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Hollywood Genres and Postwar America - 
      Mike Chopra-Gant

Hollywood Genres and Postwar America

Masculinity, Family and Nation in Popular Movies and Film Noir

This is a clear and engrossing account of how popular films in America just after the close of the Second World War played out America's mood at that crucial time. It is also a revisionist challenge to received scholarly understanding of this mood, which has tended to be seen as characterized by an abiding pessimism most clearly manifested in the films noir of the period. Les mer
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This is a clear and engrossing account of how popular films in America just after the close of the Second World War played out America's mood at that crucial time. It is also a revisionist challenge to received scholarly understanding of this mood, which has tended to be seen as characterized by an abiding pessimism most clearly manifested in the films noir of the period. Chopra-Gant makes here an important contribution to film genre, which proposes that the 'noir and Zeitgeist' reading is based on the retrospective promotion of selected movies. He turns to the top box office successes of the period, including "Best Years of our Lives", "The Jolson Story" and "Two Years Before the Mast", finding that these films emphasise rather the triumph of American beliefs in democracy, classlessness and individualism. They deploy positive, performative masculinities and the pleasures of male friendships and celebrate the traditional American family, while recognising the problems of 'momism' and absent fathers.
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Forlag: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Innbinding: Innbundet
Språk: Engelsk
Sider: 224
ISBN: 9781850438151
Format: 23 x 16 cm
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Acknowledgements




List of tables





List of figures





Introduction: Movies, Genre and Zeitgeist

1(25)




Film noir and the Zeitgeist

2(5)




Intellectualism and middlebrow culture

7(4)




Re-thinking Zeitgeist

11(1)




Defining the popular

11(5)




What about the rest of the forties?

16(5)




What's genre got to do with it

21(5)




Re-invigorating the nation: popular films and American national identity

26(39)




Cinderellas of the services

28(5)




The myth of classlessness

33(13)




Land of opportunity

46(9)




Modernizing the American hero

55(2)




American-ness and immigrant identities

57(8)




The troubled postwar family: ``moms'' and absent fathers

65(30)




The absent father

66(12)




The pleasures of fatherhood

78(4)




Momism

82(13)




Performing postwar masculinities

95(26)




Soldier to civilian: masculinity and performativity

98(9)




Staging masculinities: performativity and genre

107(4)




Stars and performance

111(10)




Military service and male companionship

121(54)




The all-male group

122(8)




Military service and self ``improvement''

130(3)




Buddies

133(6)




Male friendship, mature masculinity and patriarchal continuity

139(7)




Popular films and ``tough'' movies

146(3)




Noir and Nation

149(11)




Social status and the veteran experience

149(3)




Class and democracy

152(4)




The noir hero

156(2)




Noir and the melting pot

158(2)




Noir and the family

160(4)




The absent father of film noir

161(2)




``Mom'' and the femme fatale

163(1)




Noir masculinities and performance

164(3)




Noir and male companionship

167(8)




The noir male group

168(2)




Noir buddies

170(2)




Noir and patriarchal continuity

172(3)




Genre and History

175(14)




Problems with ``the popular''

183(6)
Notes189(5)
Bibliography194(21)
Index215
Mike Chopra-Gant is Lecturer in Cultural Studies, London Metropolitan University