Cover image for The movies as history : visions of the twentieth century
The movies as history : visions of the twentieth century
Ellwood, David W.
Publication Information:
Stroud : Sutton, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 214 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Published in association with History Today.
Part I. War stories. Wings / Michael Paris -- All Quiet on the Western Front / Modris Eksteins -- Fires Were Started / Jeffrey Richards -- The Green Berets / Philip Taylor -- Star Wars / Peter Kramer -- Part II. Propaganda cinema. The Great Way / Graham Roberts -- Triumph of the Will / Brian Winston -- This Is the Army / David Culbert -- I Was a Communist for the FBI / Dan Leab -- Part III. Social commentary on screen. Citizen Kane / Sarah Street -- On the Waterfront / Brian Neve -- Un americano a Roma / David Ellwood -- I'm All Right Jack / Peter Stead -- La Dolce Vita / Stephen Gundle -- Alfie / Anthony Aldgate -- Part IV. Films of romance and fantasy. Madonna of the Seven Moons / Sue Harper -- La Belle et la Bête / Susan Hayward -- The Leopard / Pierre Sorlin -- South Pacific / Michael Sturma -- Indochine / David Nicholl -- The Exorcist / Nicholas Cull.
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1995.2 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Some films make history, some try to re-write it, and some invent it from scratch. The films considered here are those made by history. They are products of different societies at special moents of their evolution. Their words, images and sounds portray the features and details of those societies: their appearance, habits and rituals; their cities and countryside; morals and manners; work and ways of dealing with conflicts. These movies also have a lot to say about film-making. The stories told here highlight how it was done, who it was done by and for, how it set out to entertain, enlighten and at times change minds; and what brought it success with audiences.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Into the profusion of titles on film and history bravely marches this compilation from England. Rather than another recitation of historical howlers from Hollywood, the essays Ellwood presents deal with "the symbiotic relationship between movies and the times and places in which they were created." The films they consider share "a distinctive capacity to communicate in images, plot, characterisation, music and style an interpretation of the people and the times which made them." The 20 essays, originally published in the Film in Context series in History Today, cover Star Wars, I Was a Communist for the FBI, Citizen Kane, and other U.S. films as well as foreign fare like La Dolce Vita, Indochine, and Alfie. Contributors include Graham Roberts, Michael Paris, Ellwood himself, and other high-concept critics. Notable enough for analyzing Triumph of the Will and The Exorcist between the same covers, this is a fine collection of commentary on the interaction between culture at large and culture as it appears on the big screen. --Mike Tribby