2,0 su 5 stelleThis book is in dire need of a good editor. The author wonders all over the place ...
DaC Flaggil 19 agosto 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
This book is in dire need of a good editor. The author wonders all over the place making it difficult to understand where he's going. i found myself having to reread sentenes/paragraphs to figure out what the bloody point was. Very frustrating read. I fear the author's proximity to characters in this book produces a subjective, rambling disserttion of this period of Hollywood film making resultling in a not very structured, historical, social and psycological rendering of the people who were responsible for the fillmmaking that affected and influenced our imaginations, minds and lives.
5,0 su 5 stelleA major film studio that had such a "unique impact on our cultural dreams, on us, that is alarming because it is enormous"
DaRobert Morrisil 17 luglio 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
David Thomson examines – his words -- “the making of an American movie studio.” He explains how and why Warner Bros had "unique impact on our cultural dreams, on us, that is alarming because it is enormous." Its impact was also unique in ways and to an extent unlike any other of the major studios from the mid-1920s through the 1960s.
As Thomson explains, from the beginning, there were East/West conflicts of various kinds in which Harry and Jack were the principal antagonists. In 1958, Harry died of a cerebral occlusion. At his funeral, wife Rea observed, "Harry didn’t die. Jack killed him.” Jack died 20 years later after strokes had left him blind and helpless. “If there were bodies left in the streets, there always had been in Warner pictures.”
I agree with him that Warners made most of the best gangster films (1931-1949). They include The Public Enemy and Little Caesar (1931), The Petrified Forest (1936), High Sierra (1941), Key Largo (1948), and White Heat (1949). Most of these films featured James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and/or Humphrey Bogart.
Warner Bros also produced several films that won an Oscar for Best Film: Life of Emile Zola (1937), Casablanca (1943), My Fair Lady (1964), Unforgiven (1992), Million Dollar Baby (2004), The Dedparted (2006), and Argo (2012).
Other films produced elsewhere won an Oscar for Best Film and were distributed by Warner Bros(1932-1975). They include Grand Hotel (1932; Mutiny on the Bounty (1936), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), An American in Paris (1951), Around the World in 80 Days (19),Ben Hur (1959), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).
The abundance of information and insights that Thomson provides enables his reader to “go behind the silver screen” — or if you prefer, down a rabbit hole — and into a culture of genius that is “collective as well as individual.” Carl Sandburg once described Chicago as “America with the lid off” and the same be said of the Warners organization, roughly between 1927 and 1967.
I am grateful to David Thomson for allowing me and countless others to explore a major film community that had such a “unique impact on our cultural dreams, on us, that is alarming because it is enormous.” For four decades, Warner Bros illustrated the best and worst of the nation that attracted so many immigrants and it is also true that that same nation continues to illustrate today the best and worst of Warner Bros in its prime.
3,0 su 5 stelleNot a history of Warner Bros, but riffs on movies produced by Warners
DaCharles Salmansil 21 agosto 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
The title of the book and the cover photograph of the four Warner brothers is misleading, as this is not a history of Warner Bros. Instead, it’s a movie critic’s reprise of the movies produced by Warners over the years and gossip and opinion about the actors and directors involved in them.
Many movie buffs may enjoy this series of film riffs, as at points author David Thomson has witty observations. For example, referring to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep, he writes, “It does not matter whether Bogart and Bacall were happy together in life (I hope they had their moments), because they have 114 minutes of splendor in the film.” But I was suspicious that these might have been retreads of columns he has written over the years, and they certainly don’t constitute a book with well organized themes.
The book glosses over the four brothers who, with the exception of Jack, the author seems to find boring. Harry, an older brother, is mentioned mainly as a foil in terms of personality to Jack and at the end of the book there is a description of how Jack shortchanged Harry when the studio was sold. The falling out between the brothers was complete.
Thomson observes, “I doubt the editors of this series [entitled Jewish Lives] would proceed to print a full account of what might be plain or empty lives.” This was written in reference to the ancestors of the four brothers, but reveals the author’s own lack of interest in the principals of the studio themselves. Early chapters touch upon how the family, initially through Sam Warner obtaining an Edison projector, seized on movies only after attempting other business ventures in Baltimore, Canada, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown. But then the brothers are virtually forgotten until the final chapter of the book dealing with Jack’s betrayal of brother Harry.
Some of the financial ups and downs of the studio are briefly referenced without elaboration beyond stating that the early years were touch and go. Thomson seems to have no interest in the business side of Warner Bros or, more surprisingly, of exploring in depth how this studio in the 1930s became “the most socially conscious or leftist studio outside the Soviet Union” with films such as Heroes for Sale, Angels with Dirty Faces, I am a Fugitive from the Chain Gang, and They Drive by Night.
Consequently, as other reviewers have observed, the author’s narrative can be rambling and disjointed. We get summaries and assessments of the many films made by Warner Bros, along with tidbits about stars such as Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Cagney, and Humphrey Bogart. Director Michael Curtiz is greatly admired by Thomson. But there is no well organized analysis of the creative uniqueness of Warner Bros.
This a quick and undemanding read, and many readers will enjoy Thomson’s take on specific movies or on personalities such as Bette Davis, Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Joan Crawford. However someone else will have to write a definitive book on “The Making of an American Movie Studio.”
DaJim F.il 7 agosto 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Film and film business enthusiasts will find much of interest here, and an intriguing case is made for the outsized influence a single studio had in both capturing and shaping the culture and aspirations of America during much of the 1900's. But the writing style is reader- unfriendly and there is an over abundance of material that is really off the topic and extraneous to the "making of the studio." The author is clearly knowledgeable on his subject, but single paragraphs or passages often meander and careen uncomfortably from an unnecessarily detailed movie plot synopsis, to an historical fact, to his personal review/criticism; and then from out of this potpourri occasionally emerges a sweeping, sociological generalization. Not an "easy read" by any means, unfortunately.
Dadennis r humphriesil 8 agosto 2017 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Loved the book. I grew up watching Waner Bros. movies late at night when My parents thought I was asleep. These films were like having a third parent. Or maybe an extra dozen if you count Errol Flynn, Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, John Garfield, Edward G Robinson, Olivia deHaviland, Alan Hale, Roaul Walsh, Mike Curtiz, Ida Lupino and Claude Rains. There were no better teachers in how to live a good, honest, full life.
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