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American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema [Paperback]

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Item description for American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby...

From the author of the acclaimed English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema, American Gothic presents an in-depth survey of the early years of the American horror film--ranging from the birth of cinema and the silent era to the mid-1950s. Jonathan Rigby examines a great many of the seminal films, including Cat People, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, The Fly, Frankenstein, Freaks, House of Wax, The Invisible Man, and She. He also looks at the actors and directors--Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price, to name but a few. For fans and students of the horror classics, American Gothic is an essential work. This is the genre as it flourished from Univeral's early-thirties cycle and which culminated in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece Psycho, a film which forever changed and expanded the possibilities of horror cinema.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.13" Width: 7.09" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   2.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Reynolds & Hearn
ISBN  1905287259  
ISBN13  9781905287253  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jonathan Rigby

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jonathan Rigby is a regular contributor to Shivers and Star Wars magazines. He is the author of Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Communications > Film Studies
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Movies > General

Reviews - What do customers think about American Gothic: Sixty Years of Horror Cinema?

Gothic Bullseye  Feb 13, 2008
Another great read by Rigby. Anyone familiar with his fantastic earlier volume, "English Gothic", knows how well researched and wonderfully presented his info is. A hard book to put down, even if you know much of this stuff already. As an owner of 80+ books of this type, this is among the best. Nothing lacking in facts- this guy has obviously seen all the films he has reviewed (or at least has done his research!). Pick this one up! And get "English Gothic" as well!
A definitive history of classic Hollywood horror  Nov 17, 2007
Anyone who read Jonathan Rigby's earlier milestone study of horror cinema, English Gothic, should need little urging to obtain a copy of his latest work. As the title suggests, this new book is an in-depth history of the horror movie in the USA. All of Rigby's considerable virtues as a writer are on display here; the erudition, the wit, and above all the readability. His prose is sheer pleasure to read and, combined with his formidable knowledge of the subject matter and his obvious love for it, make this book a masterpiece of its kind. Those fearing that over 300 pages of densely packed text surveying vintage horror films might tend to the dull are in for a very pleasant surprise. In Jonathan Rigby's hands this material is a constantly lively, informative and fascinating read. In fact, I even found myself engaged and engrossed by the early chapters on obscure silent films -- having decided I was going to skip them and head straight for the good stuff (Frankenstein and Dracula) I instead found myself drawn in and captivated by the illuminating, sardonic and meticulous writing featured here. Of course, once we do reach the early sound pictures and Frankenstein, Dracula et al, things really do get swinging. But besides all the well known classics of the genre, Rigby also sheds light on obscure, forgotten and offbeat works, often making them sound irresistibly fascinating. I soon found myself with a growing list of films to track down on DVD, including Kongo, Dementia and Jules Dassin's short version of The Telltale Heart. Rigby's scholarly yet spirited analysis (with a healthy dose of dry humour) makes these films come alive in the reader's mind. In this endeavour he's helped considerably by the lavish illustrations throughout this elegant and handsome volume (the book was designed by Peri Godbold). There is hardly a page which doesn't offer a rare black and white still or a reproduction of a poster; and for those who aren't fans of monochrome, there's an eight page color section. This book was a continual pleasure to read and when I finished it I immediately wanted more. And since American Gothic only covers films up until the 1950s, hopefully there will soon be another volume detailing a further half century of genre cinema. My only complaint is a lack of an index of names to accompany the index of titles. The book is such a goldmine of historical information it would make sense to include this and make American Gothic an even more indispensable research tool, as well as an irresistibly enjoyable read.

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