The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities

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Columbia University Press, 2001 M06 13 - 144 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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Contents

Looking at Stars
1
1 Stardom as a System
5
2 Making the System
15
3 Controlling the System
39
4 Rethinking the System
67
Stars and Hollywood History
103
Filmography
113
Bibliography
119
Index of Names
125
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About the author (2001)

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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