RaveThe New York Times Book Review...[an] exquisitely detailed, loving history of the genre ... propelled by equal measures of deep insight and breezy anecdote ... Basinger’s exuberant style — the exclamation mark in her title almost seems to declare the book a kindred spirit to Oklahoma! — coupled with her dry wit, is hard to resist. Her writing zips along with the same razzle-dazzle she so loves in the movies she discusses, while the sumptuous selection of photographs included in the book offers the perfect visual counterpart. Whatever reservations she may harbor about certain recent movie musicals, Basinger has not lost her faith. \'Who today can outsmart the old musical?\' she asks, inviting a challenge. \'Who wants to try?\' The heart of this book lies in her answer: \'Someone, I hope.\'
RaveThe New Republic...deeply absorbing, expertly researched, and thoroughly entertaining ... [Doherty] takes the reader on an illuminating tour of the Hollywood Left and their antagonists during the 1930s ... What is perhaps most striking in Doherty’s instructive account is the Red Scare vitriol that emanated from observers, commentators, and the general public ... with great skill and the same even-handedness applied throughout the book ... Doherty’s refreshing approach adds quite a few new shades of gray to a story that has all too often been told in black-and-white.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn many respects a study in contrasts, Eyman’s remarkably absorbing, supremely entertaining joint biography of two Hollywood legends reveals just how immutable the bonds were between 'Hank' Fonda, an impious, New Deal Democrat with a volatile home life, and 'Jim' Stewart, a churchgoing, conservative Republican with a devoted family ... Eyman — whose previous books have chronicled the lives of John Wayne, Ernst Lubitsch, John Ford and Mary Pickford — spares few details, but they’re all good. In addition to the two actors’ career milestones, high and low, he covers their wartime military stints (Fonda served in the Navy, Stewart in the Army Air Corps), their romances (Stewart’s unlikely fling with Marlene Dietrich, the two men’s shared attraction to Margaret Sullavan), their trials of parenthood and the undying commitment they had to each other.
RaveThe New Republic...[a] compulsively readable, deeply engrossing new history ... Even military officials and politicians take on a certain dramatic character arc in Hindley’s rendering. Pétain emerges as a kind of cult figure among the masses ... For those readers, like myself, who have watched Casablanca more than a few times, it’s hard not to see certain affinities between the stories that Hindley chronicles here—much more than mere backstory, widening the lens and introducing a cast of historical players who never even made it into the story meetings in Burbank—and the film made three quarters of a century ago ... Confection or no confection, the charmed classic made in Hollywood’s dream factories and the granular history recounted in Hindley’s superb book fundamentally complement each other, entertaining and instructing us with their timeless tales of political intrigue, moral compromise, acts of courage and cowardice.
RaveThe New Republic...[a] slender, uncommonly absorbing critical biography which chronicles with exquisite care and wonderfully animated prose the path leading from the ancestral milieu of mid-century Cincinnati, where Spielberg’s paternal grandfather had worked as a pushcart peddler, through the various triumphs (and intermittent misfires) in the Hollywood dream factories ... Arguably the most valiant achievement of Haskell’s Spielberg is that, without too much coaxing, she manages to convince her readers, myself among them, to return to the individual films and to reappraise them on their own terms ... Haskell does not hold back her praise or her trenchant, frequently illuminating criticism.