Pursuits of Happiness
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Pursuits of Happiness : The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage

4.14 (146 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

During the '30s and '40s, Hollywood produced a genre of madcap comedies that emphasized reuniting the central couple after divorce or separation. Their female protagonists were strong, independent, and sophisticated. Here, Stanley Cavell names this new genre of American film-"the comedy of remarriage"-and examines seven classic movies for their cinematic techniques and for such varied themes as feminism, liberty, and interdependence.

Included are Adam's Rib, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, and The Philadelphia Story.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 20.57mm | 417g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 067473906X
  • 9780674739062
  • 281,708

Back cover copy

Each of the seven chapters that follow contains an account of my experience of a film made in Hollywood between 1934 and 1949.
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Table of contents

Introduction: Words for a Conversation 1. Cons and Pros The Lady Eve 2. Knowledge as Transgression It Happened One Night 3. Leopards in Connecticut Bringing up Baby 4. The Importance of Importance The Philadelphia Story 5. Counterfeiting Happiness His Girl Friday 6. The Courting of Marriage Adam's Rib 7. The Same and Different The Awful Truth Appendix: Film in the University Acknowledgments Index
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Review quote

No book about the art of Hollywood I have ever read can make its readers stop and think more effectively than this one. -- S. S. Prawer Times Literary Supplement This is a voice like no other in philosophy, today or ever. -- Arthur C. Danto October The great achievement of...Pursuits of Happiness is that it finally provides a solid framework for the serious discussion of the great dialogue comedies of the thirties and forties, perhaps the most revived and loved movies of Hollywood's golden period. -- Al LaValley American Film This just must be, in its close readings and its stunning associations, one of the most compelling accounts of its kind. The fact is, it just is its kind. -- Geoffrey Hawthorn London Review of Books Stanley Cavell's book succeeds brilliantly...The individual 'readings' of the films and the general conceptual plan in which they are embedded are both so rich and rewarding that...'brilliant'...seems an understatement. -- Gerald Mast Journal of Aesthetic Education
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About Stanley Cavell

Stanley Cavell was Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Emeritus, at Harvard University.
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Rating details

146 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 43% (63)
4 38% (55)
3 12% (18)
2 4% (6)
1 3% (4)
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