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American Film History. Selected Readings, Origins to 1960

  • ID: 3187540
  • Book
  • August 2015
  • Region: United States
  • 568 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This authoritative collection of introductory and specialized readings takes students and scholars through the rich, varied, and innovative history of early American film, from its inception in the late–1890s, through the decline of the studio system in the 1960s. Accessibly structured by historical period to provide cultural, social, political, and technological contexts, this volume includes coverage of a range of essential subjects, from silent film and iconic figures such as Charlie Chaplin to the coming of sound; from the rise of film genres and studio moguls to the early contributions of women, African–Americans, and avant–garde filmmakers; from the enforcement of the Production Code to the Cold War Hollywood Blacklist.

Written by established film scholars, American Film History: Selected Readings, Origins to 1960 balances its coverage of the vital trends and developments in mainstream film with topics often relegated to the margins of standard film histories. Key filmmakers and films covered include D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille, Don Juan, The Jazz Singer, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Scarface, Red Dust, Glorifying the American Girl, Meet Me in St. Louis, Citizen Kane, Bambi, Frank Capra s Why We Fight series, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Rebel Without a Cause, Force of Evil, and selected American avant–garde and underground films, among many others. It is designed with both the student and scholar in mind: each section opens with an historical overview and provides close, careful readings of individual films clustered around specific topics. Additional online resources available such as sample syllabi, which include suggested readings and filmographies for both general and specialized courses.
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Volume I: Origins to 1960

Acknowledgments xii

Preface xiii

Part I Origins to 1928

1 Setting the Stage: American Film History, Origins to 1928 3

References 16

2 D. W. Griffith and the Development of American Narrative Cinema 18
Charlie Keil

Notes 34

References 34

3 Women and the Silent Screen 36
Shelley Stamp

References 51

4 African–Americans and Silent Films 54
Paula J. Massood

Notes 68

References 68

5 Chaplin and Silent Film Comedy 70
Charles J. Maland

References 84

6 Erich von Stroheim and Cecil B. DeMille: Early Hollywood and the Discourse of Directorial Genius 85
Gaylyn Studlar

Notes 97

References 97

7 The Star System 99
Mark Lynn Anderson

Notes 112

References 113

8 Synchronized Sound Comes to the Cinema 115
Paul Young

Notes 128

References 129

Part II 1929 1945

9 Setting the Stage: American Film History, 1929 1945 133

Note 151

References 151

10 Era of the Moguls: The Studio System 153
Matthew H. Bernstein

References 173

11 As Close to Real Life as Hollywood Ever Gets : Headline Pictures, Topical Movies, Editorial Cinema, and Studio Realism in the 1930s 175
Richard Maltby

Notes 194

References 198

12 Early American Avant–Garde Cinema 200
Jan–Christopher Horak

Notes 214

References 214

13 Let Em Have It : The Ironic Fate of the 1930s Hollywood Gangster 215
Ruth Vasey

Notes 230

References 230

14 Landscapes of Fantasy, Gardens of Deceit: The Adventure Film between Colonialism and Tourism 231
Hans Jürgen Wulff

Notes 245

References 246

15 Cinema and the Modern Woman 248
Veronica Pravadelli

Notes 262

References 262

16 Queering the (New) Deal 264
David M. Lugowski

Notes 280

References 280

17 There s No Place Like Home: The Hollywood Folk Musical 282
Desirée J. Garcia

Notes 295

References 296

18 The Magician: Orson Welles and Film Style 297
James Naremore

Notes 309

References 310

19 Classical Cel Animation, World War II, and Bambi 311
Kirsten Moana Thompson

Notes 324

References 325

20 MappingWhy We Fight: Frank Capra and the US Army Orientation Film in World War II 326
Charles Wolfe

Notes 339

References 339

21 A Victory Uneasy with Its Contrasts : The Hollywood Left Fights World War II 341
Saverio Giovacchini

Notes 356

References 359

22 Hollywood as Historian, 1929 1945 361
J. E. Smyth

Notes 377

References 377

Part III 1945 1960

23 Setting the Stage: American Film History, 1945 1960 383

References 397

24 Taking Stock at War s End: Gender, Genre, and Hollywood Labor in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers 398
Roy Grundmann

Notes 419

References 421

25 Natalie Wood: Studio Stardom and Hollywood in Transition 423
Cynthia Lucia

Notes 444

References 446

26 The Politics of Force of Evil: An Analysis of Abraham Polonsky s Preblacklist Film 448
Christine Noll Brinckmann

Notes 467

References 469

27 The Actors Studio in the Early Cold War 471
Cynthia Baron & Beckett Warren

Notes 485

References 485

28 Authorship and Billy Wilder 486
Robert Sklar

Notes 501

References 501

29 Cold War Thrillers 503
R. Barton Palmer

References 519

30 American Underground Film 520
Jared Rapfogel

Note 535

References 535

Index 537
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Out of all the film books I've read this year – and there have been many judging from the sheer amount of book reviews I've posted here in 2015 alone – American Film History: Selected Readings, Origins to 1960 is the clear stand–out amongst them. It's an invaluable tool for those of us who strive to learn more and more about the film industry and classic film every day and I definitely won't be letting this book out of my site for a good long while (I may even stipulate being buried with it in my Last Will & Testament).   (Stardustclassicfilmblog, 17 December 2015)
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