American Cinema of the 1940s, American Cinema of the 1940s, 0813536995, 0-8135-3699-5, 978-0-8135-3699-6, 9780813536996, , Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema, American Cinema of the 1940s, 0813537002, 0-8135-3700-2, 978-0-8135-3700-9, 9780813537009, , Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema, American Cinema of the 1940s, 0813555027, 0-8135-5502-7, 978-0-8135-5502-7, 9780813555027, , Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinem
American Cinema of the 1940s

Themes and Variations
Wheeler Winston Dixon (Editor)
304 pages, 6.125 x 9.25
Cloth, November 2005 $70.00   ADD TO CART
Paper, November 2005 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, November 2005 $74.00   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Series: Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema
Subject Area:
American Studies, Film, Media Studies, and Communications


The 1940s was a watershed decade for American cinema and the nation. Shaking off the grim legacy of the Depression, Hollywood launched an unprecedented wave of production, generating some of its most memorable classics, including Citizen Kane, Rebecca, The Lady Eve, Sergeant York, and How Green Was My Valley. In 1942, Hollywood joined the national war effort with a vengeance, creating a series of patriotic and escapist films, such as Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, The Road to Morocco, and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

With the end of the war, returning GIs faced a new America, in which the country had been transformed overnight. Film noir reflected a new public mood of pessimism and paranoia, in such classic films of betrayal and conflict as Kiss of Death, Force of Evil, Caught, and Apology for Murder, depicting a poisonous universe of femme fatales, crooked lawyers, and corrupt politicians.

With the threat of the atom bomb lurking in the background and the beginnings of the Hollywood Blacklist, the 1940s was a decade of crisis and change. Featuring essays by a group of respected film scholars and historians, American Cinema of the 1940s brings this dynamic and turbulent decade to life. Illustrated with many rare stills and filled with provocative insights, the volume will appeal to students, teachers, and to all those interested in cultural history and American film of the twentieth century.


“There is nothing like this series. Screen Decades firmly situates American cinema in the realms of material culture, popular culture, cultural narrative, reception analysis, and industrial history.”

—American Quarterly

Author / Editor Bio

WHEELER WINSTON DIXON is the James Ryan Endowed Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and editor of the Quarterly Review of Film and Video.


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