As late as 1976, George Roy Hill was the first and only director to have two films on the all-time top ten box office hits: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
and The Sting
(both starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman). A filmmaker with a diverse background in music, drama and television, Hill proved to be a popular storyteller in a variety of genres. His films are tied to important American themes and reflect an ironic, bittersweet vision of life.
The book begins with a discussion of the way Hill's films often make their most important statements on the subtextual level. The stories entertain, but the subtext is often disturbing, contradictory, unresolved. Hill felt that all of his major characters "create an environment, a fantasy, an illusion, and then go on to make it happen." It continues by tracing the thematic characteristics that are consistent with Hill's depiction of protagonists who create their own environments and then attempt to inhabit them. Then, individual chapters study in detail the art, craft and style of each of his films, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Slaughterhouse Five, A Little Romance, The World According to Garp, Little Drummer Girl and Hill's last film Funny Farm.