The Hollywood Film Musical
American film musicals are a central genre in the evolution of cinema as an art form and popular entertainment. With an impressive range of films produced to meet an ever-growing consumer demand, musicals proved to be a powerful formula for box office success. With an accessible style and substantial depth of analysis, this engaging new title offers an overview of the history of, and the critical literature on, this popular genre.
The Hollywood Film Musical examines the synergy between the genre and the popular music industry, tracing the function of this relationship in aesthetic, ideological and industrial terms, and outlining the influence of minstrel shows, vaudeville, the Broadway stage, the recording industry, and stardom. The book also provides a selection of close readings of iconic musicals from the golden age of the 1930s right up to the new century: from Top Hat and Singin' in the Rain to Woodstock, Gimme Shelter, West Side Story and Across the Universe. As well as providing illuminating new readings of popular films, these detailed analyses reflect on critical issues such as race, gender, ideology, and authorship.