Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies that Defined America

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ABC-CLIO, 2009 - Performing Arts - 415 pages
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Whether it's the hum drum existence of Marion Crane and her illicit love affair, the psychotic antics of Norman Bates, the sudden irrational migration of birds, a crop duster swooping down on Roger Thornhill in the middle of nowhere, or Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace's unforgettable dance at Jack Rabbit Slim's - they are all cinematic moments that forever changed the psyche and viewing experience of American audiences. Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies That Defined America tells the stories behind the most significant and influential films in American culture, movies that have had a profound influence on the literary, cinematic and popular culture of our time.

Arranged chronologically, the volume gives readers an opportunity to place the films within the context of the social and cultural historic dynamic of the time, making this an ideal source for student papers and reports. Each entry includes the filmmaker, actors, release information, a synopsis of the film, critics' reviews, awards, current availability, and then background on the making of the film in an artistic, economic, and technological context. Spanning all genres, including horror and drama, adventure, comedy, musicals, science fiction, and more, this volume is loaded with enough trivia and factoids to satisfy even the most die-hard movie buff. Also included are other Greatest Films compilations from the National Society of Film Critics and noteworthy sources for comparative purposes. Guaranteed to inspire forays into film favorites as well as some very lively debate, this resource is essential reading for film lovers and students alike.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Through a Glass Darkly 19151938
1
Chapter 2 A Rumble to War 19391942
29
The Films of PostWar America 19461947
42
Chapter 4 The Hop Bop and Stroll 19501959
52
Chapter 5 The Space Race Civil Rights and a Nation Torn 19601969
112
Chapter 6 Platform Shoes Pet Rocks Disco and a Dysfunctional Presidency 19701979
175
Chapter 7 Bits Bytes and Boomers 19801989
250
Chapter 8 GenX Reality TV Terror Impeachment Seinfeld Beavis and Butthead 19901999
283
Chapter 9 The New Millennium 20002008
311
Alphabetical Listing of Films
381
Chronological Listing of Films
383
Bibliography
385
Index
395
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About the author (2009)

JAMES ROMAN is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is the author of Love, Light, and a Dream (Praeger, 1996) and From Daytime to Primetime (Greenwood, 2005).

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