movie posters

The Golden Age of Hollywood: 1930s - 1940s

movie posters

Frequently Cited Works

Bibliographies & Indexes
Frequently Cited Works
General Databases
Genre Sources
Guides & Encyclopedias
Journals & Magazines
Locating Relevant Books
Major Films & Names


The following works are often cited in research related to the film history and the Golden Age of Hollywood. While not a comprehensive list, these are considered classic publications on film history. These books include bibliographies which provide access to further readings.

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.
  • Written by two leading film scholars, Film History: An Introduction is a comprehensive survey of film from the backlots of Hollywood, across the United States, and around the world. Of particular to those interested Hollywood’s Golden Age will be chapter 9 ‘The Introduction of Sound, 1926-1945’ and chapter 10 ‘The Hollywood Studio System, 1930-1945.’
  • Undergraduate Library (PN1993.5.A1 T45 2003)
Maltby, Richard. Hollywood Cinema. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.
  • Hollywood Cinema provides an historical account of Hollywood in addition to examining its cultural and aesthetic significance. The book covers basic information about Hollywood while explaining how both the movies and the critical/theoretical discourse of film study have evolved over time.
  • Davis (PN1993.5.U6 M2296 2003)

Mast, Gerald. A Short History of the Movies. 4th ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986.

  • A mainstay in college film history courses, A Short History of the Movies charts cinema's history from the 1800s to the present. Chapter 11 of the eighth edition focuses specifically on ‘The American Studio Years: 1930-1945.’ The eighth edition of this book was published in 2003. The latest edition not available at this library, but may be obtained through interlibrary loan.
  • Davis (PN1993.5.A1 M39 1986)
    Undergraduate Library (PN1993.5.A1 M39 1986b)
Schatz, Thomas.The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era. New York: Pantheon, 1998.
  • Thomas Schatz details the workings of the studio system from the silent era to its final collapse in the 1960s. Working from industry documents, Schatz traces the development of studio styles, the rise and fall of careers, and the making of movies, from Frankenstein to Spellbound to Grand Hotel. This book is highly acclaimed by Variety and The New York Times.
  • Davis (PN1993.5.U65 S3 1988)
    Undergraduate Library (PN1993.5.U65 S3 1988)
Images from The Greatest Films website
Created for INLS 111: Information Resources and Services
School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by April Edlin
E-mail with any questions or comments
Page created: November 20, 2003 / Last updated: December 11, 2003