Home / Tag: University Press of Kentucky
11.06.2014 | 45 days ago | Posted at 08:54 AM
By David Luhrssen
Although he was handsome enough to be leading man, Rex Ingram (1892-1950) made his mark in Hollywood for his aesthetic ambition as a director. He was in his stride during the height of the silent era, the 1920s. By then, a grammar of cinema had been written, the mechanics of motion pictures worked out and the thespian melodrama of the earliest movies refined to a more natur...
08.15.2014 | 128 days ago | Posted at 03:53 PM
By David Luhrssen
The Lives of Others will probably endure, alongside Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon and George Orwell’s 1984, as one of the great depictions of totalitarianism. It might be the best film ever made on life under Soviet-style Communism. However, some of the essayists contributing to Totalitarianism on Screen: The Art and Politics of The Lives of Others (University Press of...
05.12.2014 | | Posted at 11:55 AM
By David Luhrssen
  Pola Negri was among the bright stars of the silent era that faded in the transition to sound. In Poland, where she was born, several full-length studies have been published. Mariusz Kotowski’s Pola Negri: Hollywood’s First Femme Fatale (University Press of Kentucky) is the first extensive English-language look at the actress to appear in many years. The Polish-born author ...
05.10.2014 | | Posted at 09:12 AM
By David Luhrssen
  One of my favorite horror films, Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon, always reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock—had the master of suspense turned to occult themes. Little wonder. Turns out the screenplay for Night of the Demon was composed by one of Hitchcock’s seminal collaborators, Charles Bennett, the writer behind The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much. That’s ju...
04.14.2014 | | Posted at 09:15 AM

New Book Explores the Movies that Shape Opinion

By David Luhrssen
  Mark Sachleben’s book, World Politics on Screen: Understanding International Relations through Popular Culture (University Press of Kentucky), explores the relation between film (along with TV) and American perceptions of war, foreign affairs and our place in the world. Do motion pictures reflect politics, shape politics or both? The answer should be clear enough: polit...
03.04.2014 | | Posted at 08:40 AM
By David Luhrssen
  The lives of the first tier of stars and directors from Hollywood’s golden age have been written—over and over again in many cases. Writers seeking fertile fields are forced to find points of interest in the second tier. This was the challenge facing Christina Rice in writing Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel (University Press of Kentucky). The subject of h...
12.30.2013 | | Posted at 09:38 AM

Biography of a Celebrated Hollywood Director

By David Luhrssen
  Gabriel Miller states his case repeatedly in William Wyler: The Life and Films of Hollywood’s Most Celebrated Director (University Press of Kentucky): “Few directors could match Wyler’s range, his psychological subtlety, his sensibility, or his humanism.” Actually, it seems that most authors undertaking biographies of filmmakers from Hollywood’s golden age feel ...
10.31.2013 | | Posted at 02:58 PM

A second look at an underrated director

By David Luhrssen
  This past January, as the University Press of Kentucky was publishing my biography of director Rouben Mamoulian, Mamoulian: Life on Stage and Screen, I learned that another book on the neglected auteur was scheduled for publication this spring. I must confess I was a bit nervous over reading Joseph Horowitz’s “On My Way”: The Untold Story of Rouben Mamoulian, George Gershwin,...
10.28.2013 | | Posted at 09:23 AM

Biography of “Ireland’s First Hollywood Superstar”

By David Luhrssen
  Maureen O’Hara had Gone with the Wind to thank for her name. Born Maureen FitzSimmons, the comely Dublin lass got her start on stage and on Radio Eieran; her film career began unpromisingly with a blink-and-miss-her cameo in a mediocre English movie musical. But she caught the eye of Charles Laughton; the great actor treated her as a daughter and brought her along with him to Hol...

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