Hundreds of Hollywood-on-Hollywood movies can be found throughout the history of American cinema, from the days of silents to the present. They include films from genres as far ranging as musical, film noir, melodrama, comedy, and action-adventure. Such movies seduce us with the promise of revealing the reality behind the camera. But, as part of the very industry they supposedly critique, they cannot take us behind the scenes in any true sense.
Through close analysis of fifteen critically acclaimed films, Christopher Ames reveals how the idea of Hollywood is constructed and constructs itself. Films discussed: What Price Hollywood? (1952), A Star Is Born (1937), Stand-In (1937), Boy Meets Girl (1938), Sullivan's Travels (1941), In a Lonely Place (1950), Sunset Boulevard (1950), The Star (1950), Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Pennies from Heaven (1981), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), The Player (1992), Last Action Hero (1993).
Well written and thought-provoking.~Choice
Offers a considerable degree of insight into the selected films.... Not only informative, but also written with a real enthusiasm for its subject.~Journal of Intercultural Studies
This detailed, fascinating, and often sensitive book will send readers to the video store to see these works for the first time or to revisit them in a new light.~Library Journal
Valuable for both its insights into the individual movies discussed as well as into broader issues dealing with Hollywood and with the film industry.~Louisville Courier Journal