All-Stars and Movie Stars: Sports in Film and History

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Sports films are popular forms of entertainment around the world, but beyond simply amusing audiences, they also reveal much about class, race, gender, sexuality, and national identity. In All-Stars and Movie Stars, Ron Briley, Michael K. Schoenecke, and Deborah A. Carmichael explore the interplay between sports films and critical aspects of our culture, examining them as both historical artifacts and building blocks of ideologies, values, and stereotypes.

The book covers not only Hollywood hits such as Field of Dreams and Miracle but also documentaries such as The Journey of the African American Athlete and international cinema, such as the German film The Miracle of Bern. The book also explores television coverage of sports, commenting on the relationship of media to golf and offering a new perspective on the culture and politics behind the depictions of the world's most popular pastimes.

The first part of the book addresses how sports films represent the cultural events, patterns, and movements of the times in which they were set, as well as the effect of the media and athletic industry on the athletes themselves. Latham Hunter examines how the baseball classic The Natural reflects traditional ideas about gender, heroism, and nation, and Harper Cossar addresses how the production methods used in televised golf affect viewers. The second section deals with issues such as the growth of women's involvement in athletics, sexual preference in the sports world, and the ever-present question of race by looking at sports classics such as Rocky, Hoosiers, and A League of Their Own.

Finally, the authors address the historical and present-day role sports play in the international and political arena by examining such films as Visions of Eight and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. This important and unique collection illuminates the prominent role that sports play in society and how that role is reflected in film. Analysis of the depiction of sports in film and television provides a deeper understanding of the appeal that sports hold for people worldwide and of the forces behind the historic and cultural traditions linked to sports.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The works chosen reflect legendary sports figures or movements, large audiences, significant filmic innovations, or critical accolades...a handy package that serves personal learning, reference, library collection, or course introduction." -- Film and History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813124483
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Film and History
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,247,144
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Briley, assistant headmaster and teacher of history at Sandia Preparatory School, is the author of Class at Bat, Gender on Deck and Race in the Hole: A Line-Up of Essays on Twentieth Century Culture and America's Game.

Michael K. Schoenecke is professor of literature and languages at Texas Tech University.

Deborah A. Carmichael, assistant professor at Michigan State University, is associate editor of the journal Film & History and editor of the collection The Landscape of Hollywood Westerns: Ecocriticism in an American Film Genre.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Douglas Noverr Noverr, Douglas

Introduction Ron Briley Briley, Ron Michael K. Schoenecke Schoenecke, Michael K. Deborah A. Carmichael Carmichael, Deborah A. 1

Pt. 1 Sport as Cultural Production and Representation

Endless Summer: Consuming Waves and Surfing the Frontier Joan Ormrod Ormrod, Joan 17

"I'm Against It!": The Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers as Cultural Critique; or, Why Big-Time College Football Gives Me a Haddock Daniel A. Nathan Nathan, Daniel A. 40

Bobby Jones, Golf, and His Instructional Reels Michael K. Schoenecke Schoenecke, Michael K. 55

Televised Golf and the Creation of Narrative Harper Cossar Cossar, Harper 64

What's Natural about It?: A Baseball Movie as Introduction to Key Concepts in Cultural Studies Latham Hunter Hunter, Latham 86

Pt. 2 Masculinity, Misogyny, and Race in Sports Films

You Throw Like a Girl: Sports and Misogyny on the Silver Screen Dayna B. Daniels Daniels, Dayna B. 105

As American As ...: Filling in the Gaps and Recovering the Narratives of America's Forgotten Heroes Pellom McDaniels III McDaniels, Pellom, III 129

Basketball's Great White Hope and Ronald Reagan's America: Hoosiers Ron Briley Briley, Ron 155

"Just Some Bum from the Neighborhood": The Resolution of Post-Civil Rights Tension and Heavyweight Public Sphere Discourse in Rocky Victoria A. Elmwood Elmwood, Victoria A. 172

Fighting for Manhood: Rocky and Turn-of-the-Century Antimodernism Clay Motley Motley, Clay 199

Pt. 3 National Identity and Political Confrontation in Sports Competition

Do You Believe in Miracles? Whiteness, Hollywood, and a Post-9/11 Sports Imagination David J. Leonard Leonard, David J. 219

An OlympicOmnibus: International Competition, Cooperation, and Politics in Visions of Eight David Scott Diffrient Diffrient, David Scott 237

Why He Must Run: Class, Anger, and Resistance in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner John Hughson Hughson, John 261

"Every Nation Needs a Legend": The Miracle of Bern and the Formation of a German Postwar Foundational Myth Tobias Hochscherf Hochscherf, Tobias Christoph Laucht Laucht, Christoph 279

List of Contributors 303

Index 307

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