I'm targeting scholars specializing in Hollywood and classic film fans

Reproduction: Žurnál Online
Friday 15 September 2023, 8:00 – Text: Milada Křížková Hronová

While most of the information in the recently published monography by Milan Hain, the head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University, is directed towards the academic community, it also offers something to the general readership. In the book titled "Starmaker: David O. Selznick and the Production of Stars in the Hollywood Studio System," published by the University Press of Mississippi, you will find exciting information about how famous personalities such as Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, and Jennifer Jones made their mark in Hollywood.

Milan Hain, a film historian and educator at the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University, came to explore the world of David O. Selznick due to his longstanding interest in American cinema, specifically during the classical Hollywood era when the American film producer and founder of Selznick International Pictures shone brightly.
"Two years ago, the Czech version of this book was published by Casablanca Publishers. I am delighted that we have now been able to release it in English and in an adapted form by the University Press of Mississippi. From the beginning, I aimed this publication at an international audience, hoping to find readers among experts and researchers specializing in Hollywood studios, as well as among classic film enthusiasts. Selznick was one of the most significant figures in the American film industry, primarily known for producing 'Gone with the Wind,' for which he won an Oscar for Best Picture. Despite several publications about him, I was surprised that no one had delved into his star-making business in detail," Milan Hain stated.

The cover of the English version of Hain's new monograph features a photograph of David O. Selznick and Vivien Leigh during the filming of 'Gone with the Wind.' Inside the book, readers will find thirty-five black-and-white illustrations, including reproductions of archival materials. The new publication differs in some details from the Czech version. It does not include a subchapter devoted to star studies and the essential characteristics of the Hollywood star system.

"I assume that foreign readers are already familiar with these aspects. On the other hand, I have added and expanded certain passages in the book, particularly based on input from two anonymous reviewers," added Milan Hain. In 2015, he spent a month at the Harry Ransom Centre in Texas, where the archive of Selznick's production company is housed, and according to Hain, this stay was the initiating moment that eventually led him to publish the monograph.

The new book, "Starmaker: David O. Selznick and the Production of Stars in the Hollywood Studio System," is intended for experts and the public interested in the American industry and the Hollywood star system. Academic readers may be interested in how the author seeks to expand existing discussions about stars and stardom, focusing mainly on the processes associated with developing and promoting film stars in the market.

"I am pleased that the book is being published in English because the greatest interest in this topic is expected abroad, especially in the United States, but also in countries like the United Kingdom and France," clarified the film historian, whose pedagogical work primarily revolves around the history of American cinema and film analysis. He devoted himself intensively to the work on his new book since the beginning of 2017, when he received support from the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic for research and publication.

The book is available for purchase from the publisher and can also be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available as an e-book.
Mgr. Milan Hain, Ph.D., the head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University focuses primarily on the history of American cinema and film analysis in his pedagogical activities. He regularly organizes a four-semester lecture series in which he provides students with a detailed overview of the development of the American film industry from the advent of sound to the late 80s and 90s. Starting from the academic year 2015/2016, he has also been conducting lectures and seminars in the English language. For his Czech edition of the scholarly book titled "In the Tradition of Quality and Prestige: David O. Selznick and the Production of Stars in Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s," he received an honorary mention from the rector of Palacký University. He also received the same recognition in 2015 for his book titled "Hugo Haas and His (American) Films." Milan Hain is a member of several associations and societies. He views film studies as a rich field that intersects with and influences other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences.


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