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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $91
  • Forthcoming: February 2016
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92009-3
  • 1 × 1 in / 928 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Film

A History of Narrative Film

Fifth Edition


See all options and formats starting at

David A. Cook (Author, University of North Carolina - Greensboro)

Overview | For Instructors

A trusted reference, a popular teaching text, and a well-written history is now bolder, briefer, and better than ever.

Sophisticated in its analytical content, current in its coverage, and informed throughout by fascinating historical and cultural contexts, A History of Narrative Film is one of the most respected and widely read texts in film studies. This Fifth Edition features a new chapter on twenty-first century film, and includes refreshed coverage of contemporary digital production, distribution, and consumption of film. Now 20% shorter, with new four-color design and an updated art program, A History of Narrative Film is also the only film history text available as an ebook.


Comprehensive coverage

The Fifth Edition features the work of major filmmakers—from D. W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, and John Ford to Ikira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Jean-Luc Godard, and Jane Campion—and an international scope, providing analysis of most major movements in cinema, from expressionism, film noir, and das neue Kino to the French “New Wave,” Dogme 95, Bollywood, and “Nollywood,” among many others.  

Contemporary scholarship

The text incorporates contemporary scholarship throughout and offers a superior overview of recent developments in cinema today. Chapter 21, "The Digital Domain," has been substantially revised to extend coverage of the digital innovations in cinema beyond Hollywood film production, including its impacts on film distribution and consumption, viewing behaviors, and independent filmmaking. A new chapter (Chapter 22: A Global Cinema?) considers the ways in which digital innovations have facilitated—and may continue to expand—the possibilities for a more global cinematic landscape. 

Bold design and streamlined presentation

A History of Narrative Film is now presented in a striking four-color design, rich with half- and full-page photo layouts. Now 20% shorter than the previous edition, this Fifth Edition is more approachable and enjoyable than ever before.  

Now available as an ebook

A History of Narrative Film is now available as a Norton ebook—the only film history text accessible in digital format. More portable, less costly, and featuring the same stunning four-color design as its print component, the ebook allows students to search, highlight, and take notes with ease, to collaborate and share notes with teachers and classmates, and to view the book on any device.  

    Chapter 1: Origins
    Chapter 2: International Expansion, 1907–1918
    Chapter 3: D. W. Griffith and the Development of Narrative Form
    Chapter 4: German Cinema of the Weimar Period, 1919–1929
    Chapter 5: Soviet Silent Cinema and the Theory of Montage, 1917–1931
    Chapter 6: Hollywood in the Twenties
    Chapter 7: The Coming of Sound and Color, 1926–1935
    Chapter 8: The Sound Film and the American Studio System
    Chapter 9: Europe in the Thirties
    Chapter 10: Orson Welles and the Modern Sound Film
    Chapter 11: Wartime and Postwar Cinema: Italy and the United States, 1940–1951
    Chapter 12: Hollywood, 1952–1965
    Chapter 13: The French New Wave, or Nouvelle Vague, and Its Native Context
    Chapter 14: New Cinemas in Britain and the English-Speaking Commonwealth
    Chapter 15: European Renaissance: West
    Chapter 16: European Renaissance: East
    Chapter 17: The Former Soviet Union, 1945–Present
    Chapter 18: Wind from the East: Japan, India, and China
    Chapter 19: Third World Cinema
    Chapter 20: Hollywood, 1965–1995
    Chapter 21: The Digital Domain
    Chapter 22: A Global Cinema?