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Movie Love in the Fifties

by Harvey, James

  • ISBN: 9780394585918
  • ISBN10: 0394585917

Movie Love in the Fifties

by Harvey, James

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
  • Publish date: 10/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780394585918
  • ISBN10: 0394585917
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Description: Jim Harvey, movie critic, cultural historian, author of "Romantic Comedy" ("brilliant, meticulous, a monumental work of scholarship, " Margo Jefferson, New York Times), now turns his attention away from the screwball comedies of the 1930s, to the films of postwar Hollywood.

Harvey begins with the late 1940s and shows how film noir paved the way for the living-room melodramas of the 1950s in movies that reveal feverish angst between men and women. He shows how movie heroines who dominated the 1940s films became blander and blonder in the 1950s and were replaced by the new boy-men stars who became subversive figures-rebels without a cause.

Harvey discusses the films of Hitchcock (Vertigo) and Fritz Lang (Woman in The Window; The Big Heat); Max Ophuls (The Reckless Moment), and Robert Siodmak (Christmas Holiday). He writes of the two quintessential directors of the 1950s, Nicholas Ray (In A Lonely Place; Johnny Guitar) and Douglas Sirk (Imitation of Life; Written On the Wind) -- both directors making genre pictures, both working against the movie trends of the day, when serious filmmakers, such as Stanley Kramer and Elia Kazan, were making "relevant" pictures that captured a new true-to-life realism.

Harvey analyzes the work of the director with the single greatest influence on the "post-classical" movie, Orson Welles (Touch of Evil), as well as the work of the actors and actresses who so crucially affected these films. Among them: Gloria Graham, Jane Greer, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Bennett, Kim Novak, Glenn Ford, Robert Mitchum, Sterling Hayden, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe.

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