It Happened One Night / Edition 1

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Overview

There are certain films and shows that resonate with audiences everywhere - they generate discussion and debate about everything from gender, class, citizenship and race to consumerism and social identity. This new "teachable canon" of film and television introduces students to alternative classics that range from silent film to CSI.

Its most famous prop is a blanket, and its star endorsement was that real men do not wear undershirts. The humble and even corny touchstones of Frank Capra's Academy Award-winning 1934 comedy It Happened One Night belie its power and consequential status in the history of classic Hollywood cinema.

Through its screwball comedy, spunky heroine, bickering lovers, and class conflicts, It Happened One Night invites discussion of film history, the studio system, and the problems posed by sound cinema for early-1930s censorship codes.

A strong case study for teaching American Depression Era history and film genre development.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Filled with clearly explained theory, it is an exemplary guide for film students and teachers. Its shrewd reading of the film empowers the text; the meticulous research and subtle analysis is sophisticated enough for high level readers yet accessible enough for those new to the field. ... This book is not just for lovers of Capra, Gable, or even 'old films'—the concepts of gender, class, stardom, and censorship developed in this text are pertinent for any film buff." (M/C Reviews, April 2010)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Linda Mizejewski is a Professor of Women’s Studies at the Ohio State University. She is the author of Divine Decadence: Fascism, Female Spectacle, and the Makings of Sally Bowles (Princeton, 1992), Ziegfeld Girl: Image and Icon in Culture and Cinema (Duke, 1999), and Hardboiled & High Heeled: the Woman Detective in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2004), as well as the author of numerous essays and a teaching manual for Making Sense of Movies ( McGraw Hill, 2002). Mizejewski has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Slovakia and Romania, and her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2004 she was the winner of Ohio State University’s Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments x

Introduction: Little Picture, Big Classic 1

Legends and a Legendary Hit 1

Adaptation: "Night Bus" to Sleeper Hit 6

Capra and Authorship 13

1 Rules and Unruliness: Romantic Comedy 17

Gender and Genre 17

Screwball Characters Meet Cute 21

Intimacy, Violence, and Marriage 30

2 Sex and Censorship: The Wavering Walls of Jericho 41

The Hays Office and the Production Code 41

Censorship and the Power of "It" 46

Constructing the Walls of Jericho 51

The Walls Tumble Down 62

3 Capra, Class, and the Runaway Heiress 69

Hollywood and the Great Depression 69

The Runaway Heiress 75

Capra and Class Politics 83

4 Stardom: Shirtless Gable, Classy Colbert 96

Cave Man and a Menace to Morals 96

"Who Do You Think You Are? Clark Gable?" 103

Tough Dame, Lovely Frog 110

The Runaway Bride 118

Notes 122

Works Cited 126

Index 132

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