on 13 March 2011
A fascinating account of Hollywood--and the US--in the mid to late 60s. Harris takes the reader through the making of the five films that were nominated for best picture in 1968: The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Doctor Doolittle. The 60s saw the beginning of the end of old Hollywood, the studio system and the Hays Code, and the dawn of a new era, represented here by The Graduate, and Bonnie and Clyde. The baby boomers were coming into their own, breaking with the traditions of their elders. And the civil rights movement was permanently changing the US political and social landscape. Harris writes well--the book never flags. In telling the story behind each of these films, he encapsulates not only the ethos of an entire era but brings Hollywood--with all its contradictions--to life.
on 13 June 2009
Mark Harris has done us a service in puting 1967 and '68 into perspective vis a vis American cinema. So much so in fact, and as a result of his fluid writing, that I am looking for other books that he has written. To this day, I remember seeing the poster of The Graduate at the age of 12 (and then subsequently seeing the film). The book gives an insightful appraisal of how the five films were originated and finally produced / distributed, with the culmination of the Oscar awards of 1968 when In the Heat of the Night won best film. A great book about a pivotal time in the US as apparaised by a very part-time film buff.