Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies That Defined America: Movies That Defined America

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ABC-CLIO, Feb 17, 2009 - 415 pages

Whether it's the hum drum existence of Marion Crane and her illicit love affair, the psychotic antics of Norman Bates, the sudden irrational migration of birds, a crop duster swooping down on Roger Thornhill in the middle of nowhere, or Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace's unforgettable dance at Jack Rabbit Slim's - they are all cinematic moments that forever changed the psyche and viewing experience of American audiences. Bigger Than Blockbusters: Movies That Defined America tells the stories behind the most significant and influential films in American culture, movies that have had a profound influence on the literary, cinematic and popular culture of our time.

Arranged chronologically, the volume gives readers an opportunity to place the films within the context of the social and cultural historic dynamic of the time, making this an ideal source for student papers and reports. Each entry includes the filmmaker, actors, release information, a synopsis of the film, critics' reviews, awards, current availability, and then background on the making of the film in an artistic, economic, and technological context. Spanning all genres, including horror and drama, adventure, comedy, musicals, science fiction, and more, this volume is loaded with enough trivia and factoids to satisfy even the most die-hard movie buff. Also included are other Greatest Films compilations from the National Society of Film Critics and noteworthy sources for comparative purposes. Guaranteed to inspire forays into film favorites as well as some very lively debate, this resource is essential reading for film lovers and students alike.


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In "Heart of a Champion," boxer Rusty Rosenberger tells his story of how he was cheated out of the World Title by his manager Lou Duva. In 1979, Rusty had already become the New Jersey Middleweight Boxing Champion. He was well on the road to his goal of the World Title when his manager encouraged him to rapidly lose weight and then take some pills right before the title bout. Rusty trusted Lou because he felt that as his manager, he should have his best interests at heart. Reflecting back, Rusty realizes that Lou was giving him a lot of bad advice, even prior to the pills.
Shortly after Rusty lost the bout, he realized that he had no recollection of what happened during the event and for several days after. A short period later he was hospitalized with severe head pain. Rusty almost died. He acquired brain damage as a result of this. It affected his speech permanently. Rusty also had an injury that affected his vision. In spite of his losses, Rusty never gave up. He continued to fight when he could. He also started a Boxercise program that involved getting non-boxers into a fitness program. He developed a program that allowed people to box without ge
tting hit in the head. This allowed him to continue his fitness program and be able to box without doing further damage to his head.
While all this was happening, Rusty and his wife had six children. Two died very young with horrible illnesses. They had to overcome the pain of losing the two boys and Rusty's betrayal by Lou. Rusty also had some bad luck with employment, so there were many times that finances were really tight. He continued on, and kept up his fighting spirit.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unclaimed Destiny: The Heart of A Champion - A MUST READ!
By Louis Pitts on June 10, 2011
Unclaimed Destiny is the extremely intriguing story of Rusty Rosenberger, 1979 New Jersey state middleweight boxing champion. The book is an auto-biography detailing Rusty's early career as an amateaur fighter, and his tumultuous relationship with international boxing hall of fame manager, Lou Duva, whose managed world champions such as Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whitaker.
Duva, however, allegedly was not always the type of manager who had his fighters' best interest in mind. Rusty explains how Lou Duva was able to gain his trust, only to exploit and manipulate his fighting career by persuading him to take two mysterious pills before a big fight in Giants Stadium in 1979. The result of the fight left Rusty with permanent damage to his right eye, thus ending his chances of becoming middleweight champion of the world.
The latter part of the story tells how Rusty was able to pick himself back up, continue boxing, and forge a career out of hard work and determination, all while being a family man, and raising six children with his wife, at his home in Niles, OH.
Rusty invented a workout program called "body-boxing". He trains men and women who want an intense cardiovascular workout, learn self-defense, burn fat and gain muscle, through boxing; but without the cuts, broken noses, and brain damage that comes with taking punches to the facial area and head.
This book is a must read for boxing fans and sports fans alike. You will recognize many of the names and places cited in the text, especially if you are a fight fan.
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Sometimes all you need is a hero
By Jill Florio VINE VOICE on August 21, 2003
The autobiography of champion boxer Rusty Rosenberger is a must-read for fans of the sport, but even more important, this candid tale offers our cynical world a real hero. Rosenberger may have been knocked down, but not out.
In Unclaimed Destiny: Heart of a Champion, Rosenberger declares his destiny was to win. By all accounts, the 1979 New Jersey Middleweight Boxing Champion should have won the World Title. Having blown away the competition in a fabulous career rise, he


Chapter 1 Through a Glass Darkly 19151938
Chapter 2 A Rumble to War 19391942
The Films of PostWar America 19461947
Chapter 4 The Hop Bop and Stroll 19501959
Chapter 5 The Space Race Civil Rights and a Nation Torn 19601969
Chapter 6 Platform Shoes Pet Rocks Disco and a Dysfunctional Presidency 19701979
Chapter 7 Bits Bytes and Boomers 19801989
Chapter 8 GenX Reality TV Terror Impeachment Seinfeld Beavis and Butthead 19901999
Chapter 9 The New Millennium 20002008
Alphabetical Listing of Films
Chronological Listing of Films

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About the author (2009)

JAMES ROMAN is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is the author of Love, Light, and a Dream (Praeger, 1996) and From Daytime to Primetime (Greenwood, 2005).

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