This book interprets the mutually influential relationship of political films and American culture. Surveying over two hundred films, Christensen identifies ways in which the genre has changed to reflect individual periods of history. In doing so, he builds the argument that even the most politically progressive of Hollywood's films are ultimately conservative, mirroring and reinforcing traditional American political values and maintaining the myths of American politics. Films examined include: "Birth of a Nation", "Intolerance", "The Grapes of Wrath", "Mr Smith Goes to Washington", "The Great Dictator", "Citizen Kane", "All the King's Men", "The Last Hurrah", "Dr. Strangelove", "Advise and Consent", "Patton", "The Candidate", "All the President's Men", and "Reds".
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Because Christensen is content to stitch together plot summaries with uncontroversial received opinion, his chronological survey of more or less overtly political Hollywood movies is pretty lightweight and tedious, despite the fact that the author is a political scientist. The bibliography's lack of references to works of political theory or the large body of politically oriented film criticism partially explains the book's weakness. In addition, however, the text needs more of an argued point of view and a clearer sense of its audience. This tells us much less about ourselves than it might. Marshall Deutelbaum, Purdue Univ., W. Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Blackwell Pub, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110631158448
Book Description Blackwell Pub, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0631158448