Hollywood And The American Historical Film

Hardcover | February 15, 2012

EditorJ.E. Smyth

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This definitive interdisciplinary collection by leading scholars probes the theoretical and historical contexts of films made about the American past, from silent film to the present. The book offers a fresh assessment of studio era historical filmmaking and its legacy across a range of genres.

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This definitive interdisciplinary collection by leading scholars probes the theoretical and historical contexts of films made about the American past, from silent film to the present. The book offers a fresh assessment of studio era historical filmmaking and its legacy across a range of genres.

  J.E. SMYTH is Assistant Professor of History and Comparative American Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. She is the author of Reconstructing American Historical Cinema from Cimarron to Citizen Kane and Edna Ferber's Hollywood: American Fictions of Gender, Race and History, which won the Association of American Publishers' Pro...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.62 inPublished:February 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023023092X

ISBN - 13:9780230230927

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Table of Contents

Introduction; J.E.Smyth Film and History: Artefact and Experience; W.SusmanFilm History, Reconstruction and Southern Legendary History in The Birth of a Nation (1915); D.Culbert The Hollywood Western, the Movement-Image and Making History; M.LandyRipping the Portieres at the Seams: Lessons from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) on Gone with the Wind (1939); S.CourtneyHollywood About Hollywood: Genre as Historiography; R.SklarSome Like it Hot (1959) and The Virtues of Not Taking History Too Seriously; D.EldridgeVico's Age of Heroes and the Age of Men in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962); M.Roche & V.HösleAnatomy of a Shipwreck: Warner Bros., The White House and the Celluloid Sinking of PT 109 (1963); N.J.Cull The Long Road of Women's Memory: Fred Zinnemann's Julia (1977); J.E.SmythInventing Historical Truth on the Silver Screen; R.Rosenstone "This is not America; this is Los Angeles": Crime, Space and History in the City of Angels; I.ScottBetween Nostalgia and Regret: Strategies of Historical Disruption from Douglas Sirk to Mad Men; V.DikaFurther Reading

Editorial Reviews

"Smyth has assembled a stellar cast of authors in a comparatively rare attempt to bring together expertise in both film scholarship and American history." - Melvyn Stokes, University College London, UK "This groundbreaking collection of essays redraws the parameters of the historical film, expanding it to include a wide range of films set in the past, notably comedies, westerns and melodramas. Dry debates about historical accuracy and authenticity are rejected in favour of case studies that seek an understanding of the power and pleasures that this genre holds. Written in a lively and accessible style, and harbouring a wealth of authoritative scholarship, it is bound to become a fixture of university courses and a landmark in its field." - Mark Glancy, Queen Mary University of London, UK"Hollywood and the American Historical Film explores the specifics as well as the methods whereby Hollywood offers up history to its audiences. Filled with succinct essays whether David Culbert' s refreshing and concise re-assessment of Birth of a Nation; Robert Sklar's investigation of the ways in which Hollywood films represent Hollywood as a changing industry, culminating with George Cukor's A Star is Born (1954); or J.E. Smyth's own look at Fred Zinnemann's Julia (1977) based on composite and fictive characters: this collection brings a new complexity to its topic. These essays are consistently fascinating, and refreshing in their sophisticated approaches." - Charles Musser, Yale University, USA "Valuable for both historians and students of film. Summing Up: Essential."—CHOICE