REVIEW OF THE HOLLYWOOD HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
In his book, The Hollywood History of the World, George M. Fraser attempts to compare Hollywood's presentation of the history of the world to actual historical events. He is forthcoming when recognizing that his book is not a comprehensive compilation of movie reviews, but helps his audience by specifying the purpose of his work, which is "to look at them [movies] in the light of history as I understand it - with their relative merits as films I am not particularly concerned." His survey of motion pictures includes ones from which he found "interesting or instructive from a historical point of view, either because they enhanced understanding or gave a specially vivid image of the past." Fraser chose only those movies that originated in the English-speaking cinema, and excluded any films that broadcasted exclusively on television. This paperback is organized into seven segments that follow chronological order starting with The Ancient World and concluding with The Violent Century. Finally, before the actual critiques begin, Fraser offers some advice on how to analyze a film without bias in respect to the period from which they originated. .
Summary of the main points.
Throughout the book, Fraser analyzes how Hollywood chose to treat history and why filmmakers occasionally altered its course. He is also quick to point out particularly humorous examples of anachronistic dialogue or behavior. This is not a dry scholarly study but a witty, droll, and entertaining book in its own right. Fraser has apparently seen every historical film ever made, and in most cases, the movies that he acclaims as the best of their kind are the ones that paralleled true history the closest, even though they may lack spectacular special effects. .
In his first chapter, The Ancient World, Fraser speaks out on the movies surrounding Biblical events, the Greek and Roman Empires, ancient Egypt, and other arbitrary events peppered throughout this large time span.