Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame

Front Cover
Anchor, 2013 - Performing Arts - 413 pages
2 Reviews

With 8 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs

In this captivating history of stardom, Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr traces our obsession with fame from the dawn of cinema through the age of the Internet. Why do we obsess over the individuals we come to call stars? How has both the image of stardom and our stars' images changed over the past hundred years? What does celebrity mean if people can now become famous simply for being famous? With brilliant insight and entertaining examples, Burr reveals the blessings and the curses of celebrity for the star and the stargazer alike. From Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, to Archie Leach (a.k.a. Cary Grant), Tom Cruise, and Julia Roberts, to such no-cal stars of today as the Kardashians and the new online celebrity, Gods Like Us is a journey through the fame game at its flashiest, most indulgent, occasionally most tragic, and ultimately it's most culturally revealing.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alexann - LibraryThing

Burr's book begins as a fascinating history of the early years of film, spending a lot of time on the silents and the first big Hollywood stars. As we transition into the "talkies", the stars are ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KristySP - LibraryThing

I'm not sure Ty Butr is breaking new ground here, but his book about the history of celebrity is a very good, easy read. He writes in the style of his columns and reviews for the Boston Globe. It was ... Read full review

Contents

From Edisons Blobs to Florence Lawrence
3
Mary Pickford Norma Talmadge Flappers and Virgins
23
Charlie Doug Rudy and More
45
The silent star scandals
70
The Movies Speak
79
The Great Singularities of the Studio Era
95
How Stars Were Made
115
Monsters Scarlett Women and other characters
128
Mensches Hippies and Fame
210
The 1980s
235
Cable VHS and Arnold
259
Brat Packers and the New Teen Idols
267
Michael Jackson Madonna and
277
The 1990s and Beyond
291
Stardom in the Internet Age
322
Star Death
353

Postwar Studio stardom
143
Brando Changes Everything
157
small screen Small Gods
178
The New Rock celebrities and the Warhol Factory
191
The Long Voyage of the African American Star
204
Acknowledgments
365
Bibliography 38
381
Index
389
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About the author (2013)

Ty Burr is the film critic for The Boston Globe. For more than a decade he wrote about movies for Entertainment Weekly, and he has also served in the film acquisitions department of HBO. He estimates that after thirty years of serious movie-watching, he has seen on the order of 10,680 films. On a good day, he remembers 7,000 of them.

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