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Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine: A History of Star Makers, Fabricators, and Gossip Mongers [Unknown Binding]

Anthony Slide

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Book Description

April 2010
The fan magazine has often been viewed simply as a publicity tool, a fluffy exercise in self-promotion by the film industry. But as an arbiter of good and bad taste, as a source of knowledge, and as a gateway to the fabled land of Hollywood and its stars, the fan magazine represents a fascinating and indispensible chapter in journalism and popular culture. Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine charts the development of the fan magazine from the golden years when Motion picture Story Magazine and Photoplay first appeared in 1911 to its decline into provocative headlines and titillation in the 1960s and later.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Mississippi (Txt) (April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604734140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604734140

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Product Description

About the Author

Anthony Slide is an independent scholar who has published more than 70 books on popular entertainment. He is Resident Film Historian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing 9 Jun 2010
By David Foe - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a long-time fan and former reader of fan magazines, I was very excited to see this book by Anthony Slide. I previously enjoyed his book "Nitrate Won't Wait," about film preservation. Somehow this latest volume missed the mark for me. The main problem seemed to be a lack of organization. At times the story of the fan magazine was presented chronologically, at other times thematically. But it seemed to jump around a great deal from subject to subject, from magazine to magazine, from year to year. At times there seemed to be an over-emphasis on trivia concerning certain writers and long-forgotten titles, many of which were short-lived and somewhat beside the point.

The leading fan magazines for many years were Photoplay, Modern Screen, Motion Picture, and a few others, such as Silver Screen, Screenland, etc. The magazines began in the silent days, reaching a peak of beauty in the 1920s and 1930s, and continuing to thrive into the 1940s and 1950s. By the 1960s, however, the form was on a downhill run, with the decline of the studio system, the rise of television, and a move towards titillating headlines and an obsession with Jackie Onassis. By the end of the 1970s the major titles were out of business and the fan magazine field pretty much over, although celebrity journalism has certainly thrived in other formats since then.

Interviews with Rona Barrett and David Ragan were interesting and welcome, but only told part of the story.

Movie magazines were great fun to read and look at, and additional photographs of movie magazine covers through the years would have been a welcome addition.

The rise, golden years, and fall of the fan magazines is a fascinating story, but too much of that fascination is left out of this book. I enjoyed it, but wanted more.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, invaluable resource. 21 May 2010
By B. Long - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in the history of Hollywood fan magazines, from the silent movie era to the present. It would have been nicer if the book had also included a rich selection of color magazine covers, but those can be found elsewhere online (for example in "The Movie Magazine" by Steven Lomazow, M.D.).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way They Were: They Had Faces Then. 21 Dec 2010
By Alan W. Petrucelli - Published on
Noted Hollywood chronicler Anthony Slide offers a definitive history of the fan magazine from its pioneering days through its golden years, to its decline into sleaze and titillation. Agents and studio heads loved the mags because their clients would get fluffy features that helped sell films and boost a star's popularity. It didn't matter that (in the early years) "exclusive stories" were manufactured by publicity departments and that truth was so distorted and misshapen it often became legend. (Think Lana being discovered at Schwab's.) Slide examines magazine content and its decade-by-decade change, and doesn't ignore the often-overlooked publishers, editors and writers. Don't let the University Press imprint scare you: This is a highly readable, fascinating book that's of interest to film buffs and sociologists. And oh! The photos and magazine reproductions make us yearn for the way things were.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 17 Sep 2010
By Janice L. Devlin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is really great, only problem is us who remember this, the printing is "way" to small!
4.0 out of 5 stars The years if innocence 3 Sep 2010
By Red - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this very much. It portrays a time when we were innocent and enjoyed living vicariously through the stars of the day. There was much back stabbing etc. going on among the writers that most o us were not aware of. I t is a very enjoyable read.
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