Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Hollywood Cinema is the foundation stone of all film and therefore should form a large part of a film student’s education. This module looks at the rise of the Hollywood product and how it has been shaped by the ideology and the history that surrounds it. We will look at two major areas: the Hollywood mode of production and the Hollywood mode of narration, (i.e. how Hollywood films are made and how they are written) and explore the connections between the two. We will interrogate the films and the scripts themselves and ask how we can better understand that most pervasive and ever-present of texts: the Hollywood movie.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
- Understand the basic historical shifts in cinema’s development, which will include areas such as technology, distribution and production.
- Explore the relationship between Hollywood cinema and other European and world traditions.
- Discuss and compare film movements and epochs.
- Display an ability to express their research in a cogent and well formatted manner.
It is expected that you will attend all taught sessions, in the same way that attendance is expected in the workplace. Indeed regular attendance has a significant impact on student engagement, understanding and successful completion of University courses. Furthermore non-attendance will significantly affect your ability successfully to complete a module and may jeopardise your ability to undertake re-assessment in the event of failing a module.
It is your responsibility as a student, just as it would be if you were an employee, to ensure that you are punctual and that your attendance has been recorded on the register each week.
Should you, for some unavoidable reason, be unable to attend a scheduled session (for example if you are ill) then you must send an email to email@example.com . Please include in your email your name and student number, the module code and name, the date of the missed session, and your reason for missing it. You should make sure that you copy the module tutor into the email and also contact your module tutor to make arrangements to catch up on any work you have missed.
Notification must be received within 6 days of the date of the missed session.
Alternatively you can inform IHCA of your absence via the telephone. Please ring 01905 542015 (Shirley Adams) with the required details.
Students with two or more unexplained absences may be required to attend a tutorial/ interview with the module leader, course leader or head of division to discuss their progress.
On this module you are expected to be courteous and attentive to your fellow classmates and to the module tutor. You are also expected to undertake the required reading each week and to view the film or films under question. Failure to do either of these things will severely impede your success on the module.
The use of mobile phones will not be tolerated in classes, lectures or screenings. Please turn off all phones before the lesson starts.
Please feel free to email me with any queries you have regarding the module, I will try to reply within 3 working days. My office hours will be posted on the door of my office, however I am always open to seeing students at other times if you make an appointment.
There will be a reader that will contain all the main readings for the module, however you should also purchase the following:
Set Texts (You should purchase these books):
Gomery, D. and C. Pafort-Overduin. 2011. Movie History: A Survey. London. Routledge.
Essential Reading (You will need to photocopy or read sections of these books):
Bordwell, D. 1987. Narration in the Fiction Film. London; Routledge.
Bordwell, D; K. Thompson and J. Staiger. 1988. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film, Style and Mode of Production to 1960. London: Rouledge.
Thompson, K and D. Bordwell. 2009. Film History: An Introduction. London: McGraw Hill.
Further Reading (You will find these books useful):
Cook, D. 2004. A History of Narrative Film. London. W.W. Norton.
Dixon, W. W. and G.A. Foster. 2008. A Short History of Film. London. IB Tauris.
Grieveson, L and P. Kramer (eds). The Silent Cinema Reader. London. Routledge.
King, G. 2002. New Hollywood: An Introduction. London. IB Tauris.
Maltby, R. 2003. Hollywood Cinema. London. Wiley Blackwell.
Neale, S. 1998. Contemporary Hollywood Cinema. London. Routledge.
Nowell-Smith, G. 1997. The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford: OUP.
Module Calendar (please note, subject to change):
|The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925)|
|Bakker, G. 2012. “The Quality Race: Feature Films and Market Dominance in the US and Europe in the 1910s”. in Neale, S (ed). The Classical Hollywood Reader. London; Routledge, pp.31-42.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Butsch, R. 2012. “The Imagined Audience in the Nickelodeon Era”, in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film, Volume 1. London: Wiley Blackwell, pp.109-129.
Chaplin, C. 2003. My Autobiography. London: Penguin.
Cherchi Usai, P. 2000. Silent Cinema: An Introduction. London: BFI.
Cook, D. 2004. A History of Narrative Film, Fourth Edition. New York: Norton.
Cousins, M. 2012. The Story of Film. London: Pavilion.
Elsaesser, T. and A. Barker (eds). Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative. London: BFI.
Koszarski, R. 2012. “Making Movies, 1915-1928” in Neale, S (ed). The Classical Hollywood Reader. London; Routledge, pp.43–60.
