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The Hollywood Film Musical

Barry Keith Grant

ISBN: 978-1-405-18252-2 April 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 192 Pages


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
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

“Summing Up: Recommended.  Lower-and upper-division undergraduates; general readers.”  (Choice, 1 November 2012)