It was the mid-1960s, and Westerns, war movies, and blockbuster musicals, such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, dominated the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, was hanging strong, or so it seemed.
But by the time the Oscar ceremonies rolled around in the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night won the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution had hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde shocked old-guard reviewers and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented was the run of The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career and inspired a generation of young people who knew that, whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics.
What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s, and Easy Rider and Raging Bull did for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow - and we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition.
©2008 Mark Harris; (P)2008 Tantor
"Thorough and engaging....Fascinating." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fresh and candid....A particularly accomplished debut book." (The New York Times)
Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.
Everyone is right, the narrator mispronounced at lot of names/words -- and the editors should have had it corrected. Now lets move on!! It's a wonderful history of the 1960's condensed into a narrative about the Academy Awards. The tone set by the narrator is perfect. The narrator reads well and is clear (that's how we can tell that he mispronounced so many words!!). History brought into terms that ordinary people can relate to and understand is rare and this rarity is a true gem.
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
For those who enjoy the history of the film this is a very rewarding book about the changes in our culture as they were reflected in five films of the late sixties, a period of extreme social and cultural turmoil. Although there are many complaints about some of the narrator's pronunciation, I didn't find those problems insurmountable to my enjoyment.
I found this very well written, well researched, interesting and compelling. BRAVO !
I own this book in hard copy but wanted to finish listening to it. I downloaded it and was shocked to hear this reader pronounce Sidney Lumet's name (LOO-met) as LUM-IT. OVER AND OVER. It is an insult, not only to Mr. Lumet himself, one of the greatest film directors of the 20th Century ("Dog Day Afternoon" "Twelve Angry Men" etc etc.) but an insult to the listener. How could the producers and Audible allow that to happen?
(he also pronounces Bio-Pic as BI-OPIC...as if the genre were something you got at Lens Crafters.
Truly horrendous Quality Control. Read the book. Don't listen to this.
I didn't have a favorite character, but I was interested in reading about Mike Nichols's transition from comic writer/actor to director. And about what a dreadful person Rex Harrison was!
Where to begin? Lloyd James was awful. He said "marionette" instead of "martinet," pronounced Sidney Lumet's last name "Lummet," pronounced "biopic" as "bye-OP-ic," "Jeanne Moreau" as "Jeen Monroe," and many, many more. And these weren't one-time mispronunciations, either. His style of reading was also stilted and dull. I will avoid anything he reads in the future.
No extreme reaction. It was an interesting book.
I lost count of the number of times this narrator butchered proper names. It was very irritating and painful to hear him time and again mispronounce many a well known person's last name. I don't know if he thought it was cute, but I found it stupid. I wish I'd bought the book and just read it because this narrator almost ruined it for me. The book itself is fascinating to this boomer who graduated from high school in 1970. This era was my coming of age and it was wonderful to hear all the back stories of a time I remember well. Just wish the narrator had shown some respect to the parties involved and done his homework on the pronunciations.
As noted by many others below, this fantastic book did not get the audio performance it deserves. Did the producer or editor even listen to this thing?
Note to whoever is responsible: next time you have a notable book about film history like this one, hire a reader who actually knows something about movies and then have someone listen to the completed recording and correct all the cringe-inducing mispronunciations of names and basic words. Mark Harris and his wonderful book deserve better.
I call do-over.
Have to jump on the same band wagon! Horrible narration of a very engaging and informative book. Deserved much better. No excuse for such bad production -- talk about phoning it in! I am sure our fellow fans of audio books all know how critical it is that a book be "perfomred", not just "read". Hope Lloyd James is ashamed! Or is is it "Leed Joommes?"
The fastest 17 hours I've heard. I only saw one of the movies Mark Harris writes about, The Graduate, but that didn't matter. Harris wrote so well about the other revolutionary movies, I was interested all the way. I hope Mark Harris picks another set of movies and writes about them. Also, Lloyd James did a first-rate job on the narration. Very easy on the ears.
I remember seeing and being blown away by Bonnie & Clyde and The Graduate in college. I also liked In the Heat of the Night, so there is a lot of interesting information in this book, especially about Dustin Hoffman and Sidney Poitier. And it sheds a whole new and unflattering light on Rex Harrison. But I think the book is overlong. I'm a real movie buff and I was eager for it to end. In addition, the narrator mispronounces many of the important names, such as Sidney Lumet and Jeanne Moreau, which I found extremely annoying. All in all, only a so-so book.
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