American Film and Society since 1945 by Leonard Quart

By Leonard Quart

During this newest replace to American movie and Society for the reason that 1945, the authors extend upon prior versions by way of including motion pictures formerly missed, and increase their research of a couple of movies by means of discussing how those works trap the temper and values of yankee society in a specific decade. Interpretation of motion pictures can contain direct connections with social and political matters, yet usually care for the $64000 subtext of goals, wishes, and displacements that the yank public feels. fresh movies that current homosexual relationships and politics, corresponding to Brokeback Mountain and Milk, and that tackle race family members and concrete lifelike Crash and valuable are tested. This fourth variation additionally addresses adjustments within the sleek movie similar to convergence and the electronic revolution.

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Their energy is so infectious that it allows them to liberate three young women—an overworked taxi driver (Betty Garrett), an oversexed socialite (Anne Miller) (class differences are no obstacle), and a pert ballerina reduced for financial reasons to kootch dancing at Coney Island (Vera Ellen). 30 It is this inexhaustible sense of energy, joy, and confidence that more than anything else characterizes the 1940s and its films. Certainly, there were dark clouds looming, such as HUAC’s threat to sap Hollywood’s vitality.

In fact, many of these films were potboilers that seemingly did no more than adopt a successful set of formal and narrative codes. Even more interesting and ironic is that the existence of film noir served only to highlight the essential optimism of the 1940s. Despite the hopelessness, cynicism, and sense of universal decay that film noir projected, both the filmmakers and the audience were readily prepared for and even desirous of avoiding their implications. As a result, even though the logic of the film’s imagery demanded an opposite conclusion, the happy ending and even justice often triumphed.

Here it was the symbol of the returned veteran who became the embodiment of those issues. As a matter of fact, as Dr. Franklin Fearing wrote in the first issue of the Hollywood Quarterly (predecessor of the present Film Quarterly), “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” is not only the title of a popular Civil War song, it is a symbol and a situation. indd 19 6/7/2011 10:55:26 AM 20 AMERICAN FILM AND SOCIETY SINCE 1945 meanings, it signifies the return of heroes, or wars ended, of happy reunions after hardwon but glorious victories, and of peace after battle.

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