HOW the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll
generation saved hollywod


The 1970s was the last Golden Age of Hollywood film. This was the era of movies like The Godfathers, Chinatown, Shampoo, Nashville, The French Connection, The Last Detail, Annie Hall, Jaws, The Last Picture Show, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, and so on, a group of pictures that towers over the product Hollywood is releasing today. How did this happen? What was going on in America, and Hollywood in particular to prepare the soil from which sprang such a remarkable group of films? 

This book explores the cultural and political context — the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-Vietnam War Movement, Watergate — which spawned them, and describes the sorry state of the studios in the late-1960’s that made them vulnerable to the so-called movie brat generation that successfully stormed the gates. After Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider, almost anyone who looked like he — they were mostly all male — had slept in his clothes, wore a bandana around his head, had a joint jammed between his lips, and a three day growth of beard, could walk into the office of a studio head and get a deal. It only lasted for a decade, but what a ride it was.


New Hollywood filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Robert Altman, Billy Friedkin, Peter Bogdanovich, and so on recall in their own words the heady atmosphere of that era in which it seemed like anything was possible — until it wasn’t, and the movement was choked by a cloud of reefer and coke, and collapsed under the weight of hits own success.   

“This book is so goddamn well written, I was like, I don’t want to know these things about these people, my heroes, but then I made the mistake of leaving it by my bedside table, and it was like a bag of pot, with me saying I’m not gonna smoke. But I was insatiable.” — Quentin Tarantino, director, Pulp Fiction