The Star Machine

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 6, 2009 - Performing Arts - 608 pages
2 Reviews
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From one of our most distinguished film scholars, comes a rich, penetrating, amusing book about the golden age of movies and how the studios worked to manufacture stars.

With revelatory insights and delightful asides, Jeanine Basinger shows us how the studio “star machine” worked when it worked, how it failed when it didn't, and how irrelevant it could sometimes be. She gives us 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. She anatomizes their careers, showing how their fame happened, and what happened to them as a result. Deeply engrossing, full of energy, wit, and wisdom, The Star Machine is destined to become an classic of the film canon.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Tafadhali - LibraryThing

What a fascinating and informative book! After the excellent job the first chapter did at laying out the big picture of the workings of the "star machine" in Hollywood of the '30s and '40s, I felt ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - npl - LibraryThing

An interesting look into movie studies during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. By focusing on various stars' careers, Basinger notes how the "star machine" worked, its successes, and its failures. She ... Read full review


The Star Machine Process
Tyrone Power
Lana Turner and Errol Flynn
Loretta Young Irene Dunne Norma Shearer 32
Oddities and Character Actors 421

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About the author (2009)

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.

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