I love movies, so as a result it should come as no surprise that I would love a book about the Bacchanalian excess of the 70’s in Hollywood. In fact, the book is so convincing and compelling that it actually yielded that same kind of easy, lucid narrative style that good movies usually succeed in accomplishing. Beginning with a look at the fall of the all-powerful studio system in the late 60’s, and the groundbreaking and critical success of “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Easy Rider,” Biskind primarily examines the producers and directors who managed to redefine Hollywood during the 70’s.
When Warren Beatty managed to convince a studio to allow him to make “Bonnie and Clyde” it took a critic to rescue the film from obscurity. Pauline Kael, who would arguably become one of the most influential film critics there will ever be, was also, in some ways, the savior of Hollywood. Her endorsement was often the straw that kept a movie in theaters and her love of non-traditional subjects and themes allowed creative luminaries to make films that didn’t necessarily need to reach a massive audience. And so, we are told, the film industry was reinvented.