Competing Frontiers, 1933–1938

J.E. Smyth

in Reconstructing American Historical Cinema

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780813124063
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134765 | DOI:
Competing Frontiers, 1933–1938

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This chapter examines the production of historical films in the U.S. during the period from 1933 to 1938. When censorship dismantled the production of historical gangster films, film studios were also unable to produce another award-winning film like Cimarron. Most of the films produced during this period reflect their authors' desire to revise, embarrass, emulate, or add to the work of traditional historians. Their different inabilities to sustain a critical view of the American past indicated a moment of crisis and doubt for historical filmmaking.

Keywords: historical films; U.S.; censorship; gangster films; filmmaking

Chapter.  10639 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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