Maltby, R. 2003. Hollywood Cinema. London: Blackwell
Popple, S. 2003. Early Cinema: From Factory Gate to Dream Factory. New York: Columbia University.
Robinson, D. 1996. From Peep Show to Palace: The Birth of American Film. New York: Columbia University Press.
The Birth of a Nation (Griffiths, 1915)
|2. The Coming of Sound||The Jazz Singer (Crosland, 1927)|
|Required Reading||Clair, R. (1985), “The Art of Sound”, in Weis, E and J. Belton (eds), Film Sound: Theory and Practice, New York: Columbia University, pp.92-95.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Altman, R. (1992), Sound Theory/Sound Practice, London: Routledge.
Altman, R. 2012, “Two or Three Things We Thought We Knew About Silent Film Sound”, in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film, Volume 1. London: Wiley Blackwell, 417-437.
Beck, J and To. Grajeda (2008), Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound, Illinois: University of Illinois.
Belton, J. 1985. “Technology and the Aesthetics of Film Sound”. In Weis, E and J. Belton (eds), Film Sound: Theory and Practice, New York: Columbia University, 63-72.
Chion, M. (2009), Film: A Sound Art, New York: Columbia University
Chion, M. 1994. Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen. New York@ Columbia University Press.
Maltby, R. 2003. “Sound” in Hollywood Cinema, 2nd Edition. London: Blackwell, pp.238-248.
Weis, E and J. Belton (1985), Film Sound: Theory and Practice, New York: Columbia University.
The Singing Fool (Lloyd Bacon, 1928)
|3. Visual Pleasure||King Kong (Cooper and Schoedsack, 1933)|
|Required Reading||Maltby, R. 1995. “Entertainment” in Hollywood Cinema. London: Blackwell, pp. 18-30.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Altman, D. 1994. Hollywood East: Louis B. Mayer and the Origins of the Studio System. New York: Citadel Press.
Bernstein., M. 2012. “Era of the Moguls: The Studio System” in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film, Volume 2. London: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 23-54.
Cook, D. 2004. A History of Narrative Film. London; W.W. Norton.
Cousins, M. 2012. “Japanese Classicism and Hollywood Romance” in The Story of Film. London: Pavilion, pp. 116 – 185.
Gomery, D. 2007. The Hollywood Studio System: A History. Berkeley: The University of California.
Morton. R. 2005. King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon From Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. London: Applause Theatre Book Publishers.
Neale S. 2012. The Classical Hollywood Reader. London: Routledge.
Schatz, T. 1989. The Genius of the System. London: Faber and Faber.
Staiger, J. (ed). 1995. The Studio System. New Brunswick: Rutgers University.
Thomson, D. 2006. The Whole Equation. New York: Abacus.
Intolerance (Griffith, 1916)
|4. Genre||The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)|
|Required Reading||Sobchack, T. 1986. “Genre Film: A Classical Experience” in Grant, B.K. (ed), Film Genre Reader. Dallas: University of Texas Press, pp. 102-113.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Altman, R. 1999. Film/Genre. London: BFI.
Browne, N. 1998. Reconfiguring American Film Genres: Theory and History. Berkeley: University of California.
Grant, B.K. 2007. Film Genre: From Iconography to Ideology. New York: Columbia University Press.
Langford, B. 2005. Film Genre: Hollywood and Beyond. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.
Mallory, M. 2009. Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror. London: Universe Publishing.
Manguel, A. 1997. Bride of Frankenstein. London: BFI.
Neale, S. 1999. Genre and Hollywood. London: Routledge.
Schatz, T. 1981. Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking and the Studio System. London: McGraw Hill.
Wells, P. 2001. The Horror Genre: From Beezlebub to Blair Witch. New York: Columbia University.
Worland, R. 2007. The Horror Film: An Introduction. London: Blackwell.
Scarface (Hawks, 1932)
|5. The Star System||Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, 1953)|
|Required Reading||Dyer, R. 2010. “Introduction”, in Heavenly Bodies. London; Routledge, pp.1-19.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Anger, K. 1986. Hollywood Babylon. New York: Arrow Books.
Basinger, J. 2009. The Star Machine. London: Vintage.
Dyer, R. 1998. Stars. London: BFI
Gledhill, C. (ed). 1991. Stardom: Industry of Desire. London: Routledge.
Lucia, C. 2012. “Natalie Wood: Studio Stardom and Hollywood in Transition”, in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film, Volume 3. London: Wiley Blackwell, pp.26-61.
