King Vidor, American

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jan 1, 1988 - Motion picture producers and directors - 382 pages
Hollywood director King Vidor (1894-1982) was acknowledged as a master by movie showmen and cinema critics alike, but the range of his films made him impossible to pigeonhole. With The Big Parade (1925), he created the first modern war film and MGM's first major hit. The Crowd (1928) looked at "ordinary people" in city jungles. Hallelujah (1929) was the first all-black major-studio feature. To the Great Depression, Vidor responded with Our Daily Bread (1934), the politically intricate saga of a rural cooperative. Other Vidor films spoke directly to the moviegoing public: that three-handkerchief male weepie, The Champ (1931); and that key women's drama, Stella Dallas (1937). His high-passion postwar melodramas, spurned by contemporary reviewers, have gained champions each year: the epic western Duel in the Sun (1946); Ayn Rand's ultra-right-wing The Fountainhead (1949); and the violent and morbid Beyond the Forest (1949) and Ruby Gentry (1952). This book is the first in-depth story of Vidor's half-century-long career, from his first attempts to rival Hollywood in his home state of Texas through the complex interplay of his independent spirit with "classic" Hollywood's rules about public taste. The title King Vidor, American, celebrates Vidor as a representative man, full of the conflicting generosity and ferocity in the national ethos: with his violent mixture of pioneering optimism and noir torments, of transcendentalism and puritanism, of spiritual verve and physical practicality, of liberal conscience and Social Darwinist savagery, of male dominance and female conciliation. Like Whitman, he contains multitudes. Never narrowly auteurist, this book is a wide ranging integration of film history, political thought, and popular culture.--Adapted from dust jacket.
 

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King Vidor, American

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The late King Vidor was a top film director, well known for such movies as The Fountainhead , Stella Dallas , and The Champ . In this text, which uses Vidor's films to examine his life and his times ... Read full review

Contents

Vidor times Four
1
Hollywood versus America
9
and Land
95
Growth
172
Stella Dallas 1937
199
The Citadel 1938
206
An American Romance 1944
221
Smiles
300
Solomon and Sheba 1959
308
Envoi
315
Notes
325
Filmography
333
Select Bibliography
363
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Durgnat is one of Britain's foremost writers on film. He is Visiting Professor at the University of East London.

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