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Taking Hollywood Back: The Historical Costume Drama, the Biopic, and Popular Front U.S. Film Criticism


Throughout the 1930s, U.S. Left film critics held a conflicted socioaesthetic position. On one level, they explored the political potential certain commercial cinematic conventions held. At the same time, they reinforced traditional gender hierarchies that consumer culture was challenging by consistently celebrating male-centered genres like the biopic over female-centered ones like the costume drama.