McDonald, P. 2001. The Star System: Hollywood’s Production of Popular Identities. New York: Columbia University.
Redmond, S and S. Holmes (eds). 2007. Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader. London: Sage.
Shingler, M. 2012. Star Studies: A Critical Guide. London: Palgrave.
Stacey, J. 1993. Star Gazing: Hollywood Cinema and Female Spectatorship. London: Routledge.
Willis, A. 2004. Film Stars: Hollywood and Beyond. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (Curtiz, 1942)
|6. The Hollywood Auteur||All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, 1955)|
|Required Reading||Mercer, J and M. Shingler. 2004. “Style”, in Melodrama: Genre, Style and Sensibility. London: Wallflower, pp. 38-78.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Benshoff, H.M. and S. Griffin. 2009. “Case Study: All That Heaven Allows” in America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies. London: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 234-235.
Byars, J. 2004. All That Hollywood Allows: Re-reading Gender in 1950s Melodrama. London: Routledge.
Caughie, J. 1981. Theories of Authorship: A Reader. London, Routledge.
Crofts, S. 1998. “Authorship and Hollywood”, in Hill, J & P. Church Gibson. Eds. The Oxford Guide to Film Studies. Oxford. OUP, pp.310-324.
Gledhill, C. (ed). 1987. Home is Where the Hearth Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film. London: BFI.
Halliday, J. (ed) 2011. Sirk on Sirk. London: Faber and Faber.
Klinger, B. 1994. Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture and the Films of Douglas Sirk. Bloomington: University of Indiana.
Mercer, J. and M. Shingler. 2004. Melodrama: Genre, Style and Sensibility. New York: University of Columbia.
Paul Sellors, C. 2010. Film Authorship: Auteurs and Other Myths. New York: Columbia University.
Sarris, A. 1999. “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962”, in Braudy, L. & M. Cohen. Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Oxford. OUP, pp. 515-518.
Magnificent Obsession (Sirk, 1954)
|7. Hollywood Narrative||The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963)|
|Required Reading||Field, S. 2005. “What is a Screenplay?” in Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. London: Delta, pp. 7-17.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Bordwell, D. 1985. “Principles of Narration” from Narration in the Fiction Film. London: Routledge, pp. 48-62.
Bordwell, D; J. Staiger and K. Thompson. 1985. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film, Style and Mode of Production to 1960. London: Routledge.
Deutelbaum, M. and L. Poague (eds).1989. A Hitchcock Reader. London: John Wiley and Sons.
Durgnat, R. 1974. The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock. London: Faber.
Maltby, R. 1995. Hollywood Cinema. London: Blackwell.
Maras, S. 2009. Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice. London: Wallflower.
Paglia. C. 1998. The Birds. London: BFI.
Porter Abbot. H., 2008. The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Raubicheck, W and W. Srenbick. 2011. Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds and Marnie. Chicago: University of Illinois.
Wood, R. 1989. Hitchcock’s Films Revisited. London: Faber.
North by NorthWest (Hitchcock, 1959)
|8. New Hollywood||Dog Day Afternoon (Lumet, 1975)|
|Required Reading||King, G. 2009. “New Hollywood, Version 1: The Hollywood Renaissance” in New Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction. London: IB Tauris, 11 – 48.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Biskind, P. 1999. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. London: Bloomsbury.
Casper, D. 2011. Hollywood Film: 1963 – 1976. London: Wiley Blackwell.
Langford, B. 2010. Post-Classical Hollywood. Edinburgh: EUP.
Elsaesser, T; N. King and A. Haworth (eds). 2014. The Last Great Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.
Kramer, P. 2006. The New Hollywood. London: Wallflower.
Maltby, R. 2003. Hollywood Cinema. London: Blackwell.
Nystrom, D. 2012. “The New Hollywood” in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackwell History of American Film, Vol. III. London: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 409 – 434.
Thompson, K. 1999. Storytelling in the New Hollywood. New York: Harvard University Press.
The Graduate (Nichols, 1967)
|9. Contemporary Storytelling||Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981)|
|Required Reading||Bordwell, D. 2006. “Continuing Tradition” in The Way Hollywood Tells It. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 27-51.
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Arroyo, J. (ed). 2000. Action/Spectacle Cinema. London: BFI Publishing.
Bernardoni, J. 2001. The New Hollywood. New York: McFarland.
Buckland, W. 2006. Directed by Steven Spielberg. London: Continuum
Lichtenfield, E. 2007. Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle and the American Action Movie. Middleton: Wesleyan University Press.
