Assignment 24190

You may use films we’ve seen in class and outside viewing.
1. Why was the Classical Hollywood Studio System so important in establishing the American motion picture as the most pervasive cultural influence in America from 1900 until at least the early 1950s? How did this system help Hollywood to dominate business in theaters around the world? What factors led to its decline by the late 1950s?
2. The Pre-Code Era was shocking even by some of today’s standards. Why did the Movie Moguls and the filmmakers allow this to happen and what led to the enforcement of the Production Code? Do you feel that the strong censorship that followed for 30 years was justified?
3. The Best Years of Our Lives was the quintessential film for returning WWII veterans and its three protagonists represented a significant percentage of the real-life veterans at that time. What forces in the lives of these characters (Al, Fred, Homer) illustrated so well the problems veterans faced from 1945-1950?
4. Film Noir is a distinctive genre/style of American Cinema. Name several films that you believe are most representative of the various traits of Noir. You will receive a list of these Noir characteristics that we discussed in class (and beyond).
5. How did Hollywood’s contribution to World War II change the nature and direction of the American film after WWII. The key directors are Frank Capra, John Huston, John Ford, William Wyler, and George Stevens.
6. What makes a classic film? We’ve seen Baby Face, It Happened One Night, The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Best Years of Our Lives, Out of the Past, and others while you’re working on this exam. Describe and illustrate with scenes from the films you choose (at least two).
7. The Hollywood Ten were producers, writers, and directors who challenged the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late 1940s and lost. They ended up in jail because they refused to cooperate and answer questions or “name names” of others they associated with who were thought to be communists. What is your impression of these men and this era that led to the notorious Blacklist. Elia Kazan escaped the Blacklist and jail by cooperating with HUAC and naming names, thereby saving his career. On The Waterfront was his allegorical defense for what he did. Do you think he was justified and does the film provide a credible argument?
8. Chapter Six of the Corrigan text, Researching the Movies, is essential reading prior to and during the planning and writing of your final research paper this semester. How can this chapter guide you in writing an effective paper? Be sure to read the sample essays at the end of the chapter.