Engulfed by Bernard F. Dick
The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood

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From Double Indemnity to The Godfather, the stories behind some of the greatest films ever made pale beside the story of the studio that made them. In the golden age of Hollywood, Paramount was one of the Big Five studios. Gulf + Western's 1966 takeover of the studio signaled the end of one era and heralded the arrival of a new way of doing business in Hollywood. Bernard Dick reconstructs the battle that culminated in the reduction of the studio to a mere corporate commodity. He then traces Paramount's devolution from free-standing studio to subsidiary―first of Gulf + Western, then Paramount Communications, and currently Viacom-CBS.

Dick portrays the new Paramount as a paradigm of today's Hollywood, where the only real art is the art of the deal. Former merchandising executives find themselves in charge of production, on the assumption that anyone who can sell a movie can make one. CEOs exit in disgrace from one studio only to emerge in triumph at another. Corporate raiders vie for power and control through the buying and selling of film libraries, studio property, television stations, book publishers, and more. The history of Paramount is filled with larger-than-life people, including Billy Wilder, Adolph Zukor, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and more.

About Bernard F. Dick

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Bernard F. Dick, Teaneck, New Jersey, is professor of communication and English at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is the author of Hal Wallis: Producer to the Stars; Engulfed: The Death of Paramount Pictures and the Birth of Corporate Hollywood; Forever Mame: The Life of Rosalind Russell; Claudette Colbert: She Walked in Beauty; and several other books.
Published August 10, 2001 by The University Press of Kentucky. 280 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Film historian Dick (City of Dreams, 1997) uses Paramount Pictures to illustrate the evolution of the motion-picture industry from Thomas Edison to Michael Eisner.

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Publishers Weekly

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Dick, professor of communications at Fairleigh Dickinson University, astutely analyzes the role of outside corporate money in the film industry, and how the changes at Paramount heralded a new, inevitable trend in American film and arts.

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(The 1948 "Paramount decision" would force studios to choose between production and exhibition.) As Paramount took shape in the first half of the 20th century, it became known for its comedies (Ernst Lubitsch, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder), its "white look" and its ability to turn radio person...

Jun 17 2001 | Read Full Review of Engulfed: The Death of Paramo...

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