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Publisher's Summary

Here is the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Dolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde - and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood and America forever. It was the mid-1960s, and Westerns, war movies, and blockbuster musicals, such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, dominated the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, was hanging strong, or so it seemed.
But by the time the Oscar ceremonies rolled around in the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night won the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution had hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde shocked old-guard reviewers and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented was the run of The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career and inspired a generation of young people who knew that, whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics.
What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s, and Easy Rider and Raging Bull did for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow - and we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition.
©2008 Mark Harris (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Thorough and engaging....Fascinating." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Fresh and candid....A particularly accomplished debut book." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sharon on 02-17-09

A good listen - A valuable book

Pictures at a Revolution offers a well researched detailed account of a time at which an industry and a nation was shifting values. I only saw Doctor Dolittle in theatres of the 5 discussed in the book. As a child I had no awareness of the political or social climate of the times. As an adult, I was to appreciate the relevance they had to the history of film and Harris' assessments are spot on. His description of Dede Allen's editing brought the film alive for me despite the fact that it has been decades since I last saw the Bonnie & Clyde.

As someone who works in "the industry" I found this book insightful and believe it would appeal to anyone with an interest in film. It makes accessible the process of actually getting a movie made; the business and politics of it all in addition to the creative process. It is so much more than you will find in a glossy magazine.

But really, someone should have done something about the mispronunciations. The narrator is very listenable, but Sidney Lumet's name is, as mentioned in other reviews, NOT pronounced LUMMIT. It's just not.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Stuart on 01-23-09

Mixed feelings....

I concur with others who have both applauded this audiobook's content while deploring its form. Mr. Harris' stimulating, insightful, and intricately detailed look at a key turning point in film history is, I would say, instantly indispensable to students and ardent fans of cinema. Sadly, Mr. James' narration is rife with egregious mispronunciations of names, titles, terms, etc. A few examples among many: "bespeckled" for "bespectacled", "shiska" for "shiksa", "diosan" for "diocesan", "main" for "mien", "Shilo" for "Chaillot", "Brickus" for "Bricusse", "E-LYE-a" for "Elia" Kazan, "bi-AH-pic" for "biopic", "Jean Monroe" for "Jeanne Moreau", "Romero" for alfa "romeo", "Bro-CO-li" for Cubby "Broccoli', and many more. Of course, blame cannot be placed solely on the narrator. His director or producer...or someone...should have exercised some quality control over an audiobook that shows every sign of having been rushed into production. It's especially important that a work of informative fact exhibit accuracy in all its elements. Mispronunciations aside, however, Mr. James' performance is energetic and clearly expressed.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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