Showman of the screen: Joseph E. Levine and his revolutions in film promotion.

Book


McKenna, Anthony Thomas 2016. Showman of the screen: Joseph E. Levine and his revolutions in film promotion. University Press of Kentucky.
AuthorsMcKenna, Anthony Thomas
Abstract

Joseph E. Levine was one of the most recognisable figures in post-War American cinema; he pioneered saturation opening techniques, revolutionised art-film marketing, and was hugely successful as a producer. He dealt in every conceivable type of film, from arthouse to exploitation to blockbusters, and became the famous film promoter in America. Showman of the Screen is the first book to fully investigate Levine's life and work, detailing his life and extraordinary career in the film industry, and focussing on what he called his "peculiar talent" for movie exploitation and showmanship. Based on extensive archival research and interviews with many of Levine's collaborators, this book positions Levine as the most versatile film promoter, and self-promoter, of his generation. Showman of the Screen details Levine's tough upbringing in the slums of Boston, and his subsequent journey from being provincial movie exhibitor to becoming the best-known movie showman in America. The book also shows how Levine was able to capitalise on emerging cultural trends, whilst also maintaining his reputation as a maverick by fiercely guarding his independence and deliberately provoking condemnations from cultural commentators. This book acts as a corrective to the many histories of post-War American cinema that either ignore or underestimate Levine's achievements and influence. His multifarious appetites ensured that his presence was felt in all genres, and that is influence is still with us today is testament to his position as one of the most important pioneering figures in America post-War cinema.

Joseph E. Levine was one of the most recognisable figures in post-War American cinema; he pioneered saturation opening techniques, revolutionised art-film marketing, and was hugely successful as a producer. He dealt in every conceivable type of film, from arthouse to exploitation to blockbusters, and became the famous film promoter in America. Showman of the Screen is the first book to fully investigate Levine's life and work, detailing his life and extraordinary career in the film industry, and focussing on what he called his "peculiar talent" for movie exploitation and showmanship.
Based on extensive archival research and interviews with many of Levine's collaborators, this book positions Levine as the most versatile film promoter, and self-promoter, of his generation. Showman of the Screen details Levine's tough upbringing in the slums of Boston, and his subsequent journey from being provincial movie exhibitor to becoming the best-known movie showman in America. The book also shows how Levine was able to capitalise on emerging cultural trends, whilst also maintaining his reputation as a maverick by fiercely guarding his independence and deliberately provoking condemnations from cultural commentators.
This book acts as a corrective to the many histories of post-War American cinema that either ignore or underestimate Levine's achievements and influence. His multifarious appetites ensured that his presence was felt in all genres, and that is influence is still with us today is testament to his position as one of the most important pioneering figures in America post-War cinema.

KeywordsFilm history; Film promotion; Showmanship; Independent film; Film production; Film marketing
ISBN9.78081E+12
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622248
hdl:10545/622248
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Publication dates23 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Mar 2018, 12:46
Year2016
PublisherUniversity Press of Kentucky
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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