In Otherness in Hollywood Cinema, Michael Richardson argues that the Hollywood system has been the only national cinema with the resources and inclination to explore images of others through stories set in exotic and faraway places. He traces many of the ways in which Hollywood has constructed otherness, and discusses the extent to which those images have persisted and conditioned today's understanding.
Hollywood was from the beginning teeming with people who had experienced cultural displacement. Coaxing the finest talents from around the world and needing to produce films with an almost universal appeal, Hollywood confounded American insularity while simultaneously presenting a vision of 'America' to the world.
The book examines a range of genres from the perspective of otherness, including the Western, film noir, and zombie movies. Films discussed include Birth of a Nation, The New World, The Searchers, King Kong, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Jaws, and Dead Man. Erudite and highly informed, this is a sweeping survey of how the American film industry has portrayed the foreign and the exotic.