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Classic HollywoodLifestyles and Film Styles of American Cinema, 1930-1960$
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Veronica Pravadelli

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038778

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038778.001.0001

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Normative Desires and Visual Sobriety

Normative Desires and Visual Sobriety

Apogee of the Classical Model

(p.43) 2 Normative Desires and Visual Sobriety
Classic Hollywood

Veronica Pravadelli

University of Illinois Press

This chapter argues that in the mid-1930s, American cinema perfected a classical form that dominated till the end of the decade. This form arose out of a new convergence between lifestyle and film style: in ideological terms, the period supported normative and traditional images of femininity and masculinity, and its film style privileged unified narratives based on action, dialogue, and continuity editing. The return to traditional values is manifested by a renewed interest in masculinity: in contrast to the earlier period, which is dominated by female stars, the most popular figured in the second half of the 1930s are male stars, along with child and teenage actors. This trend influences the most important genres of the period: screwball comedy, adventure, and biopic.

Keywords:   American cinema, classical form, film style, normative femininity, masculinity, screwball comedy, adventure film, biopic

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