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The Hollywood Film Musical

April 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Hollywood Film Musical (EHEP002842) cover image


This revealing history of the American film musical synthesizes the critical literature on the genre and provides a series of close analytical readings of iconic musical films, focusing on their cultural relationship to other aspects of American popular music.

  • Offers a depth of scholarship that will appeal to students and scholars
  • Leads a crucial analysis of the cultural context of musicals, particularly the influence of popular music on the genre
  • Delves into critical issues behind these films such as race, gender, ideology, and authorship
  • Features close readings of canonical and neglected film musicals from the 1930s to the present including: Top Hat, Singin' in the Rain, Woodstock, Gimme Shelter, West Side Story, and Across the Universe
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Table of Contents

List of Plates ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 Historical Overview 7

2 Critical Overview 38

3 Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 55

4 Top Hat (1935) 70

5 The Pirate (1948) 85

6 West Side Story (1961) and Saturday Night Fever (1977) 99

7 Woodstock (1970) 116

8 Phantom of the Paradise (1974) 131

9 Pennies from Heaven (1981) and Across the Universe (2007) 146

References 165

Index 171

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Author Information

Barry Keith Grant is Professor of Communication, Popular Culture, and Film at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. He is the author or editor of more than two dozen books, including Auteurs and Authorship: a Film Reader (2008) Film Genre: From Iconography to Ideology (2007), Film Genre Reader (2003), and The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film (1996). As well as being an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he is the series editor of the New Approaches to Film Genre series for Wiley-Blackwell.
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“Summing Up: Recommended.  Lower-and upper-division undergraduates; general readers.”  (Choice, 1 November 2012)

"Barry Grant gracefully articulates the pleasures of that most joyous of Hollywood’s genres.  A must read for anyone who loves musicals and, especially, for those who think they don’t."
-David Desser, University of Illinois

"Elegantly conceived and beautifully illustrated, The Hollywood Film Musical introduces the genre with all its problematic glories.  Grant is meticulous as a historian and scrupulous as a cultural critic.  Did I mention the beautiful illustrations?"
-Krin Gabbard, Stony Brook University

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The Hollywood Film Musical
ISBN : 978-1-118-23181-4
224 pages
February 2012
$31.99   BUY

The Hollywood Film Musical
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8252-2
192 pages
April 2012
$39.95   BUY

The Hollywood Film Musical
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8253-9
196 pages
April 2012
$102.00   BUY

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