Hollywood Goes to Washington: American Politics on Screen by Michael Coyne

By Michael Coyne

The yankee political movie is without doubt one of the such a lot pervasive but least scrutinized genres in Hollywood cinema. It has mirrored and addressed significant matters and tensions on the middle of yankee lifestyles over the past seventy-five years from the nationwide emergency of the nice melancholy within the early Thirties ("Gabriel Over the White House") and the pre-Pearl Harbor paeans to democracy ("Mr. Smith is going to Washington") to strength threats of demagoguery and family fascism ("Citizen Kane"); from the Kennedy-esque pragmatism ("Advise and Consent") and conspiracy paradigms ("The Manchurian Candidate") of the Camelot period to the post-9/11 hysteria of George W. Bush's the USA ("Silver City"). Ranging greatly throughout either US political and Hollywood heritage, Michael Coyne brings ardour and originality to this incisive survey of yank political movies. interpreting key works, either time-honored and in addition formerly under-appreciated, the writer examines their mythology, ideology and iconography. Coyne eventually argues that the genre's legacy is of important cultural importance, really at a time while civil liberties are less than assault in the usa. His e-book will entice 'politics junkies' and movie fans alike.

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The Iron Horse was thus only Ford’s first filmic valentine to Lincoln, but his brief physical appearance in the story is underscored by his heavyweight spiritual significance. Lincoln (played here by Charles Edward Bull) is a ‘guardian angel’ to 42 Joseph Henabery as Abraham Lincoln in D. W. Griffith’s controversial epic The Birth of a Nation (1915). the young lovers in their childhood; he is a visionary, applauding the hero’s father’s dream of a transcontinental railroad (one inter-title card proclaims: ‘He feels the momentum of a great nation pushing westward – he sees the inevitable’); and his spirit functions as the symbol of continental unification (linking the railways) and national unity (binding the wounds of the Civil War) at picture’s end.

Several scenes would not have been out of place in one of Ford’s movies featuring Will Rogers. Fonda’s Lincoln is a genial fellow given to kindness and crackerbarrel wisdom, but there is already a sense of loneliness and dark brooding about him, of the heavy shadows of responsibility and legend gathering around. Underlying (and ultimately overriding) all The fatal visit to Ford’s Theater: Kay Hammond and Walter Huston in Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln. 45 Storm clouds gathering: Henry Fonda in John Ford’s Young Mr Lincoln (1939).

Several scenes would not have been out of place in one of Ford’s movies featuring Will Rogers. Fonda’s Lincoln is a genial fellow given to kindness and crackerbarrel wisdom, but there is already a sense of loneliness and dark brooding about him, of the heavy shadows of responsibility and legend gathering around. Underlying (and ultimately overriding) all The fatal visit to Ford’s Theater: Kay Hammond and Walter Huston in Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln. 45 Storm clouds gathering: Henry Fonda in John Ford’s Young Mr Lincoln (1939).

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