Gene Brown. Movie Time: A Chronology of Hollywood and the Movie Industry from Its Beginnings to the Present. New York: Macmillan Press, 1995. ix + 450 pp. $19.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-02-860429-9.
Reviewed by Steven Mintz (University of Houston)
Published on H-Film (January, 1996)
Film buffs and serious researchers have long needed an accurate and detailed chronology of the American film industry. Gene Brown's addictive Movie Time takes thousands of facts from American film history and places them in an easily accessible month-by-month chronological order. It offers teachers and faculty members a reliable, wonderfully browsable reference work filled both with entertaining tidbits of information and, more importantly, accurate chronologies of the film industry's political and economic history.
The volume begins with a chapter that covers the period from the early nineteenth century to 1909, identifing the technological developments that made the movies possible and then offering brief descriptions of industry's early business history. Succeeding chapters describe every year in cinematic history from 1910 until 1994. Each chapter begins with a brief descriptive overview of that year's developments, as well as information regarding the number of releases, top grossing films, Academy Award winners, box office receipts, average ticket prices, weekly attenance, and stars' salaries. The chapters cover a remarkable range of topics drawn from movie culture; the information is organized into four categories: movies (including technology, awards, and aesthetic innovations); personalities (including celebrity gossip and scandals); business and society (including politics, censorship, business negotiations, and studio history); and births, deaths, marriages and divorces.
The author of ten works of non-fiction, Gene Brown, is also the editor of the 13 volume New York Times Encyclopedia of Film and a contributing editor to The New York Public Library Desk Reference.
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Steven Mintz. Review of Brown, Gene, Movie Time: A Chronology of Hollywood and the Movie Industry from Its Beginnings to the Present.
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