Hollywood and Literature Criticism: Socio-Historical And Cultural Impact - Essay

Thomas H. Pauly (essay date 1982)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Pauly, Thomas H. “Gone with the Wind and The Grapes of Wrath as Hollywood Histories of the Depression.” In Movies as Artifacts: Cultural Criticism of Popular Film, edited by Michael T. Marsden, John G. Nachbar, and Samm L. Grogg, Jr., pp. 164-76. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1982.

[In the following essay, Pauly discusses the screen adaptations of Gone with the Wind and The Grapes of Wrath, noting that despite vast differences in the way critics viewed these films, they both addressed issues of survival during times of financial and social upheaval albeit from very different viewpoints.]

Popular culture of the later Depression years was...

(The entire section is 4814 words.)

Michael Selig (essay date 1992)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Selig, Michael. “From Play to Film: Strange Snow, Jacknife, and Masculine Identity in the Hollywood Vietnam Film.” Literature/Film Quarterly 20, no. 3 (1992): 173-80.

[In the following essay, Selig examines Hollywood adaptations of texts that dealt with the Vietnam war, characterizing them as unique opportunities that allow scholars to study the process of adaptation within the context of Hollywood's ideological stance towards the U.S. involvement in that conflict.]


For nearly ten years Hollywood ignored the story possibilities of the Vietnam “war.” This was so much unlike Hollywood's production...

(The entire section is 4580 words.)

Thomas Hemmeter (essay date 1994)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hemmeter, Thomas. “Adaptation, History, and Textual Suppression: Literary Sources of Hitchcock's Sabotage.” In Literature and Film in the Historical Dimension: Selected Papers from the Fifteenth Annual Florida State University Conference on Literature and Film, edited by John D. Simons, pp. 149-61. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994.

[In the following essay, Hemmeter reviews the textual antecedents of Alfred Hitchcock's film Sabotage, proposing that the director used both the novel and play versions of The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad.]

In reacting against ahistorical textual readings of films, the field of cinema studies...

(The entire section is 4138 words.)

Leonard J. Leff (essay date December 1996)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Leff, Leonard J. “Hollywood and the Holocaust: Remembering The Pawnbroker.American Jewish History 84, no. 4. (December 1996): 353-76.

[In the following essay, Leff outlines the adaptive and production history of Edward Lewis Wallant's The Pawnbroker, calling it the foundation for such films as Schindler's List and various other pictures dealing with the Holocaust.]

“Hollywood is just interested in making money. … No, to Hollywood, culture is just a dirty word. Callow, that's the word for American culture. They have so much to learn from the Europeans.”1

—Selig (the...

(The entire section is 9849 words.)

Catherine Jurca (essay date summer 1998)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Jurca, Catherine. “Hollywood, the Dream House Factory.” Cinema Journal 37, no. 4 (summer 1998): 19-36.

[In the following essay, Jurca proposes that Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House can be interpreted as an effort to clearly express national allegiance by the American film industry.]


In the September 1948 issue of Harper's, real estate developer William Levitt issued his famous postwar pronouncement on the relationship between homeownership and national allegiance: “No man who owns his own house and lot can be a communist. … He has too much to do.”1 Levitt had a...

(The entire section is 9299 words.)

Pauline Turner Strong (essay date 1998)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Strong, Pauline Turner. “Playing Indian in the Nineties: Pocahontas and The Indian in the Cupboard.” In Hollywood's Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film, edited by Peter C. Rollins and John E. O'Connor, pp. 188-205. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

[In the following essay, Strong analyzes Hollywood's approach to Native American characters and culture using Pocahontas and The Indian in the Cupboard as representative examples.]

Hollywood has long taken a leading role in shaping the American tradition of “playing Indian.” This chapter considers how this tradition is mobilized in two family films...

(The entire section is 6073 words.)