The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities

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Wallflower Press, 2000 - 134 pages
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Looks at the development and changing organization of the star system in the American film industry. Tracing the popularity of star performers from the early "cinema of attractions" to the Internet universe, Paul McDonald explores the ways in which Hollywood has made and sold its stars. Through focusing on particular historical periods, case studies of Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and Will Smith illustrate the key conditions influencing the star system in silent cinema, the studio era and the New Hollywood.


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list of illustrations
making the system
controlling the system
rethinking the system
index of names

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About the author (2000)

Paul McDonald is senior lecturer in film and television studies at the University of Surrey, Roehampton, UK. His additional chapter in Richard Dyer's classic text Stars was published in 1998.

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