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Selling Hollywood to the World
US and European Struggles for Mastery of the Global Film Industry, 1920–1950

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Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communication

  • Date Published: October 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521042666

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  • The global expansion of Hollywood and American popular culture in the first decades of the twentieth century met with strong opposition throughout the world. Determined to defeat such resistance, the Hollywood moguls created a powerful trade organization that worked closely with the US State Department in an effort to expand the American film industry's dominance worldwide. This book offers insight into and analysis of European efforts to overcome the American film industry's pre-eminence. It focuses particularly on Britain, Hollywood's largest overseas market of the interwar years; France, a nation with an alternative vision of cinema; and Belgium, which was entrusted by the Vatican with coordination of the international movement against depravity in films. In contributing to the understanding of American popular culture at home and abroad, this study demonstrates Hollywood's role in orchestrating the American Century.

    • Explains the global domination of Hollywood in the film industry
    • Opens alternative ways of understanding how Washington assisted the spread of the US film industry
    • Shows the rise of resistance movements to Hollywood in the United States and Europe
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    Awards

    • Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the writing of history from the Society of American Historians

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an important book on the political economy of Hollywood.' John Sedgwick, University of London

    '… a well-researched synthesis of Hollywood history that adds useful insight to the vibrant field of transatlantic studies …' American Studies International

    '… a rich resource for anyone interested in what has been at stake in the interplay between Hollywood and its rival cinemas … a well-researched work that enriches our understanding of a complex relationship that continues to impact communities around the world.' Film Quarterly

    'Interesting and important …' Communication Booknotes Quarterly

    'Joining the distinguished Cambridge Studies in the History of Mass Communications series, this deserving book takes its place on the shelf with such fine works as Kristin Thompson's Exporting Entertainment. … Well indexed with a good bibliography and a few stills, this is a book for graduate students, researchers, and faculty.' Choice

    'Trumpbour is to be congratulated for never treating complex issues as simple matters of black or white...[his] research is impressive … and the book has tremendous value for the background it provides on current debates about globalization and Hollywood's continuing domination of the international film scene.' Business History Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521042666
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    Part I. The United States:
    1. The domestic roots of Hollywood's foreign policy: censorship and corporatism in the formation of the MPPDA, 1921–41
    2. Hollywood and the State department: overseas expansion and America's subversion
    3. The MPAA and the State department: order and autonomy in the postwar world
    Part II. Great Britain:
    4. Grierson, the documentary spirit and the projection of Britain
    5. The Korda road to riches, recovery and ruin
    6. The age of rank
    7. The US-UK film conflict: the fading dream of mastering Hollywood
    Part III. Two Continental Case Studies: Belgium and France:
    8. Belgium and the making of an international Catholic film movement
    9. France and resistance to Hollywood: empire, artisans and the state
    10. France and the politics of state intervention
    Conclusion
    Notes
    Selected bibliography
    Filmography
    Index.

  • Author

    John Trumpbour, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    Awards

    • Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the writing of history from the Society of American Historians

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