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Larger Than Life: Movie Stars of the 1950s
edited by R. Barton Palmer
contributions by Barry Sandler, Matthew Solomon, Susan White, Pamela Robertson Wojcik, William Brown, Foster Hirsch, Frank Krutnik, Amy Lawrence, Adrienne L. McLean, Murray Pomerance and Tison Pugh
introduction by R. Barton Palmer
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Paper: 978-0-8135-4767-1 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-4766-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-8051-7
Library of Congress Classification PN1998.2.L37 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.430280922

The constellation of Hollywood stars burned brightly in the 1950s, even as the industry fell on hard economic times. Major artists of the 1940s--James Stewart, Jerry Lewis, and Gregory Peck--continued to exert a magical appeal but the younger generation of moviegoers was soon enthralled by an emerging cast, led by James Dean and Marlon Brando. They, among others, ushered in a provocative acting style, "the Method," bringing hard-edged, realistic performances to the screen. Adult-oriented small-budget dramas were ideal showcases for Method actors, startlingly realized when Brando seized the screen in On the Waterfront. But, with competition from television looming, Hollywood also featured film-making of epic proportion--Ben-Hur and other cinema wonders rode onto the screen with amazing spectacle, making stars of physically impressive performers such as Charlton Heston.

Larger Than Life offers a comprehensive view of the star system in 1950s Hollywood and also in-depth discussions of the decade's major stars, including Montgomery Clift, Judy Holliday, Jerry Lewis, James Mason, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Jayne Mansfield, and Audrey Hepburn.
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