13. Historical Spectacle

  1. Drew Casper

Published Online: 3 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444395242.ch13

Hollywood Film 1963-1976: Years of Revolution and Reaction

Hollywood Film 1963-1976: Years of Revolution and Reaction

How to Cite

Casper, D. (2011) Historical Spectacle, in Hollywood Film 1963-1976: Years of Revolution and Reaction, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444395242.ch13

Author Information

  1. University of Southern California, School of the Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 SEP 2012
  2. Published Print: 11 MAR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188272

Online ISBN: 9781444395242



  • historical spectacle;
  • grand-scaled re-creation of events - significant to a nation's history, government or religion;
  • Ray's 55 Days at Peking, with a Philip Yordan/Bernard Gordon script - set in 1900 China, a US Major defending the international diplomatic section besieged by the Empress-incited Boxers to take over the city;
  • Mann's The Fall of the Roman Empire - or, the beginning of the fall (180 ad) - writers Yordan/Ben Barzman/Basilio Franchina consultations with pop historian Will Durant;
  • religious counterparts, inspired by the Old and New Testaments - early Christian writings, not playing to the thematic strengths of acclaimed directors;
  • US/German/Yugoslav co-effort Genghis Khan (C, 1965) - twelfth-century uniter of battling Mongol tribes and Khartoum's disobedient Brit General “Chinese” Gordon holding out against the Sudanese;
  • portrait of General George S. Patton (TCF, 1970) - being even better;
  • Schaffner's other entry, Nicholas and Alexandra (C, 1971) - produced by Sam Spiegel of Lawrence of Arabia fame, making the macro culture prominent;
  • film's ending, as with Cleopatra and Patton - dissolution and disarray, tolling the demything bell