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Here's Looking at You

Hollywood, Film and Politics, Fourth Edition

Ernest Giglio

Now in its updated and expanded fourth edition, Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film & Politics examines how the tangled relationship between Hollywood’s global film industry and the politics of federal and state governments manifests itself in the real world of political campaigns and in the fictional world of Hollywood films.

The book contradicts the film industry’s assertion that it produces nothing but entertainment. While it is true that the vast majority of Hollywood films are strictly commercial ventures, hundreds of movies—from Birth of a Nation to The Help, recreated stories like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty and historical pieces such as Lincoln and The Conspirator—contain political messages, both overt and covert.

This new edition begins with President Obama’s re-election and includes new photos and statistical data, three new chapters and eight case studies that provide in-depth analysis of special films that are certain to challenge existing views and stimulate classroom discussion. Here’s Looking at You serves as a basic text for courses in film and politics and as a supplement in American government and film studies courses. Film buffs and general readers will also find it of interest.

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Many people and institutions assisted in the process of researching and writing four editions of this book. I can only cite a few here.

Reference librarians from the Library of Congress, the University of Wisconsin Film & TV Archives and the UW State Historical Society, the British Film Institute, and librarians at Lycoming, Yavapai and Prescott Colleges all contributed their time and knowledge.

A number of colleagues provided suggestions, comments and feedback from students, including: Jack Schrems, Ron Briley, John Williams, Richard Ostrom, Kevan Yenerall, Barbara Allen, Christa Slaton, David Whiteman, Jay Parker, Jeffrey Sadow, Michael Haas and Thomas Powell. Hollywood also lent a hand: assistance came from Richard Heffner, former head of CARA and Joan Graves, CARA’s current head.

I must recognize those who were especially helpful on the fourth edition. First is the encouragement I received from Mary Savigar, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Media and Communications Studies at Peter Lang, who supported another edition of Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film & Politics. Second, a word of gratitude is due my daughter Elisabeth and her husband Nick, a freelance sound editor for the movies, who gave me “the best room in the house” in which to write while I was teaching at Dutchess Community College. Finally, I am indebted to my assistant, Loryn Isaacs, a Prescott College graduate, who collected and updated the statistics and provided editorial review. Without his contribution, the fourth edition would have remained in draft form.

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