City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield

City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield

by Robert L. Sklar
     
 

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Often presented as a gangster, newspaper reporter, or private eye, the "city boy" seemed the quintessential product of urban America, although he was more a model for his audience than a mirror of social actuality. While blending the stories of the professional and political lives of Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield into one fascinating narrative, Robert Sklar probes the

Overview

Often presented as a gangster, newspaper reporter, or private eye, the "city boy" seemed the quintessential product of urban America, although he was more a model for his audience than a mirror of social actuality. While blending the stories of the professional and political lives of Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield into one fascinating narrative, Robert Sklar probes the cultural forces that produced this vivid cultural icon and examines its power over masculine self-definition.Often presented as a gangster, newspaper reporter, or private eye, the "city boy" seemed the quintessential product of urban America, although he was more a model for his audience than a mirror of social actuality. While blending the stories of the professional and political lives of Cagney, Bogart, and Garfield into one fascinating narrative, Robert Sklar probes the cultural forces that produced this vivid cultural icon and examines its power over masculine self-definition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is less an account of the lives of these three actors than it is a ``biography'' of their screen personas. In alternating segments, Sklar (cinema studies, New York Univ.) compares and contrasts the careers of James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and John Garfield. They were the archetypes of the ``city boy''; i.e., rebellious, individualistic, sometimes antisocial if not criminal, and rooted in modern big cities. All three were nurtured, sometimes mishandled, by Warner Brothers and at times felt they were being exploited. However, they probably could not have achieved the same level of fame at any other studio. Sklar effectively details the evolution of their personas against the background of the momentous social and political events of their era. Sklar's accessible style recommends this for most libraries.-- Roy Liebman, California State Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
From the Publisher

"Robert Sklar's portrait of these three Warner actors cum stars is more than just simple biography. It is a well-considered vehicle for looking at the studio system from its zenith in the '20s, '30s, and '40s to its nadir during the HUAC hearings of the late '40s and '50s."--Toni L. Kamins, Variety

"Sklar weaves a wondrous fabric through the lives and art of Cagney, Bogart and Garfield that energizes their performances, their failures and successes, and the failures and successes of Warner Brothers itself."--Jerome Charyn, The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691047959
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/15/1992
Pages:
332
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.11(d)

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