How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students

By Edgar Dale | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
DIRECTION

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DIRECTOR

Do you think that Helen Hayes and Norma Shearer are great actresses? If you do, can you tell me who directed their latest pictures? If you are unable to answer this question, then your understanding of motion pictures is quite elementary, because one of the most important persons in the making of a motion picture is the director. Now I am going to try a simple test on you. Get paper and pencil and see whether you can match the names of the directors, whose photographs appear on pages 182-183, with the films which they directed in the following list:

1. "Farewell to Arms'6. "Oliver Twist"
2. "Street Scene"7. "City Lights"
3. "Thunder over Mexico"8. "Broken Lullaby"
4. "A Nous la Liberté"9. "Dirigible"
5. "Dishonored"10. "Abraham Lincoln"

If you are like most high-school students and most adults to whom I have put this problem, you have not succeeded well at this task. The fact that you know much about motion- picture stars and but little about motion-picture directors shows that you have not thought seriously about the different phases of motion pictures.

As a matter of fact, a knowledge of a star's director is more important to you from the standpoint of an understanding of motion pictures than is a knowledge of what the star wears in the afternoon, whether she likes buttered toast,

-179-

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How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Chapter I What is Motion-Picture Appreciation? 3
  • Chapter II Shopping for Your Movies 16
  • Conclusion 24
  • Chapter III The History of the Movies 26
  • Chapter IV A Visit to a Studio 37
  • Chapter V Motion-Picture Reviewing 59
  • Chapter VI The Story 74
  • Summary of Standards 95
  • Chapter VII Acting 98
  • Chapter VIII Photography 121
  • Summary of Standards 149
  • Chapter IX Settings 151
  • Summary of Standards 169
  • Chapter X Sound and Music 171
  • Summary of Standards 177
  • Chapter XI Direction 179
  • Conclusion 204
  • Chapter XII What Are Motion Pictures For? 205
  • Chapter XIII What Next? 220
  • Appendix Suggested Readings 233
  • A Glossary of Motion-Picture Vocabulary 235
  • Index 241
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