06-371 Classic Hollywood Cinema

Hollywood filmmaking is an art form, an economic force, and a system of representation and communication. The history of Hollywood movies covers over 100 years, from primitive beginnings in Thomas Edison's laboratory to contemporary blockbusters. The primary focus in this course is the period from 1927 to 1948, often referred to as the “Golden Age of Hollywood,” when great studios reigned and the world was dazzled by the glitter and glamour of superstars.  America's first great film artists, silver screen comedians, movies offering horror experiences or treating working class concerns, sexy comedies, the Western, and nightmarish film noir are discussed. Students analyze the development and persistence of specific narrative forms and stylistic conventions that made Hollywood films the envy (and enemy) of every film-producing nation. This course provides students with an understanding of film as an artistic medium through examination of its formal elements of photography, mise-en-scène, editing, and sound, and equips students with a vocabulary to discuss artistic integrity in film.







May be taken concurrently with 06-270.