St. Augustine, FL – Thomas S. Hischak is the author of 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year. Arranged chronologically from January 1 to December 31, each entry covers one day and features major news events as well as notable works on Broadway, radio, the music business, literature, but most significantly provides a full description and commentary on the Hollywood movies released on that day.
“It’s just a fascinating year,” says Hischak. “There was all this optimism for the future, while at the same time Europe was collapsing. I wanted to explore this year as if we were living it in context of what was going on in America and the world.“
In 1939, Hollywood produced an unprecedented number of great films, including two of the most beloved films of all time: Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, both directed by Victor Fleming. 1939 also saw the release of Babes in Arms, Beau Geste, Gunga Din, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Only Angels Have Wings, and Young Mr. Lincoln as well as Dark Victory, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Ninotchka.
“My theory is that 1939 was a crossroads,” says Hischak. “All the best of the movie makers going back to the silent movies were still working and a whole new generation was just getting started.”
Hischak serves as an adjunct professor teaching film studies at Flagler College. He’s enjoyed a long career as an educator specializing in theater and film, with a particular interest in musicals.
1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year is available on Amazon.