaging and rich narrative of an extraordinary moment in Hollywood and...the world."
"Review" by , "A madly ambitious marriage of revelatory cultural history and great storytelling, Pictures at a Revolution is every bit as smart and radical and sexy as the movies it brings to life."
"Review" by , "Mark Harris has pulled off brilliantly what many of us only attempt. He has used a narrowly focused subject-five movies competing for Best Picture in 1967 — to tell the larger, richly textured story of that tumultuous time. He traces the making of each of the movies — among them, Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate — with the kind of detailed, dramatic narrative that makes the book a page-turner, even for someone who is not a movie buff. And his profiles of the major characters (my favorites were Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, and Mike Nichols) are the most interesting I've seen."
"Review" by , "Pictures at a Revolution is exactly what its title promises: an in-depth, up-close view of the films and filmmakers that transformed American cinema during an extraordinary period of innovation and insurrection. What we have here is a clash of the titans — Old Hollywood versus the New — with the entire enterprise of American filmmaking hanging in the balance. Like a skilled novelist, Mark Harris keeps us turning the pages, with heroes to root for, villains to hiss, and plenty of intrigue along the way — all set against the psychedelic backdrop of the turbulent 1960s. A remarkable reconstruction of perhaps the most significant artistic moment in the history of American film." William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger
"Review" by , "I've been waiting a long time for someone to explain to me exactly what happened to the movies during the 1960s — and someone finally has. Luckily he's witty, nervy, original, widely knowledgeable from the board room to the back room, and has no trouble putting Dr. Dolittle and Bonnie and Clyde in the same critical universe. That's the 1960s for you...all movie history books should be written by Mark Harris."
"Review" by , "An exhilarating read for anyone who cares about the myriad ways movies can shape popular and political culture. I loved it."
"Review" by , "Harris's experience covering film and television shows on every page, as this is the most engaging and, dare this reviewer say, entertaining book on the movies to be written in years. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "No contest, this is one of the best film histories ever written. Don't miss it."
"Review" by , "[S]mart, savvy....[Harris] paints a colorful, comprehensive and nicely nuanced portrait of the movie industry in the throes of wrenching yet liberating change."
"Review" by , "American film in 1967 was heading into an unrivaled, if all too short, golden age, and Mark Harris's legwork and intelligence transport us gratefully back to that exhilarating moment when it was all still about to occur."
"Review" by , "Some of this material we vaguely know — but not in the detail that Harris reports it. I don't know of another book that is so rich a compendium of Hollywood moviemaking lore, so amusing, so appalling, so palpably true."
"Review" by , "With its huge cast, wealth of information and impressive gravitas, Pictures at a Revolution is a particularly accomplished debut book."
"Synopsis" by ,
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 musicals-Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.

By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.

What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow-we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation-and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.

The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.

"Synopsis" by ,
The New York Times bestseller that follows the making of five films at a pivotal time in Hollywood history

In the mid-1960s, westerns, war movies, and blockbuster musicals like Mary Poppins swept the box office. The Hollywood studio system was astonishingly lucrative for the few who dominated the business. That is, until the tastes of American moviegoers radically- and unexpectedly-changed. By the Oscar ceremonies of 1968, a cultural revolution had hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami, and films like Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, and box-office bomb Doctor Doolittle signaled a change in Hollywood-and America. And as an entire industry changed and struggled, careers were suddenly made and ruined, studios grew and crumbled, and the landscape of filmmaking was altered beyond all recognition.

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