BOOK FACT: Up through the 1950s, American movies were regarded as a form of popular, even lower-class, entertainment. By the 1960s and 1970s, however, viewers were regularly judging Hollywood films by artistic criteria previously applied only to high art forms.

Today’s moviegoers and critics generally consider some Hollywood products–even some blockbusters–to be legitimate works of art. But during the first half century of motion pictures very few Americans would have thought to call an American movie “art.”  In Hollywood Highbrow, Shyon Baumann for the first time tells how social and cultural forces radically changed the public’s perceptions of American movies just as those forces were radically changing the movies themselves.

Read chapter one online:
Hollywood Highbrow:
From Entertainment to Art

By Shyon Baumann

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