The Hollywood Studios

  • by Ethan Mordden
  • Narrated by Barrett Whitener
  • 12 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hollywood in the years between 1929 and 1948 was a town of moviemaking empires. The great studios were estates of talent: sprawling, dense, diverse. It was the Golden Age of the Movies, and each studio made its distinctive contribution. But how did the studios, "growing up" in the same time and place, develop so differently? What combinations of talents and temperaments gave them their signature styles? These are the questions Ethan Mordden answers, with breezy erudition and irrepressible enthusiasm, in this fascinating and wonderfully readable book. Mordden illuminates how the style of each studio was primarily dictated by the personality, philosophy, and attitudes of its presiding mogul - and how all these factors affected the work and careers of individual actors, directors, writers, and technicians, and the success of the studio in general.

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What the Critics Say

"Written with a flair and clarity that will delight even the casual movie lover, this study is a refreshing and convincing alternative to the auteurist approach to film history." (Publishers Weekly)
"Accessible, well written, humorous and informed. Barrett Whitener is brisk and crisp - as always, a delight to listen to." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The reader falls quite short of the book

I very much enjoyed the book - but the reader is flat terrible. If someone is going to read a book about the movies, it behooves him to learn to pronounce names properly. It was AWFUL to listen to the mispronunciation of Paul Muni's name - over and over again. And this is just one example in a list of many. There are even words he doesn't pronounce properly, e.g., "acumen" - as if it were chili spice. Painful!

This same reader read another book - Picture a Revolution and had the same problem. Many of the names he mispronounces are quite famous and central to some of the passages. It truly drove me nuts. I will look to see if this reader has any more books and will not order them.

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- Eleanor

Great book, bad reader

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Maybe, because the book is terrific, but maybe not because the performance is terrible.


What didn’t you like about Barrett Whitener’s performance?

His ignorance of the subject matter is apparent in his routine mispronunciation of names and titles. Also, his performance is poor. Please get Mordden to read his own books!


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- Diana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-01-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.