ENGL 364
Classical Hollywood Cinema Spring 2010
Division I
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Class Details

This course addresses the “Golden Age” of Hollywood cinema, the 1930’s and 1940’s, when Hollywood set the stylistic and narrative norms for mainstream cinema and turned out more films, of a higher general quality, than at any other time in its history. We will survey this enormous and varied cultural outpouring mainly by exploring several of the film genres into which films of the period were organized: the gangster film, the Western, the screwball comedy, film noir, and the melodrama (e.g., respectively, Scarface, Stagecoach, Bringing Up Baby, The Maltese Falcon, and Gaslight). Some attention will also be given to tracking the work of individual “authors” or directors (e.g., Ford, Hawks, Lubitsch), and analyzing the nature of the star system in general and the cultural significance of particular stars (e.g., Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, Ingrid Bergman). Theoretical and critical readings will be chosen to illuminate these approaches to film study. This course will require a substantial commitment of time for the frequent mandatory screenings and the regular reading assignments.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3676
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in class discussions, two papers, a midterm, and a final exam; about 15 pages of writing
Prerequisites: a 100-level prerequisite course and English 203 or 204, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: English majors
Distributions: Division I

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