King Vidor, American

Raymond Durgnat, Author University of California Press $0 (382p) ISBN 978-0-520-05798-2
In this provocative study of the films of King Wallis Vidor (1894-1982), a noted French critic and an American filmologist try to clarify the paradoxes and conflicts that comprised Vidor's idyllic and recriminatory love affair with America. A third-generation Texan, who early saw the hand of fate calling him to reform the world, Vidor started directing in 1914, but it was not until his MGM films of the mid-1920s (The Big Parade, The Crowd) that he became a major figure. Durgnat and Simmon analyze his ``populist'' films of the 1930s (Street Scene, The Champ, Stella Dallas, The Citadel) and those (such as The Fountainhead) in which he criticized the cynicism of a corrupt social order. They regard even his later films (the ``unapologetic melodramas'' with a ``wild flair,'' such as Duel in the Sun, as well as War and Peace and Solomon and Sheba) as closer to Griffith and Chaplin than to his contemporaries Wellman and Hawks. Filmography, photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 382 pages - 978-0-520-05815-6
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