A Short History of the Movies (11e) : 9780205755578

A Short History of the Movies (11e)

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Out of stock
Title type

The 11th edition of A Short History of the Movies continues its long-standing tradition of scrupulously accurate details and jargon-free writing style that has made it the most widely adopted film history textbook.


This edition offers students a panoramic overview of the worldwide development of film. From the early experiments with motion photography, through the American studio years of the 1930’s and 1940’s, from Neorealism and the New Wave, up to the present age of digital cinema, A Short History of  the Movies provides a comprehensive presentation of the history of cinema.

Table of contents
  • 1. Introductory Assumptions.
  • 2. Birth.
  • 3. Film Narrative, Commercial Expansion.
  • 4. Griffith.
  • 5. Mack Sennett and the Chaplin Shorts.
  • 6. Movie Czars and Movie Stars.
  • 7. The German Golden Age.
  • 8. Soviet Montage.
  • 9. Sound.
  • 10. France between the Wars.
  • 11. The American Studio Years: 1930-45.
  • 12. Hollywood in Transition: 1946-65.
  • 13. Neorealism, New Wave, and What Followed
  • 14. National Cinemas: 1945-.
  • 15. Hollywood Renaissance: 1964-76.
  • 16. National Cinemas 2: 1968-.
  • 17. The Return of the Myths: 1977-.
  • 18. Conglomerates and Videos: 1975-.
  • 19. Digital Cinema: 1999-.
  • For Further Reading.
  • Distributors.
  • Glossary.
  • Acknowledgments.
  • Index.
New to this edition
  • More information on important historical developments, from the early 'cinema of attractions' to today's digital 3-D. You’ll find updated discussions of independent U.S. production, transnational cinema, digital effects, HDTV, Blu-ray Discs, cell-phone cameras, and YouTube.
  • New discussions of recent films which you may have seen have been added, including Ashes of Time Redux, Coraline, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Gomorra, Inglourious Basterds, Let the Right One In, Private Century, A Prophet, Samson & Delilah, Slumdog Millionaire, and Synecdoche, New York.
  • A new section, "Complexity in Early Film," lists the key innovations from 1893 to 1908 in a clear and systematic way that makes it easier to follow the development of the single-shot, multi-shot, and multi-scene film.
  • Directors who are now emerging like Paul Thomas Anderson, Charlie Kaufman, and Julian Schnabel have been added to this edition, and coverage of directors who are established such as Danny Boyle, the Coen brothers, Werner Herzog, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Julie Taymor, Jan Troell, Gus Van Sant, and Andrzej Wajda has been updated.
  • Many topics on international and independent cinema have been added or updated, such as new coverage of J-horror, Zhang Yimou's Olympic ceremonies, Scorsese's documentaries, Sundance, Nigerian film, and the Mexican international production company Cha Cha Cha.  "Third World Cinemas" now reflects contemporary political developments and terminology.  There are updated statistics on India and its cinema, with a more objective treatment of Bollywood.
  • The discussion of the contemporary "Return of the Myths" has been revised to include The Dark Knight.  Descriptions of such classic films as The Last Laugh and Battleship Potemkin have been revised based on newly restored editions.
  • The glossary has been expanded, the filmographies have been updated to 2009, the bibliographies have been consolidated for easier reference, and the DVD lists have been updated and revised.
  • Improvements have been made to the discussions of the camera obscura, the magic lantern, the brain's processing of sequential images, the first dream films, the Vitaphone shorts, La Roue, Metropolis, The Robe, Persona, Memento, Buñuel and Dalí, Dulac, home video, the auteur theory, May 1968, the "tradition of quality," film ratings, direct cinema, and more.
  • Box-office figures have been updated to 2008, and the comparison with the peak year of 1946 has been adjusted for inflation, as have many other important figures. The number of films released by independents and by MPAA members has been updated to 2008. Hollywood business developments have been updated to 2009.
Features & benefits
  • Provides solid scholarship in its emphasis on key technical and aesthetic principles in an accessible, intelligent, and highly readable format.
  • Contains approximately 500 colour and black-and-white photographs–including frame enlargements and production stills– that enhance the narration.
  • Presents the material in chronological order and in concise chapters making the text easy to synchronise with a survey course.
  • Includes an extensive and unparalleled filmography and bibliography—ideal for background assignments or individual study.
  • Illuminates the conflicts and controversies in many areas of filmmaking by evaluating great works from a wide range of directors, including D.W. Griffith, Carl Dreyer, Wim Wenders, Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, and Alfred Hitchcock. 
  • Extensive coverage of international film facilitates comparison between American films and those of other countries, particularly England, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Japan, Iran, and China.
  • Draws from a more diverse array of filmmakers, including women, independent, multicultural, and international filmmakers, such as Spike Lee, Mike Leigh, Chris Marker, Oscar Micheaux, Agnes Varda, and Lois Weber.