Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood

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9781588341112: Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood
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Heroes, Lovers, and Others tells the fascinating history of Latinos in film, from the birth of the movies to the present, through a series of stories about Hollywood’s most famous and enduring stars. The book features such Latino legends as Dolores del Rio, Rita Hayworth, Ramon Navarro, Desi Arnaz, Anthony Quinn, Raquel Welch, Selma Hayek, and Antonio Banderas. The sparkling parade of Latino film stars presented against the backdrop of American social and cultural history changes the way we think of race and ethnicity in Hollywood and challenges us to reexamine conventional ways of viewing our past.

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About the Author:

Clara E. Rodríguez is professor of sociology at Fordham University. She has recently updated the classic Coser, Kadushin, and Powell text, Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing. She has also been a consultant to a number of television shows and documentaries, most recently, Dora, the Explorer and Sesame Street.

From Publishers Weekly:

Rodríguez’s cultural and ethnic history traces the work of Latino actors in American film from the silent era to today. Although the Fordham University professor’s specialty is sociology and her research is compiled from clip files and an assortment of secondary sources, her smooth writing and passion for the topic make this a worthy introduction to Latino film studies. Rodríguez breaks her study into five periods, showing how political and social conditions shaped the way Latinos were received in Hollywood and depicted onscreen. Interestingly, the past seems to be repeating itself. In the silent film and early talkie days, like in today’s "postmodern" era, Latinos were much in demand and often cast in a variety of roles regardless of their ethnicity. But in between there were many lean years, marked by invisibility and stereotyping. In the "good neighbor" era of the 1940s, lighthearted and musical Latinos such as Cesar Romero and Carmen Miranda dominated. In the Cold War era of the ’50s, despite movies such as West Side Story and Giant, Latinos were largely invisible, and the Hispanic backgrounds of Latin stars like Anthony Quinn and Raquel Welch weren’t usually recognized. The ’60s and ’70s saw an "era of contestation," she writes, in which Hollywood movies cast Latinos largely as criminals, prostitutes or welfare cases, although comedians like Cheech Marin and Charo also emerged, and other Latinos began making their own films. Rodríguez also recognizes the impact of gender and class issues and includes plenty of bios of Latino actors, from Dolores Del Rio and Jose Ferrer to Jennifer Lopez and Benecio Del Toro. But a little less factual data and a little more analysis of films featuring Latino characters would have strengthened her otherwise engaging book. 57 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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9780195335132: Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood

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ISBN 10:  0195335139 ISBN 13:  9780195335132
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008
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