Speaking about the kind of filmmaking now known as Classic Hollywood, the most popular and influential cinema ever invented, Vincente Minnelli once gave away its secret: “I feel that a picture that stays with you is made up of a hundred or more hidden things. They’re things that the audience is not conscious of, but that accumulate.” What are those hidden things? Can we invent a method that will enable us to discover them? Robert Ray attempts to answer those questions by looking closely at four movies from the 1930-1945 period when the American studio system reached the peak of its economic and cultural power: *Grand Hotel, The Philadelphia Story, The Maltese Falcon,* and *Meet Me in St. Louis.* To avoid the predictable generalizations that have plagued film studies, Ray works with the movies’ details- *Grand Hote* l’s room assignments or *Meet Me in St. Louis* ‘s ketchup-which are treated as mysterious but promising clues. By producing at least one entry for every letter of the alphabet, Ray demonstrates that a movie’s details have much to tell us. *The ABCs of Classic Hollywood* is a movie primer, a deceptively simple book that spells out a fascinating account of the most powerful storytelling system ever designed.
The ABCs of Classic Hollywood / Edition 1
Robert B. Ray
Oxford University Press
Nook, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Windows