Gene D. Phillips

Major Film Directors of the American and British Cinema tells the story of the history of cinema from the days of the silent movies to the present. Gene D. Phillips focuses on fourteen American and British directors - including Charles Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, the touchstones of film history - who warrant more attention than they have received in other cinema histories because of their significant achievements in the motion picture industry. Such celebrated directors as Francis Coppola (the Godfather) and John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) are likewise discussed here.


The author has conducted personal interviews with George Cukor (My Fair Lady), Fred Zinneman (High Noon), Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey), Ken Russell (Women in Love), and others. Phillips also observed Hitchcock shooting his next-to-last film Frenzy, on location in London, and he corresponded over a period of years with several of the directors treated in this volume.


In his Film Newsletter review, Henry Herx of the National Center for Film Study summed up the text this way: "Phillips's approach is...carefully comparing the director's remarks in interviews with examples of his film making. The directors the author has chosen to study are illustrative of the rich tradition of theatrical films both here and in England.... Each film maker is accorded a detailed treatment of his career and how each treats the major themes that comprise his work. The presentation also includes attention to the development of the movie industry and the uneasy tension that has always existed between the film artist and the box-office pressure of making a profit.... The directors chosen and the treatment given to the relationship each has to the development of the medium will serve the needs of most introductory film classes."


This revised, updated, and expanded version of the author's original book, The Movie Makers (1973), offers a new introductory chapter that lays the groundwork for the discussion. Phillips has also added new chapters on directors not included in the original edition and updated chapters on the directors who have continued to be active since the first work appeared. Likewise, he has updated the bibliography and filmography that appear at the end of the volume and concludes with a new epilogue that reviews the state of the artist in the film industry in the world of contemporary film making. In sum, Phillips seeks to represent the various trends in film making that have evolved, such as American Film Noir and British Social Realism.


In analyzing the work of eight America and six British film makers, Major Directors of the American and British Cinema will appeal to both scholar and layman alike. It covers a wide spectrum in the history of cinema and includes vintage photo stills from a number of cinematic classics.

0934223084 (AUP)
Lehigh University Press - Major Film Directors of the American and British Cinema