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Post-Classical Hollywood

Film Industry, Style and Ideology since 1945

Barry Langford

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At the end of World War II, Hollywood basked in unprecedented prosperity. Since then, numerous challenges and crises have changed the American film industry in ways beyond imagination in 1945. Nonetheless, at the start of a new century Hollywood's worldwide dominance is intact - indeed, in today's global economy the products of the American entertainment industry (of which movies are now only one part) are more ubiquitous than ever.

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Part I: Hollywood in Transition 1946-1965
1, The Autumn of the Patriarchs
2, The Communication of Ideas
3, Modernising Hollywood
Part II: Crisis and Renaissance 1966-1981
4, Changing of the Guard
5, New Wave Hollywood
6, Who Lost the Picture Show?
Part III: New Hollywood 1982-2006
7, Corporate Hollywood
8, Culture Wars
9, Post-Classical Style?
Conclusion: "Hollywood" Now
Further Reading

The Biggest, The Best - case studies
1946: The Best Years of Our Lives
1955: Marty, Cinerama Holiday
1965: The Sound of Music
1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Jaws
1985: Out of Africa, Back to the Future
1995: Braveheart, Toy Story
2005: Crash, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

About the Author

Barry Langford is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Film Genre: Hollywood and Beyond (Edinburgh University Press, 2005) and Teaching Holocaust Literature and Film (with Robert Eaglestone, Palgrave Macmillan 2007), and has published on a wide variety of subjects in film and media studies and critical theory, including Holocaust film, Chris Marker's politics, revisionist Westerns, exilic identity in European city films, narrative temporalities in The Lord of the Rings, and British television situation comedy. His original short screenplay Torte Bluma was filmed in 2005 and premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival, going on to win awards at international festivals.


The book's strengths are real strengths: a good deal of original research, smart writing, and interpretative originality that increases as the book progresses. Highly recommended.
- S. C. Dillon, Bates College, Choice
Langford's study is both comprehensive and detailed, always keeping the different levels of analysis distinct, while allowing them to inform each other and broaden our understanding of the permutations of Hollywood after 1945.
- Steen Christiansen, Aalborg University, Denmark, SCOPE: An Online Journal of Film Studies