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American Film Cycles

Reframing Genres, Screening Social Problems, and Defining Subcultures

By Amanda Ann Klein

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

The successful completion of this project would not have been possible without the financial support of the English Department of the University of Pittsburgh and the intellectual support of its faculty and students. In particular, I would like to extend my gratitude to the members of my dissertation committee, including Lucy Fischer...

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INTRODUCTION: LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

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pp. 1-24

The John C. Rice-May Irwin Kiss (1896, William Heise), later known simply as The Kiss, is believed to be the first sex act captured by the cinema (Linda Williams, Screening Sex, 27). For most of the film's brief running time, the famous actors build anticipation for the embrace promised by the film's simple title.1 They press their cheeks...

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CHAPTER 1. REAL GANGSTERS DO CRY: A CYCLICAL APPROACH TO FILM GENRES

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pp. 25-59

Toward the end of The Public Enemy (1931), the tough-as-nails gangster hero, Tom Powers (James Cagney), avenges the murder of his best friend, Matt Doyle (Edward Woods), by launching a surprise attack against Schemer Burns. Burns and at least eight members of his gang are holed up in the Western Chemical Company warehouse, and...

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CHAPTER 2. A DYING SERPENT: UNDERSTANDING HOW FILM CYCLES CHANGE OVER TIME

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pp. 60-99

In 1940, East Side Kids (Robert F. Hill), the first entry in the East Side Kids cycle (which was itself a spin-off of the successful Dead End Kids cycle of the late 1930s), was released.1 In his review of the film, the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther expresses his disdain for both East Side Kids and the Dead End Kids cycle as a whole...

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CHAPTER 3. I WAS A TEENAGE FILM CYCLE: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUTH SUBCULTURES AND FILM CYCLES

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pp. 100-137

American International Pictures' I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957, Gene Fowler, Jr.) offers a useful starting point for a discussion of how teenagers and their subcultural behaviors were both depicted and exploited by the cinema in the 1950s. In this particular entry in the juvenile-delinquent-themed teenpic cycle, we meet...

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CHAPTER 4. NOT ONLY SCREEN BUT THE PROJECTOR AS WELL: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RACE AND FILM CYCLES

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pp. 138-174

In 1991, a series of independent films dealing with black themes and directed by African Americans were all slated for release at once, including titles like Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash), Livin' Large (Michael Schultz), and Boyz N the Hood (John Singleton). This phenomenon generated an abundance of press coverage on the subject...

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CONCLUSION. LOVE, DISDAIN, AND THE FUTURE OF CYCLE STUDIES

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pp. 175-190

This book opened with a brief look at some of the earliest examples of film cycles, kissing films and train films, and examined how those two subjects were soon combined as a way to extend the financial viability of each cycle. I conclude here with an examination of some of the more recent manifestations of the film cycle, along with the...

APPENDIX: SELECTED FILMOGRAPHIES

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pp. 191-198

NOTES

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pp. 199-210

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 211-230

INDEX

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pp. 231-243


E-ISBN-13: 9780292735415
E-ISBN-10: 0292735413
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292726802
Print-ISBN-10: 0292726805

Publication Year: 2011