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1939: The Making of Six Great Films from Hollywood's Greatest Year Paperback – 1 Mar 2014


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Product Description

A celebration of cinema from the year 1939--a year film critics and historians are virtually unanimous in considering the greatest in the history of motion pictures--this work is the perfect combination of film history, artistic appreciation, historical insight, and gossip. Profiling of six of the greatest films of the year--"Gone with the Wind," "Stagecoach," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "The Hound of the Baskervilles," "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," and "The Wizard of Oz"--the book shows, in detail, how these stories came into being and how long they waited to find fame. It also describes the behind-the-scenes story of each film: how the stories were adapted to a film script; the writers, producers, directors, actors, and technicians who made the film; how the film was received by critics and the public; and the later careers of the people who made the film, with commentary on such legendary stars as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and Judy Garland. A must-have book that no movie fan should miss, this work captures 1930s Hollywood--an era which, in spite of being crass, commercial, restrictive, and frequently dysfunctional, produced immensely enjoyable films that are still watched with pleasure today.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9560848c) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95615048) out of 5 stars This Book Is A Joke! And A Bad One At That! 23 Mar. 2014
By Jim Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a ripoff, even at less than $15. There's no new information here. The book is printed on cheap paper. Its illustrations and photographs look like third generation Xerox copies. This book was advertised on TCM as something special. It isn't special. It's as if the author cut and pasted information from various and sundry sources, changed the wording so he wouldn't be charged with plagiarism, and suckered someone into publishing it. It's almost like a Cliff's Notes on six films. The author devotes entirely too much space on biographies of authors of the books that were turned into films. A totally valueless book.

If you are a serious student or afficianado of film, this is NOT the book for you. A big thumbs down on this one.

I wish I knew how to put the sound of a Bronx Cheer in writing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95615294) out of 5 stars A fantastic read with great details 29 Mar. 2014
By Laurie Davies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love film, you will love reading this book. Since the films chosen are universally acclaimed as classics and widely loved, the stories of their creation are fascinating. The writing style is intimate and the author has clearly done significant research detailing everything from scriptwriting to casting to editing. Many of the most endearing moments in cinema almost didn't happen (for example, Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in the Wizard of Oz), and the author supplies the stories behind each production. Rich with behind-the-scenes specifics, the author's histories of these great films makes viewing them an even richer experience.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95615258) out of 5 stars Great book for film lovers 4 April 2014
By Cynthia S. Davies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I knew all of these films because I love old movies but some I have only seen once and some of those were a while back. Revisiting them in detail with the help of this book made me want to watch them again. As someone who works in the film industry I realize all too well how difficult it is to get any film project off the ground and completed, but somehow I always thought that these classics made in the big studio era made a smoother transition to the screen. The stories in this book of the origins of these movies was fascinating to me. The rocky road from book or original idea to screenplay to financing to casting to production is clearly told in this most interesting book. A must read for film buffs!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95615834) out of 5 stars ADAMS DOES IT AGAIN! 9 April 2014
By Sam V - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Adams lives up to his earlier books with extensive research and lively writing that make his subject come to life. I have loved his other books, but this is my favorite because he hits all the best classic movies! The illustrations are amazing. I can't imagine how he got access to many of them. This is a must read!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95615a50) out of 5 stars The Inside Scoop 10 April 2014
By Stephen Blake Mettee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of Charles Adams and his ability to take you behind the scenes since he wrote "The Magnificent Rogues of San Francisco," but he outdoes himself with "1939." It's like you're peeking through a keyhole into the secret lives of movie stars and producers.
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