MAJESTIC HOLLYWOOD: The Greatest Films of 1939MARK A. VIEIRA Book Number: 85965 Product format: Paperback
From Son of Frankenstein in January to The Hunchback of Notre Dame in December, 1939 was a year of magnificent escapism as the shadow of war loomed and then became a reality, though serious themes lurk beneath the surface gaiety. Organised month by month, this beautiful book illustrated with sepia stills gives a plot breakdown of every movie, with background stories of the stars on and off set. February saw The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which the irrepressible soon-to-be-star, the 18-year-old Mickey Rooney, takes on the abolitionist cause with his slave friend Jim. Stagecoach in March again fought a blow against prejudice, with John Ford directing John Wayne to superb effect: "Act with your eyes!" Apart from Wayne, iconic shots of Monument Valley assured the film's immortality, and it even came in under budget. In the same month, Midnight brought an American showgirl to Paris with nothing but a gold lamé dress. It starred Claudette Colbert and John Barrymore, who had to have his lines written up on blackboards around the set. Olivier's Wuthering Heights came out in April and in May Confessions of a Nazi Spy asserted American defiance of the transatlantic threat. Beau Geste and Goodbye Mr Chips followed in July, and August saw a final burst of pre-war gaiety with The Wizard of Oz. Elizabeth and Essex was a superb vehicle for Bette Davis as the ageing monarch, and December released no less than three all-time greats: Of Mice and Men, Destry Rides Again and Gone With the Wind. 224pp, 9" x 11" softback, glossy movie stills and publicity shots on almost every page.
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