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American Film History Selected Readings, Origins to 1960

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-09-08
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Supplemental Materials

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This authoritative collection of introductory and specialized readings explores the rich and innovative history of this period in American cinema. Spanning an essential range of subjects from the early 1900s Nickelodeon to the decline of the studio system in the 1960s, it combines a broad historical context with careful readings of individual films.
  • Charts the rise of film in early twentieth-century America from its origins to 1960, exploring mainstream trends and developments, along with topics often relegated to the margins of standard film histories
  • Covers diverse issues ranging from silent film and its iconic figures such as Charlie Chaplin, to the coming of sound and the rise of film genres, studio moguls, and, later, the Production Code and Cold War Blacklist
  • Designed with both students and scholars in mind: each section opens with an historical overview and includes chapters that provide close, careful readings of individual films clustered around specific topics
  • Accessibly structured by historical period, offering valuable cultural, social, and political contexts
  • Contains careful, close analysis of key filmmakers and films from the era including D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille, Don JuanThe Jazz SingerI 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.
  • Additional online resources such as sample syllabi, which include suggested readings and filmographies for both general specialized courses, will be available online.
  • May be used alongside American Film History: Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present, to provide an authoritative study of American cinema through the new millennium

Author Biography

Together, Cindy LuciaRoy Grundmann, and Art Simon are the editors of the four volume reference work, The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film (2012), of this volume and its companion, American Film History: Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present ( both 2016), all published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Cynthia Lucia is Professor of English and Director of Film and Media Studies at Rider University. She is author of Framing Female Lawyers: Women on Trial in Film (2005) and writes for Cineaste film magazine, where she has served on the editorial board for more than two decades. Her most recent research includes essays that appear in A Companion to Woody Allen (Wiley, 2013), Modern British Drama on Screen (2014), and Law, Culture and Visual Studies (2014).

Roy Grundmann is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Boston University. He is the author of Andy Warhol’s Blow Job (2003) and the editor of A Companion to Michael Haneke (Wiley 2010). He is Contributing Editor of Cineaste and has published essays in a range of prestigious anthologies and journals, including GLQ, Cineaste, Continuum, The Velvet Light Trap, and Millennium Film Journal. He has curated retrospectives on Michael Haneke, Andy Warhol, and Matthias Müller.

Art Simon is Professor of Film Studies at Montclair State University. He is the author of Dangerous Knowledge: The JFK Assassination in Art and Film (2nd edition, 2013). He has curated two film exhibitions for the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City and his work has been published in the edited collection “Un-American” Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era (2007) and in the journal American Jewish History.

Table of Contents

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

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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