Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of Hollywood

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of Hollywood



The Pequod Review:

The year 1967 was an inflection point for Hollywood filmmaking. An obscure 25-year-old film critic named Roger Ebert recognized this fact earlier than most, writing in his December 31, 1967 year end column

All of this talk about "Bonnie and Clyde" has been partly because the movie fascinates me, and partly because I think it illustrates a 1967 trend. This was the year when Hollywood was rediscovered, after a decade in which the most interesting films came from Europe. "Bonnie and Clyde" was a Hollywood movie in every detail -- director, stars, Technicolor, Warner Bros., the works. For years it has been gospel that Hollywood is dead, and yet it produced many of the most interesting movies of 1967.

Mark Harris's well-structured book Pictures at a Revolution explores this shift through the lens of the five very different nominees for the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture: The GraduateGuess Who's Coming to DinnerBonnie and ClydeDoctor Dolittle, and the ultimate winner In the Heat of the Night. Harris doesn't just discuss the movies themselves, but explores the production and pre-production processes to show how they were written, approved, produced, and ultimately released and promoted by Hollywood studios. He has seemingly interviewed everyone, and brings an intelligent and perceptive eye to the subject. This is an exceptional cultural history.