Free and Easy?: A Defining History of the American Film Musical Genre

Free and Easy?: A Defining History of the American Film Musical Genre

by Sean Griffin

NOOK Book(eBook)

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A History of the American Musical narrates the evolution of the film musical genre, discussing its influences and how it has come to be defined; the first text on this subject for over two decades, it employs the very latest concepts and research.

  • The most up-to-date text on the subject, with uniquely comprehensive coverage and employing the very latest concepts and research
  • Surveys centuries of music history from the music and dance of Native Americans to contemporary music performance in streaming media
  • Examines the different ways the film musical genre has been defined, what gets counted as a musical, why, and who gets to make that decision
  • The text is written in an accessible manner for general cinema and musical theatre buffs, whilst retaining theoretical rigour in research
  • Describes the contributions made to the genre by marginalized or subordinated identity groups who have helped invent and shape the musical


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118322901
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/25/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 376
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Sean Griffin is a Professor of Film and Media Arts at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out (1999). He is the editor of Hetero: Queering Representations of Straightness (2009) and What Dreams Were Made of: Movie Stars of the 1940s (2011). He co-edited Queer Cinema, The Film Reader (with Harry M. Benshoff, 2005), and co-authored America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies (Wiley Blackwell , 2009) and Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America (2006).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

1 Overture: Musical Traditions before Cinema 11

2 You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet: The Sound Revolution 35

3 Face the Music and Dance: The Depression 67

4 Singing a Song of Freedom: World War II 97

5 There’s Beauty Everywhere: MGM and the Freed Unit 125

6 Something’s Gotta Give: The Postwar Musical 147

7 Bustin’ Out All Over: The Rise of the Musical Blockbuster 175

8 In a Minor Key: The B Musical and Beyond 197

9 The Sound of Money: Musicals in the 1960s 225

10 Whistling in the Dark: A Genre in Crisis 251

11 Can’t Stop the Music: Musicals and the New Hollywood 279

12 Just Like Scheherezade: Reviving the Musical Film Genre 307

Index 335

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