THE GREAT AUDIENCE by Gilbert Seldes


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A lively, urbane and rather disapproving look at the three popular arts -- movies, radio and television -- by the author of The Seven Lively Arts. The three great entertainment industries are here analyzed and appraised in terms of their products, their complex business set-ups, and their influence on our tastes and standards. A meaty, intelligent book in which the author cites well-known programs and movies as he discusses the lost theater audience, the radio soap operas, the domination of television by radio. He condemns Hollywood for the immaturity of the industry, the refusal to make good pictures, classifying pictures by budget, its adaptation of novels, the methods imposed on screenwriters, the stultifying Production Code and, as a result, the myths created in the area of sex. In radio it is the influence of F.C.C., the treatment of politics and editorial comment, the particular writing formulas for variety shows, soap opera, etc. and radio's ""child and destroyer"", television, with its brief history, the controversy over color, the ineffectual bid for control made by Hollywood, the effect of the ad man and radio methods, etc. A final section deals with the great audience, its composition and characteristics, its influence on the industries. Good reading and sounder advice than is likely to be taken.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1950
Publisher: Viking