Post-Classical Hollywood: Film Industry, Style and Ideology since 1945

By Barry Langford | Go to book overview

Conclusion: ‘Hollywood’ Now

This book began by noting that the identification of the American commercial film industry with ‘Hollywood’ has always been a convenient shorthand masking a complex network of institutions, practices and conventions. As we have seen in subsequent chapters, that network has changed radically over the past seven decades. So it might be helpful to conclude this study by asking what ‘Hollywood’ means today.

There is a temptation to say that, if the confusion of ‘Hollywood’ with the American film industry as a whole has always been simplistic, today it is plain wrong. If only as a provocation, one might come up with the following propositions:

1. There is no Hollywood;

2. it isn’t American; and

3. it isn’t a film industry.

Such claims would likely be as misleading and over-simplifying as whatever they replace. Yet they at least indicate, in ways that the continued unexamined usage of terms like ‘Hollywood’ or ‘the Hollywood studios’ do not, that the object of contemporary ‘Hollywood studies’ is indeed something fundamentally different from that of historical ‘film studies’ (a term that begs a number of important questions). So let us take these provocations as a starting point for our concluding discussion.


DOES HOLLYWOOD EXIST?

Commentators have been writing Hollywood’s obituary, alongside that of the film industry, since the early 1950s. The rise of television, the shift

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Post-Classical Hollywood: Film Industry, Style and Ideology since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I - Hollywood in Transition 1945–65 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Autumn of the Patriarchs 11
  • Chapter 2 - The Communication of Ideas 45
  • Chapter 3 - Modernising Hollywood 73
  • Part II - Crisis and Renaissance 1966–81 97
  • Chapter 4 - The Changing of the Guard 107
  • Chapter 5 - New Wave Hollywood 133
  • Chapter 6 - Who Lost the Picture Show? 157
  • Part III - New Hollywood 1982–2006 181
  • Chapter 7 - Corporate Hollywood 191
  • Chapter 8 - Culture Wars 219
  • Chapter 9 - Post-Classical Style? 245
  • Conclusion- ‘Hollywood’ Now 269
  • Appendix 285
  • Further Reading 287
  • Index 295
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