GEORGE LUCAS’S BLOCKBUSTING(George Lucas Books/It Books) Edited by Alex Ben Block and Lucy Autrey Wilson, with a Foreword by Francis Ford Coppola
This ambitious, indeed sprawling, 945-page volume sets out to trace the history of American film, decade-by-decade. While it ostensibly focuses on 300 so-called blockbuster hits, its chapter-opening essays, sidebar notes and statistics provide an informed and impressive overview of changing trends in moviemaking—and moviegoing—throughout the 20th century and into the dawn of the 21st. While at first glance it appears that the book’s emphasis is on the business end of movies (providing revealing, inflation-adjusted statistics on admission prices, star and director salaries, production costs and box-office figures) it also devotes considerable space to artistic advances and milestones. The silent era is especially well served by contributions by such historians as Robert Birchard and David Kiehn.
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