Mark Harris beautifully depicts the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967-Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde-and through them, tells the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever.
It is the early 1960s, and two hip young Esquire staffers decide to write a screenplay about a pair of minor 1930s outlaws. A fast-talking, chain-smoking producer convinces a star of the stage to sign on to a big-budget movie musical. A wunderkind theater director hoping to make the leap into film reads a new novel about a disaffected young man seduced by an older woman. A middle-aged, socially conscious director embarks on a movie about interracial marriage and struggles to secure a legendary screen duo and the country's only bankable black star for the principal roles. And a studio weighs whether a mystery featuring that same black actor can be made cheaply enough to turn a profit even if it never plays in the South.