Picks and Pans Review: Hollywood a Celebration!

updated 02/04/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/04/2002 AT 01:00 AM EST

by David Thomson

Glamor, sex, danger. Laughter, tears, screams. No single word can paint as many pictures as Hollywood. From Mae West to Mena Suvari, Tom Mix to Tom Hanks, every one of these classic, beautifully reproduced images—nearly a thousand in all—will have you reaching for your Blockbuster card. There are eye-openers from early cinema—Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties seem a good 50 lbs. plumper than today's starlets—and a roundup of all the usual suspects from Casablanca to The Usual Suspects. Thomson provides a handful of short, insightful essays and perfunctory captions, but the focus is on the images. This is not one of those warts-and-all deals. The pictures are shimmering publicity portraits, movie stills and poster art. Many choices are obvious (has anyone not seen Marilyn's skirt taking wing or Travolta on the dance floor?), but for anyone whose heart skips every time the houselights dim, this is a catalog of the dream factory. (DK, $50)

Bottom Line: Hooray for Hollywood

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