1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year

November 1, 2020
1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year

What do Babes in Arms, Beau Geste, Gunga Din, The Hunchback ofNotre Dame, Only Angels Have Wings, and Young Mr. Lincoln all havein common? They are all classic films released in the same year,but none of them received Academy Award nominations for bestpicture. Why? In that same year, Hollywood produced Dark Victory,Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Ninotchka, aswell as two of the most beloved films of all time, Gone with theWind and The Wizard of Oz. In 1939 Hollywood created anunprecedented number of great films, a year that has yet to besurpassed in cinematic achievement.In 1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year, Thomas S. Hischak looks at themost remarkable 365 days in film history. Arranged chronologicallyfrom January 1 to December 31, 1939, each entry covers one day andfeatures major news events (national and international) as well asminor curiosities or news items that would prove to be moreimportant in the future. The activities on Broadway, radio, themusic business, literature, and other arts are included, as arenoteworthy sporting events. Most significantly, this book providesa full description and commentary on the Hollywood movies that werereleased on that day.All 510 feature films from all the Hollywood studios are includedin the book, along with notable shorts, cartoons, newsreels, andforeign releases. While others have looked at the movie highlightsof this momentous year, Hischak evaluates Hollywood’s entire screenoutput of 1939, from B pictures and serial installments to theinternational blockbusters—and every film in between. 1939:Hollywood’s Greatest Year is a captivating look at this phenomenonand will fascinate any film aficionado.