Cinema Journal 39.1, Fall 1999
Leff, Leonard J.
"Come on Home with Me": 42nd Street and the Gay Male World of the 1930s
- Gays in popular culture -- United States -- History -- 1933-1945.
- Warner Bros. Pictures, prod. 42nd Street [film]
- Gay men and musicals -- United States.
In 1933, when the fairy was the most visible
representative of American gay culture, Warner Bros.' 42nd Street
portrayed its lead character, Julian Marsh, as a "masculine homosexual"
who lent a gay sensibility to the film's narrative and the musical
numbers that animated it.
Lois Weber's The Blot: Rewriting Melodrama, Reproducing the Middle Class
- Melodrama in motion pictures.
- Weber, Lois, 1883-1939, dir. Blot [film]
- Middle class in motion pictures.
This 1921 film about the economic and emotional
struggles of an impoverished professor's family dramatizes the intense
struggles over gender and class ideologies in the early 1920s. Weber's
formal innovations transform conventions of melodrama and realism to
articulate visually the cultural anxieties centered on the reproduction
of a changing middle class.
Morris, Christopher D.
Torn Curtain's Futile Talk
- Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-, dir. Torn curtain [film]
- Symbolism in motion pictures.
- Motion pictures and language -- Psychological aspects.
While conceding the story's moral ambiguities, most
critics of Torn Curtain ultimately concur with the popular judgment
of the film as a satire flawed by a weak script, production problems,
and even the director's indifference. This deconstructive study reads
the film as a narrative of the illusion of mutual understanding, one
that puts into question political, ethical, and religious distinctions.
Berrettini, Mark L.
Private Knowledge, Public Space: Investigation and Navigation in Devil in a Blue Dress
- Franklin, Carl, dir. Devil in a blue dress [film]
- Film noir.
- Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
Carl Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
uses film noir's critical potential to present a studied assessment
of Los Angeles' "dark" criminal terrain as it is defined by the color
line. In this regard, the film pays significant attention to figures
historically marginalized in postwar L.A.
Lindstrom, J. A.
"Almost Worse than the Restrictive Measures": Chicago Reformers and the Nickelodeons
- Chicago (Ill.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
- Motion pictures and teenagers -- Illinois -- Chicago.
- Reformers -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
This essay examines the reform movement's response
to the nickelodeon boom in Chicago and shows that it was cautiously
supportive of moving pictures while simultaneously promoting the need
for municipal government to become more responsible for recreational
activities for youth.