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It's Only a Movie!
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About the Author

Raymond J. Haberski Jr. is assistant professor of history at Marian College in Indianapolis.

Reviews

"This brilliant feat of cultural storytelling re-stages a running tussle between traditional ideas about high Art and spontaneous popular appreciation that has wracked English-language film writing." -- Audience Magazine

"A splendidly researched and argued account of American film criticism's first golden age." -- Bright Lights Film Journal

"A provocative study.... While there are many titles dealing with film culture, It's Only a Movie! takes the subject much further and ponders the strangest of societal phenomenon, America's love affair with motion pictures, the ramifications of this media in kneading contemporary thought, and the relevance of aesthetics in an information age." -- Film & History

"My hope is that somehow -- despite television, the Internet, and the flood of bland journalism -- the old critical prowess can be revived. There was gallantry in that chivalric jousting, even if the knights were frequently errant." -- John Simon, National Review

"Haberski's survey of film criticism makes compelling reading, covering a subject on which rather little has been written." -- Journal of American History

"In this informative and entertaining work, Haberski uses historical perspective, logical and chronological structure, and an unassuming but convincing voice to trace the shifting role of movies in American culture." -- Library Journal

"If you like thinking about movies, rather than just sitting for some entertainment, and are interested in the American history of film criticism, this is a book you will enjoy." -- Schmack

"Engages with issues of fundamental concern to anyone with an involvement in film studies." -- Sight and Sound

"Examines the origin of film criticism, exposes the critics who got a little too critical and even explores whether cinema is an art worthy of critique." -- Video Age

"Producing an interesting survey of familiar ground from a unique perspective, Haberski has written a book that will serve both serious students of the cinema and those looking for an introduction -- a fine achievement." -- Choice

"In this fine study of movies and cultural critics, Raymond Haberski does what few other writers on the subject manage: He places the endless debates over the cultural value of movies within the larger question of what culture should be.... A good read and an important work." -- David Steigerwald


"The author raises some fascinating and controversial issues about filmmaking, such as how a director can become a genuine artist while turning out commercial pictures in the factory atmosphere of a film studio." -- Gene D. Phillips


"Thought-provoking and meaningful.... If you are interested in 20th-century American culture, art, sociology or, most importantly, film, then you will want to take a look." -- Lexington Herald-Leader

"This is the story of how an entertainment became an art -- how people learned to take movies seriously without losing the pleasure movies give. It's a longer and more complicated story than it might seem, touching on many personalities and ideas, and, in doing it full historical justice, Raymond Haberski's book tells us something, as well, about how American culture acquired its self-confidence." -- Louis Menand


"A must-read for critics and would make a sure-fire addition to the library of movie buffs everywhere." -- Online Film Critics Society

"This witty take on the importance of movie marketing includes excepts from influential critics such as Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris." -- Variety

"The story Haberski tells has, in current Hollywood parlance, a good arc." -- Wilson Quarterly

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