Hollywood Values is now available from your favorite bookstore (if they don't have it, they can - of course - order it for you) or from any of the online booksellers, such as:

Amazon.com or

Barnes & Noble Online or

AuthorHouse (formerly 1st Books Library

What the Whole Book Offers

Steven C. Scheer

A Brief Summary (Or What This Book Is All About):

What you will find below is the blurb as it appears on the back cover of the book. It's a good "introduction" to it, but I think I would like to add something else here as well: this book is not a collection of movie reviews. Rather, it is a series of careful and heartfelt interpretations. I pay attention to the details of each movie and - inasmuch as this is humanly possible - I read each so as to let each movie "speak for itself." During the many years of my teaching career I have come to the conclusion that reading is an art in which the reader sees not what he or she wishes to see, but what's really there in the text. An interpretation is not something superimposed on what we read or study, but something suggested by what is in front of our eyes, should we really take the trouble to look . This is not easy to do, but it's not impossible. The meaning or singificance of a movie, for example, can only unfold itself if we "read" the movie in question without prejudices of any kind (we all have them, but with a conscious effort it is possible to put them aside, at least temporarily). For further details on the art of reading, you might want to explore the page on this site dedicated to this subject, The Art of Reading. For now, though, let's just look at what Hollywood Values is all about - in a nutshell:

Tagline: We watch the same movies, but we don't see the same movies.

This book shows us that Hollywood bashing isn't really warranted. Many movies produced in the last 20 years are chock full of values (frequently traditional ones at that). Some movies take us to school and examine a few of the most vital issues facing education today. Some take us to the heart of love, where hope springs eternal. Some explore the ways in which the spirit of the law triumphs over the letter that kills. And some explore the vicissitudes that befall the human condition and the difference Hollywood may make in our ability to understand the complexities of our world today. You will find all this and more in this honest book written with passion as well as with compassion, with an open mind and an understanding heart. If we really pay attention to what movies are actually saying, we may well learn that many of them are invaluable sources of information, knowledge, and - yes - even wisdom. They don't just entertain us, they also make us think. And perhaps they entertain us best precisely when they make us think. And feel.

Table of Contents



1. Why I Wrote This Book
2. Obstacles to Understanding and Enjoyment
3. The Business of Art

Chapter One: Hollywood Goes to School
1. Dead Poets Society
2. Patch Adams
3. Lean on Me
4. Oleanna

Chapter Two: Hollywood Falls in Love
1. The Age of Innocence
2. City of Angels
3. As Good As It Gets
4. American Beauty

Chapter Three: Hollywood Fights for Justice
1. The Verdict
2. The People vs. Larry Flynt
3. Nuts
4. Erin Brockovich

Chapter Four: Hollywood Makes a Difference
1. Amadeus
2. The Color Purple
3. Malcolm X
4. Fargo

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Copyright 2000 - 2004 © by Steven C. Scheer. All rights reserved.

Send e-mail to stevenscheer@wowway.com