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The Genius of the System

Thomas Schatz

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At a time when the Hollywood studios are stronger than they have ever been during their 80-year history, film historian Thomas Schatz provides an indispensable account of Hollywood’s traditional blend of business and art. The book lays to rest the persistent myth that studio executives and producers stifle artistic talent and reveals instead the genius of a system of collaboration and conflict. Working from industry documents, Schatz traces the development of house styles, the rise and fall of careers, and the making (and unmaking) of movies: from Frankenstein to Casablanca to Hitchcock’s Notorious – and how it all collapsed in the face of television. The Genius of the System gives the definitive view of the workings of the Old Hollywood and the foundation of the New.