The Star Machine

The Star Machine

Book - 2007
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From one of our leading film authorities, a rich, penetrating, amusing plum pudding of a book about the golden age of movies, full of Hollywood lore, anecdotes, and analysis. Jeanine Basinger gives us an immensely entertaining look into the star machine,o examining how, at the height of the studio system, from the 1930s to the 1950s, the studios worked to manufacture star actors and actresses. With revelatory insights and delightful asides, she shows us how the machine worked when it worked, how it failed when it didn't, and how irrelevant it could sometimes be. She gives us the human factor,o case studies focusing on big stars groomed into the system: the awesomely beautifulo (and disillusioned) Tyrone Power; the seductive, disobedient Lana Turner; and a dazzling cast of others Loretta Young, Errol Flynn, Irene Dunne, Deanna Durbin. She anatomizes their careers, showing how their fame happened, and what happened to them as a result. (Both Lana Turner and Errol Flynn, for instance, were involved in notorious court cases.) In her trenchantly observed conclusion, she explains what has become of the star machine and why the studios' practice of makingo stars is no longer relevant. Deeply engrossing, full of energy, wit, and wisdom, The Star Machine is destined to become an invaluable part of the film canon.
Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf, 2007.
ISBN: 9781400041305
1400041309
Characteristics: xiv, 586 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.

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Derringer
May 18, 2018

This book sure gives you an in-depth look at the ruthless way in which the Hollywood studio system was run (with an iron-fist) in its heyday (1930-1960).

While certain "favoured" actors were groomed and promoted by the system, others did not do so well and were quickly left behind to fend for themselves.

This well-researched book was written by Jeanine Basinger.

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Bang_On
May 07, 2018

Exhaustively written and carefully researched by American film historian, Jeanine Basinger - "The Star Machine" lets loose with both barrels and takes an in-depth look at the inner-workings of the Hollywood studio system that prevailed from its inception in the early 1930s to its inevitable demise in the late 1950s.

In this book we learn about Hollywood's double-edged approach to the running of its star-maker machinery where specially "chosen" actors were carefully groomed for fame & fortune, while others were simply tossed off, like garbage, to the wayside.

Believe me - It was all really a ruthless, back-stabbing business. Yet this crooked and unethical system in Hollywood ruled, for 30 years, like an insidious dictatorship.

And - As much as Hollywood would have loved to ignore the fact that its stars were really human beings - It often had the unwelcome task of dealing with their personal dramas that, obviously, got in the way and couldn't be controlled.

And, so - With that - This book, so rightly, delves into both the bright side, as well as the dark side of the notorious Hollywood "Star Machine". This work of non-fiction (of nearly 600 pages) also includes numerous b&w stills.

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