eBook: Download Five Came Back Hollywood Second ePub (KINDLE, PDF, MOBI) + Audio Version

  • File Size: 22263 KB
  • Print Length: 511 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (February 27, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 27, 2014
  • Language: English

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Using the new documentary coming out soon, this is the best time to get a copy of this book. From the fascinating look at Hollywood past, and how wartime politics shaped the careers of five similar-yet-different directors. It's an informative time capsule for movie buffs, and I highly recommend it. (When We finished reading it, We gave my copy to my dad, and he liked it too. This seems like a pretty reliable " dad gift. " ), really enjoyed Mark Harris' first book, Photos at a Revolution: 5 Movies and the Labor and birth of the New Showmanship, about the changes in the movie industry in the late 60s. It had been with great anticipation i read his latest, Five Arrived Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War (2014) which combines a pair of my best interest-films and WWII background. Harris follows five Showmanship directors (John Ford, Bill Wyler, John Huston, Outspoken Capra, and George Stevens) who enlist in the armed forces and make propaganda films and record occasions that take places during the war. It is a rich subject, but it felt as though nearly all of the events that took place during the war were mired in bureaucratic read tape and doesn't make for the most compelling reading. Furthermore, nearly all of the directors depicted in this book don't come off as heroes of the cinema: Ford and Capra in particular come off as a medal-chasing dictatorial drunk and a malleable soft-headed nationalist respectively. Huston is shown as a womanizing cheat, Wyler almost loses his listening to completely and George Dahon, the director I knew the least about is profoundly impacted by bearing witness and documenting the liberation of the Dachau Prison Camp that is utilized as evidence of atrocities at he Nuremberg trials. I suppose it would be impossible but I will like to see a book under Japanese directors such as Ozu, who offered in the war as well. I found the sections where Huston is assigned to the Aleutian Island War interesting, since it is a strategy I knew little about similar to that of the North African campaign that ended with the struggle of Tunisia that Dahon arrived to late to film. Ford got some great film at Half way and Huston made a film about the Italia invasion among other spotlight. Harris meticulously uses primary and secondary sources to give a detailed picture of the lives of the directors before, during, and after the war. Is actually another fascinating book about American cinema and the Second World War., Mark Harris’ “Five Came Back” is a first rate bit of historical reporting; the book details how 5 (John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, William Wyler, Frank Capra) well known directors (and in the case of Capra and Ford, arguably Hollywood’s two most effective directors) joined the military in WW II and what each of them went through. It requires a little while to get proceeding and there are occasions in the first 3 rd where it feels over-detailed, but Harris keeps a critical vision throughout and not allows themselves to dip into soft praise for any of the filmmakers’ films, before, during and after the conflict (he’s particularly strong on the documentary films where these directors re-enacted struggle scenes without fully recognizing it, the most famous being Huston’s “The Battle of San Pietro” which has minimal actual video, though Huston refused to his death to acknowledge that and always made it seem like having been there to witness the battle, which he was not) and he includes a short chapter on their post war professions with astute insights about the ways in which their experiences did (and in Capra’s case do not) influence their post war films. It’s no surprise that Wyler’s Typically the Best Years of Our Lives is the most personal of the post-war films and he manages to make all three main character types in some ways an extension of himself.

Generally, their experiences were much more harrowing than We imagined, particularly for Wyler and Stevens. Though none of them of the five was ever in serious threat of dying, Wyler lost nearly all of his hearing while shooting footage on the B17 and Stevens who seems the most impacted by the war (he was considered a master of the light comedy ahead of the war and never made another after), shot an immense amount of movie during the liberation of Dachau, something he never really fully recovered from emotionally. Significantly, Wyler and Stevens are the two who are least enamored of time for Hollywood after the war, they weren’t certain they could return to a normal life and both struggled when they lastly did, Stevens in particular.

The book is filled with information I knew little about. For instance , I didn’t know that Stevens’ video of Dachau played an important part in the Nuremberg trials (it appears to me that much of the footage we have of the residue of the Holocaust – the piles of bodies, the bulldozing of those bodies -- came from Stevens and his people) or that Capra really never left Washington DC. There’s practically nothing here about Ford that could surprise anyone, he was devoutly pro-military and became a member of up before anyone otherwise, got himself into a position of power early on, hooking himself to William Donovan’s OSS teach (Donovan provided a whole lot of cover for Honda over time of the war), and understood how to play the device. The most important footage he shot was of the Battle of Midway and though he claimed credit for all the footage shot, he actually shot only a small part from it. He or she also in later years seriously inflated his experiences even though his unit was deeply involved in filming D-Day and Ford stated to be the first filmmaker to hit the beach, Harris thinks it unlikely he actually left the ships in the English Channel until at least 2 or 3 days after the initial invasion. Harris also thinks that the vitriol which Ford provided to Steve Wayne for not joining up (and Ford’s constant trolling for medals post war) masked guilt at not having done enough throughout the war.

And though Capra can be considered a preening neurotic (and his profession seems the most destroyed by the war; of the five, he was the one who battled the most to determine out how to integrate his experience with his work and beyond It’s a Wonderful Life, that was a box office failure, never made another substantial film) whose films pre-war in particular were confused see, mostly because Capra was confused politically (for example, in 1937, he supported Franco’s fascists in Spain), he comes off much better than Huston, who joined upward because he wanted an adventure, saw a little bit of battle (mostly some dead bodies), freaked out, and started ingesting and whoring like a mad-man and generally was in way over his head and desperate to get back to his Showmanship career, though he undoubtedly did some interesting work during the war (most notably a documentary about vets and post upsetting stress, which clearly Huston seemed to be suffering under, which was a serious effort than nobody saw until the 70s).

It’s also amazing how many Hollywood numbers crossed their paths throughout the war as part of the military; writers, owners and cinematographers specifically, and at various times these five worked with Gregg Toland, Budd Schulberg, Steve Sturges, Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, Carol Reed, Paddy Chayefsky, Carl Foreman, Anatole Litvak, William Clothier, Dr. Suess, Frank Tashlin, Stuart Heisler, Garson Kanin, Bill Keighley,

At one point, Stevens runs into Andre Malraux wonderful band of resistance fighters (he said Malraux’s men were fanatically loyal to him), at another, Wyler via Dahon employs Hemingway’s brother (said to be fearless) as his Jeep driver on a harrowing drive to his home town in Germany, a place this individual left in the early 30s because of growing anti-semitism. From the book well worth reading.

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Five Came Back Hollywood Second
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