Thomas Doherty reveals how and why Hollywood marshaled its artistic resources on behalf of the war effort and interprets the cultural meanings and enduring legacies of the motion picture record of the war years. He explains the social, political, and economic forces that created such genre classics as Mrs. Miniver, as well as comedies, musicals, newsreels, documentaries, cartoons, and army training films. He examines the Hollywood Production Code, government propaganda films, the portrayal of women and minorities in films of the period, and Hollywood's role in World War I and Vietnam.
This revised edition includes new sections exploring the recent resurgence of interest in World War II films, including Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line.
Thomas Doherty is associate professor of the American Studies Department and chair of the Film Studies Program at Brandeis University. He is author of Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930—1934 (Columbia, 1999) and Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilizatzion of American Movies in the 1950s, and is associate editor of the film journal Cinéaste.
1. On the Cusp of Classical Hollywood Cinema
Patrolling the Diegesis
2. Breadlines and Box Office Lines: Hollywood in the Nadir of the Great Depression
The Lost Millions
A Synchronized Industry
3. Preachment Yarns: The Politics of Mere Entertainment
4. Dictators and Democrats: The Rage for Order
Hankering for Supermen
"The Barrymore of the Capital": The Newsreel Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
A New Deal in the Last Reel
The Mad Dog of Europe
5. Vice Rewarded: The Wages of Cinematic SinÆMDNMØ
Models of Immorality
"Women Love Dirt"
6. Criminal Codes: Gangsters Unbound Felons in Custody
Rushing Toward Death: The Gangster Film
Men Behind Bars: The Prison Film
7. Comic Timing: Cracking Wise and Wising Up
Commentators on the Action
Story Screenplay, and All Dialogue by Mae West
The Blue Eagle and Duck Soup (1933)
8. News on Screen: The Vividness of Mechanical Immortality
The Newsreel Ethos
Covering Up the Great Depression
9. Remote Kinships: The Geography of the Expeditionary Film
Points on the Compass
Faking It: Phoney Expeditions and Real Deaths
The Dark Continent
10. Primitive Mating Rituals: The Color Wheel of the Racial Adventure Film
"He's White": Tarzan the Ape Man and Tarzan and His Mate (1932)
Red Skin Red Lips Massacre (1934)
East Mates West
"The Ethiopian Trade"
Nerve and Brains: Paul Robeson and The Emperor Jones(1933)
Beauty and the Beast: King Kong (1933)
11. Nightmare Pictures: The Quality of Gruesomeness
Rugged Individualism: Dracula, Frankenstein, and Their Progeny(1931)
The Lower Orders Rise Up: Island of Lost Souls (1933) and Freaks (1932)
12. Classical Hollywood Cinema: The World According to Joseph I. Breen
"The Storm of '34"
Hollywood Under the Code
Post-Code Hollywood Cinema
Appendix 1: The Text of the Production Code
Appendix 2: Particular Applications of the Code and the Reasons Therefore [Addenda to 1930
Appendix 3: Amendments
Appendix 4: The Critical and Commercial Hits of 19301934