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"You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet": The American Talking Film History and Memory 1927-1949

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris, the film critic who made theauteurtheory of the Frenchcineastespalatable to American sensibilities inThe American Cinemaand thereby taught generations of filmgoers to regard films as the creative products of directors rather than vehicles … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Andrew Sarris
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
1 review about "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet": The American...

Sometimes Provocative Opinions But Never Ambiguous

  • Nov 20, 2001
Rating:
+5
This is indeed a book for film buffs. It is chock full of opinions, many of which you may disagree with. So what? Sarris examines a wide range of subjects (covering the 1927-1949 timeframe) which are organized within five chapters:

The Hollywood Studios ["The Golden Age" at MGM, Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th-Century-Fox, RKO, Universal, and Columbia]

Genres [e.g. the musical, gangster film, the horror film, the screwball comedy, the western, the film noir, the war film]

Directors [e.g. Chaplin, Ford, Hitchcock, Hawks, Welles, Sturges, Wilder, Capra, and Stevens]

Actors and Actresses [e.g. Garbo, Cagney, Bogart, Davis, Grant, Bergman, Harlow, Fields, the Marx Brothers, Tracy and Hepburn, and Gable and Lombard]

Guilty Pleasures [e.g. the "B" picture]

Sarris then provides four appendices: Academy Award nominations and winners (1927-1949), New York Critics Circle Awards (1935-1949), Best Directors (1927-1949), and Best Performances (1929-1949). The various lists are interesting but the book's greatest appeal derives from the comprehensive coverage of 22 years of the American talking film's history in combination with Sarris' own opinions about most of those who created that history.

I highly recommend this book to film buffs, not as a definitive history of the period (there is none) nor as the single best source of film criticism (there is none); rather, as a collection of thoughtful, generally well-written essays which inform as well as entertain.

If you are a film buff and if, after reading this book you are motivated to see films you have not as yet seen or to see once again films you last saw years ago, Sarris will have achieved what seems to be his primary objective.

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