American Cinema of the 1930s: Themes and Variations (Screen

Most likely no decade observed as many adjustments within the Hollywood movie and its product because the Nineteen Thirties did. before everything of the last decade, the used to be nonetheless suffering from the transition to speaking photos. Gangster movies and naughty comedies starring Mae West have been renowned in city parts, yet aroused threats of censorship within the heartland. even if the movie enterprise may continue to exist the industrial results of the Crash was once up within the air. via 1939, popularly known as "Hollywood's maximum Year," movies like long past With the Wind and The Wizard of ounces used either colour and sound to impressive impact, and stay American icons this present day. The "mature oligopoly" that was once the studio procedure had not just weathered the melancholy and develop into a part of mainstream tradition during the institution and enforcement of the construction Code, it was once a well-oiled, vertically built-in business powerhouse.

The ten unique essays in American Cinema of the Nineteen Thirties specialise in sixty various motion pictures of the last decade, together with Dracula, the general public Enemy, difficulty in Paradise, forty second highway, King Kong, Imitation of existence, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Swing Time, Angels with soiled Faces, not anything Sacred, Jezebel, Mr. Smith is going to Washington, and Stagecoach.

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Rosow 146) The new sound film gangster used language frequently as well as forcefully. As Kozloff puts it, “As the gangster is unrestrained in his approach to violence, so is he promiscuous in his approach to words” (212). However, as his language defines the gangster culture as different, talking must remain within that separate world. Speaking outside it risks the betrayal of talking, squealing, providing evidence to the police or a competitor (Kozloff 217). Kozloff speculates that, besides his challenge to the class status quo, perhaps the gangster is punished for how he clouds the distinction—both through language and concern with appearance—between normative gender roles, what she calls “the strictures of masculinity” (213).

Sam B. ” Yet all eight films he analyzes—The Adventures of Robin Hood, Marie Antoinette, A Slight Case of Murder, The Mad Miss Manton, You Can’t Take It with You, Bringing Up Baby, Jezebel, and Algiers—finally end up “whistling in the dark” rather than confronting social problems directly. ” It is instructive to note, however, that three of the six films Maland sees as exemplary— Juarez, Stagecoach, and Gone with the Wind—are set in the nineteenth century. Only Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and, especially, Confessions of a Nazi Spy 24 INA RAE HARK take on problems of the present day.

Stars and Directors If sound and color necessitated the reinvention of film genres, they also necessitated the re-creation of the movie star. Very different talents and attributes were required of the actor who spoke and moved through more naturalistic mises en scènes. The thirties were still to some extent an experiment on what constituted star quality, and probably no decade produced more diverse leading men and women. The most starstudded studio, MGM (with its motto “more stars than there are in the heavens”), made features headlined by Wallace Beery, Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Marie Dressler, Greta Garbo, and Jean Harlow.

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