Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Bringing to life the axiom “let no good deed go unpunished,” after Vincent Brook thanked me in his acknowledgments for teaching a graduate seminar on television history that inspired his book Something Ain’t Kosher Here, I turned to him for editorial help with this book. ...

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1. Charting a Path of Independence in a Corporate Wilderness

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pp. 1-30

The decline of the old studio system and the resulting transformation of the American film industry that took place from 1947 to 1960 are frequently characterized as the end of the golden era of Hollywood. In 1951 famed independent producer David O. Selznick (Gone with the Wind, Rebecca, Spellbound) went so far as to compare the by-then-already-antiquated studio system to the crumbling ruins of Egypt.1 ...

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2. Backstage Dramas: MCA and the Talent Takeover

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pp. 31-64

The years 1942 to 1962, and especially the postwar years when the Old Hollywood studio system began to crumble, marked a major transition in the way the film industry did business. When the movies began experiencing serious economic difficulties in 1947, the three top talent agencies— MCA (Music Corporation of America), ...

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3. The Gray Flannel Independent: New Hollywood's New Organization Man

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pp. 65-86

The previous chapter, through a case study of the rise of MCA, examined the radical restructuring of the Hollywood film industry in the early post–World War II period. This development led to the infiltration of the “organization man” and “gray flannel” ethos into the business operations of the industry and also, paradoxically, facilitated the rise of independent filmmaking. ...

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4. Self-Referentiality: Mediating TV's Incursion into Hollywood and the Home

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pp. 87-120

This chapter examines a subset of postwar business films that employ strategies of self-referentiality, satirical irony, and other distancing devices, including often highly self-critical references to the filmmakers’ own ambivalent experience as industry players. These films are The Hucksters ( Jack Conway, 1947), The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (Nunnally Johnson, 1956), and The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960).1 ...

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5. Two Emergent Cinemas: Art and Blockbuster

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pp. 121-144

The early work of writer–director Joseph L.Mankiewicz offers another variation on the theme of an emerging art cinema in the “new Hollywood,” an emergence, as we saw with Billy Wilder, which would hardly follow a smooth linear course. The focus here is primarily on Mankiewicz’s A Letter to Three Wives (1949), ...

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6. Elia Kazan: Caught between HUAC and the "New Hollywood"

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pp. 145-168

Previous chapters described the postwar shift from the Old Hollywood contract-player system to one in which, because of the lag in production, the studios were forced to make more single-picture deals with independent producers. Yet the benefits of independence, as we saw with Mankiewicz, were not absolute. ...

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7. A Face in the Crowd: Reframing Reflexivity

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pp. 169-192

The meeting between Kazan and exiled German playwright Bertolt Brecht in New York and their near collaboration in 1947 are fascinating to consider in relation to the radical reflexivity of Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, made a decade later.1 Brecht had invited the Group Theater alumnus and recently turned Hollywood director to stay in New York to direct one of Brecht’s plays. ...

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8. When Talent Becomes Management: The Making of Sweet Smell of Success

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pp. 193-218

As with A Face in the Crowd, the analysis of Sweet Smell of Success is divided into two parts. This chapter examines the careers of Burt Lancaster, Harold Hecht, James Hill, Clifford Odets, Alexander Mackendrick, and Ernest Lehman: the primary above-the-line players involved in the making of the film. ...

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9. Sweet Smell of Success: Punishing Privileges of the Professional–Managerial Class

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pp. 219-242

As with A Face in the Crowd, classical Hollywood conventions vie with ideologically reflexive technique in Sweet Smell of Success to produce complex, contradictory, and ultimately progressive meanings. By imposing a Brechtian aesthetic on the classical, character-driven narrative relating to the rise and fall of press agent Sidney Falco, Sweet Smell of Success conflates the individual psychological facet with its broader social dimension: ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 243-252

This book’s central project has been to analyze the ascension of a new generation of professional-managerial cultural workers, the New Hollywood independents, during a period of industrial crisis and transformation in the post–World War II American film industry. ...

Notes

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pp. 253-298

Index

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pp. 299-324

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About the Author

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Denise Mann is head of the Producers Program and associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at UCLA.