This authoritative collection of introductory and specialized readings explores the rich and innovative history of this period in American cinema. Spanning an essential range of subjects from the early 1900s Nickelodeon to the decline of the studio system in the 1960s, it combines a broad historical context with careful readings of individual films.
Charts the rise of film in early twentieth-century America from its origins to 1960, exploring mainstream trends and developments, along with topics often relegated to the margins of standard film histories
Covers diverse issues ranging from silent film and its iconic figures such as Charlie Chaplin, to the coming of sound and the rise of film genres, studio moguls, and, later, the Production Code and Cold War Blacklist
Designed with both students and scholars in mind: each section opens with an historical overview and includes chapters that provide close, careful readings of individual films clustered around specific topics
Accessibly structured by historical period, offering valuable cultural, social, and political contexts
Contains careful, close analysis of key filmmakers and films from the era including D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Erich von Stroheim, Cecil B. DeMille, Don Juan, The Jazz Singer, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Scarface, Red Dust, Glorifying the American Girl, Meet Me in St. Louis, Citizen Kane, Bambi, Frank Capra's Why We Fight series, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Rebel Without a Cause, Force of Evil, and selected American avant-garde and underground films, among many others.
Additional online resources such as sample syllabi, which include suggested readings and filmographies for both general specialized courses, will be available online.
May be used alongside American Film History: Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present, to provide an authoritative study of American cinema through the new millennium