Hollywood Renaissance

Hollywood Renaissance : The Cinema of Democracy in the Era of Ford, Kapra, and Kazan

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American film directors from the late 1930s to the early 1960s instigated a renaissance of original artistic works that helped reinvigorate and renew American culture. During a time of unprecedented danger from anti-democratic forces both abroad and at home, the most imaginative and creative films of these directors - John Ford, Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Fred Zinnemann, Elia Kazan, George Stevens - articulated issues, themes, and realities at the core of the American experience. In this lively and original book, Sam Girgus offers a fresh look at films such as The Searchers, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, High Noon, and On the Waterfront. He shows how these films are part of the cultural and historic debate that examines, structures, and questions what modern America means to its people, the world, and history.show more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 15 b/w illus.
  • 1139173189
  • 9781139173186

Review quote

"...Girgus's readings of the films are always thought-provoking and often persuasive." Benjamin L. Alpers, Culture Front "Girgus is at his best when offering close readings of key films." Steven J. Ross, The Journal of American Historyshow more

Table of contents

1. Ethnics and Roughnecks: The making of the Hollywood renaissance; 2. The cinema for democracy: John Ford; 3. Gender and American character: Frank Capra; 4. Revisioning heroic masculinity: Hawks and Zinnemann; 5. An American conscience: Elia Kazan; 6. Losing tomorrow: George Stevens; Conclusion.show more

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