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Extended Audio Sample The Hollywood Studios: House Style in the Golden Age of the Movies, by Ethan Mordden Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ethan Mordden Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book also brings forth a strange nostalgia—not for the films...but for the era.”

  • “Entertaining, informative…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

  • “Much film writing is either sappy or esoteric, but this book is accessible, well written, humorous, and informed. Barrett Whitener is brisk and crisp—as always, a delight to listen to.”

    AudioFile

  • “Written with wit by an expert, this book gives more insight and perspective to the rise of the studios than such books as John Douglas Eames’ The Paramount Story. Recommended for all film collections.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ed | 9/25/2009

    " A nifty overview of the studios that snowballed through the early twentieth century to produce the 'classics' we know and love. Mordden's frequent first-person narration may not be for those seeking a more scholarly approach, but I enjoy his tell-it-as-I-see-it take on whatever happens to come up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ed | 6/9/2008

    " A nifty overview of the studios that snowballed through the early twentieth century to produce the 'classics' we know and love. Mordden's frequent first-person narration may not be for those seeking a more scholarly approach, but I enjoy his tell-it-as-I-see-it take on whatever happens to come up. "

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About the Author

Ethan Mordden has written extensively for the New Yorker and the New York Times. Besides nonfiction on theatre, music, and film, he is the author of the Buddies cycle of short stories. The stories, adapted for the stage by Scott Edward Smith as Buddies, played an engagement at the Celebration Theater in Los Angeles. His most recent novel is The Jewcatcher, a savage black-comic fantasy on life in Nazi Germany.