The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-16
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr

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InThe Genius of the System, Thomas Schatz recalls Hollywood's Golden Age from the 1920s until the dawn of television in the late 1940s, when quality films were produced swiftly and cost efficiently thanks to the intricate design of the system. Schatz takes us through the rise and fall of individual careers and the makingand unmakingof movies such asFrankenstein,Casablanca, and Hitchcock'sNotorious. Through detailed analysis of major Hollywood moviemakers including Universal, Warner Bros., and MGM, he reminds us of a time when studios had distinct personalities and the relationship between contracts and creativity was not mutually exclusive.

Author Biography

Thomas Schatz is professor of communication at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of several books, including Hollywood Genres and Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Preface: The Center of Gravityp. ix
Introduction: "The Whole Equation of Pictures"
The 1920s: Beginnings
Universal: the System Takes shapep. 15
MGM: Dawn of the Thalberg Erap. 29
Selznick at MGM: Climbing the Executive Ranksp. 48
Warner Bros: Talking Their Way to the Topp. 58
1928 - 1932: The Powers That Be
Selznick at Paramount: From Boom to Bustp. 69
Universal: Renaissance and Retrenchmentp. 82
MGM and Thalberg: Alone at the Topp. 98
Selznick at Rko: At the Helm of a Foundering Studiop. 125
Warner Bros: The Zanuck Erap. 135
The 1930s: Golden Age
MGM in the Mid-Thirties: Charmed Intervalp. 159
Selznick International Pictures: Going Independentp. 176
Warner Bros.: Power Plays and Prestigep. 199
Universal: Playing Both ends Against the Middlep. 228
MGM: Life after Thalbergp. 252
Selznick and Hitchcock: Balance of Powerp. 271
1941-1946: War Boom
Warner Bros.: Warfare at Home and Abroadp. 297
David O. Selznick Productions: Packaging Prestigep. 322
Universal: The Best of Both Worldsp. 340
MGM: The High Cost of Qualityp. 359
Selznick and Hitchcock: Separate Waysp. 381
1947-1960: Decline
Warner Bros.: Top of the world, end of the Linep. 411
MGM: Last Gasp of the studio Erap. 440
UNIVERSAL: Blueprint for the Television agep. 463
Epilogue: Into the new Hollywoodp. 482
Notes on Sourcesp. 493
Photograph Creditsp. 508
Indexp. 509
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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