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Nazi Film Melodrama$
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Laura Heins

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037740

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037740.001.0001

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Germany’s Great Love vs. the American Fortress: Home Front Melodrama

Germany’s Great Love vs. the American Fortress: Home Front Melodrama

(p.143) 4. Germany’s Great Love vs. the American Fortress: Home Front Melodrama
Nazi Film Melodrama

Laura Heins

University of Illinois Press

This chapter compares Hollywood and Nazi uses of melodrama during World War II and demonstrates that the American home front film portrayed the war effort as a defense of middle-class domesticity, while the Nazi home front melodrama suggested that war provided a means to intensified erotic experience. Home front melodramas featuring female main protagonists, contemporary settings, and a thematization of the war were produced in Hollywood and in Babelsberg, but the form and extent of this treatment was not identical in the two cinemas. The chapter considers the approaches to cinematic propaganda advocated by the leadership of both sides, by looking at the paradigmatic Hollywood home front films Mrs. Miniver and Since You Went Away (1944) in detail. It then examines Nazi home front melodramas in relation to conventions established by these Hollywood films.

Keywords:   home front films, Hollywood films, Nazi films, World War II, cinematic propaganda, Mrs. Miniver, Since You Went Away, middle-class domesticity, erotic experience

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