Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect

History According to the Movies

Book - 1995
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Essays that consider how classic movies have reflected history include the writings of such noted historians as Paul Fussell, Antonia Fraser, and Gore Vidal. 50,000 first printing. BOMC & QPB. History Main.

Book News
Filmmakers often use dramatic license in playing with facts to enhance a story's drama, illuminate an overlooked perspective, or fuel historical debate. Here, 60 historical writers (including popular authors such as Stephen Jay Gould, Antonia Fraser, and Gore Vidal) look beneath the celluloid surface of classic movies to explore the relationship between film and reality, from prehistory ( Jurassic Park ) to modern times ( Dr. Strangelove, Malcolm X, Apocalypse Now ). Entries look at plot, costume design, technology, and character portrayals, examine the historical aftermath of events in the film, juxtapose film stills with historical paintings and photos, and suggest background reading for the historical period depicted in each film. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
There is no denying the tremendous power movies have in shaping our perceptions of the past. From Julius Caesar to Joan of Arc to Gandhi, many of history's greatest figures have become inextricably bound to their screen images.
It may not be the job of filmmakers to ensure the historical accuracy of these films, especially when deviation serves a compelling dramatic purpose. But wouldn't it be useful - and fascinating - to learn what has been changed, and for what reason? In Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, sixty of the world's most lauded historical writers look beneath the celluloid surface of popular movies to examine the relationship between film and the historical record.
Beginning with a probing conversation between historian Eric Foner and director John Sayles (Eight Men Out, Matewan), Past Imperfect surveys nearly one hundred classic films, including Spartacus, Gone with the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, and Malcolm X. Best-selling authors such as Gore Vidal, James M. McPherson, Antonia Fraser, William Manchester, and Simon Schama skewer, praise, pick apart, and otherwise illuminate these cinematic portrayals of history, telling us as much about what the filmmakers got right as about where they went wrong.

Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 1995
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805037593
Branch Call Number: 791.4365 PAS
Characteristics: 304 p. ; ill. 27 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top