American culture changed radically over the course of the 1960s, and the culture of Hollywood was no exception. The film industry began the decade confidently churning out epic spectacles and lavish musicals, but became flummoxed as new aesthetics and modes of production emerged, and low-budget youth pictures like Easy Rider became commercial hits.
New Constellations: Movie Stars of the 1960s tells the story of the final glory days of the studio system and changing conceptions of stardom, considering such Hollywood icons as Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman alongside such hallmarks of youth culture as Mia Farrow and Dustin Hoffman. Others, like Sidney Poitier and Peter Sellers, took advantage of the developing independent and international film markets to craft truly groundbreaking screen personae. And some were simply ""famous for being famous,"" with celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Edie Sedgwick paving the way for today's reality stars.
Pamela Robertson Wojcik teaches film and is director of gender studies at Notre Dame. She is the author of Guilty Pleasures: Feminist Camp from Mae West to Madonna and The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975.