McGilligan, L. 2006. Back Story 4: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 1970s and 1980s. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Miller. T. (ed). The Contemporary Hollywood Reader. London: Routledge.
Prince, S. 2007. American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations. London: Berg.
Tasker, Y. (ed). 2004. Action and Adventure Cinema. London: Routledge.
Thompson. K. 1999. Storytelling in the New Hollywood. Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
|Week||Date||Film or Title of Session
|10. The High Concept Film||Speed (de Bont, 1994)|
|Wyatt, J. 1994. “A Critical Redefinition: The Concept of the High Concept”, in High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp. 8 – 24.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Field, S. 1994. Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay. New York: Dell.
King, G. 2009. New Hollywood. London. IB Tauris.
Neale, S and M. Smith (eds). 1998. Contemporary Hollywood Cinema. London: Routledge
Prince, S. 2012. “American Film After 9/11”, in Lucia, C; R. Grundmann and A. Simon (eds). The Wiley Blackman History of American Film, Volume IV, pp.
Vogler, C. 2007. Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. New York: Michael Wiese.
Top Gun (Scott, 1986)
|11. Script Workshop||The Protagonist’s Journey|
|Vogler, C. 2007. “A Practical Guide, The Archetypes” in The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. New York: Michael Wise, pp. 3-27.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Campbell, J. 2008. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: New World Library.
Jung, C.G. 1975. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. London: Routledge and Keagan Paul.
Khatib, L. 2012. Storytelling in World Cinemas, Vol.1: Form. London: Wallflower Press.
Maras, S. 2009. Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice. London: Wallflower.
Snyder, B. 2005. Save the Cat. New York: Michael Wise.
|Week||Date||Film or Title of Session|
|12. Script Workshop||Exploring the Three Act Structure|
|Required Reading||Field, S. 1994. “Endings and Beginnings”, in Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. New York: Dell.|
|Supplementary Reading and Viewing||Dancyger, K and J. Rush. 2007. Alternative Scriptwriting. London: Focal Press.
Gulino, P.J. 2004. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach. London: Continuum.
Hiltunen, A. 2012. Aristotle in Hollywood. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Walter, R. 2010. Essentials of Screenwriting. London: Plume.
Yorke, J. 2014. Into the Woods: How Stories Work and How to Tell Them. London: Penguin.
Every effort will be made to make the films available for you to watch. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have seen the texts being discussed. You can source many of the films on Netflix, Amazon Instant or You Tube, however there may be some DVD purchase necessary. In that instance, you will be informed well ahead of time.
|Viewing via GDrive||Box of Broadcasts||Netflix||Amazon|
|1||The Gold Rush (1925)||x|
|2||The Jazz Singer (1927)||x||x|
|3||King Kong (1933)||x||x|
|4||The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)||x||x||x|
|5||Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)||x||x||x|
|6||All That Heaven Allows (1955)||x|
|7||The Birds (1963)||x||x||x|
|8||Dog Day Afternoon (1975)||x||x||x|
|9||Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)||x||x||x|
Information about how to access the films will be sent round via email in the week preceding the class.
The DVD Library:
The DVD library for FLMS1200 Hollywood and Beyond is held in my office (BB113). All DVDs are available for a short term loan (1 day). You can view the film in the Pierson or on your own laptop but you must return the DVD on the day of the loan.
Answer ONE of the following essay questions:
- How does The Gold Rush (1925) exemplify the Hollywood mode of narration?
- Discuss the impact of sound on film and how did it effect the writing of the screenplay?
- How does the Hollywood mode of production affect the Hollywood mode of narration?
- Using suitable theory examine the generic conventions of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
- Using theory concerned with the star system (Dyer, Ellis etc) examine the image of a star or celebrity of your choice.
- How does All That Heaven Allows (1955) subvert the woman’s film?
- Is The Birds (1963) a conventional narrative structure? Discuss this with reference to Field’s ideas.
- What does Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) say about American culture in the 1980s?
Length: 1500 Words
Script Treatment or Scene:
Produce a short scene or treatment that demonstrates an understanding of ONE of the following aspects of Hollywood filmmaking: continuity, characterisation, three act structure, genre.
Length: 1500 Words
*The assignment will be graded within three weeks of submission*
You should submit your assignments online via your SOLE page. Please be sure you are familiar with the submission process.
If thought necessary, your work may be entered in the turnitin plagiarism checker.
For information regarding plagiarism, referencing, and general study skills please visit http://www.worc.ac.uk/studyskills/