American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
At the same time, American cinema underwent radical change as well. The studio system crumbled, and the Production Code was replaced by a new ratings system. Among the challenges faced by the film industry was the dawning shift in theatrical exhibition from urban centers to surburban multiplexes, an increase in runaway productions, the rise of independent producers, and competition from both television and foreign art films. Hollywood movies became more cynical, violent, and sexually explicit, reflecting the changing values of the time.
In ten original essays, American Cinema of the 1960s examines a range of films that characterized the decade, including Hollywood movies, documentaries, and independent and experimental films. Among the films discussed are Elmer Gantry, The Apartment, West Side Story, The Manchurian Candidate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy, and Easy Rider.
conformity. But this change would quickly face compromises and contradictions, emblematized in the white mainstream audience’s embrace of Chubby Checker’s watered-down cover version of Hank Ballard’s rhythm-and-blues song “The Twist,” which became an instant hit after Checker performed it on Dick Clark’s whitebread television vehicle for rock ’n’ roll promotion, “American Bandstand.” Hugh Hefner opened his ﬁrst Playboy Club in February, and in May the ﬁrst birth control pill, Enovid, became
reductive description betrays his own, and by extension, the nation’s reluctance to acknowledge what George Lipsitz calls its ingrained “possessive investment in whiteness.” Most telling is Crowther’s complete dismissal of the pivotal narrative emphasis on the ﬁlm’s representative white male character, Karl Linder, the 1961 — MOVIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS 51 housing association agent, portrayed convincingly and tellingly by John Fiedler. Reid understands Linder’s narrative function as signiﬁer of
many in the New Left this was the inevitable repressive display of state power about which President Dwight D. Eisenhower had warned in his reference to the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address in January 1961. 4 BARRY KEITH GRANT It was just such a critique of the nation’s dominant ideology—militant, covert, interventionist, even racist—that helped make the television show “Star Trek” so popular with younger viewers. From its debut in September 1966, “Star Trek” delivered
shooting was conducted in guerrilla fashion. The ﬁnished ﬁlm beneﬁts tremendously from a sense of authenticity of place and of the people, described by Corman as “old, toothless, lined, weary rural American faces” (100). Adam Cramer (William Shatner) arrives by bus in Caxton, a small town in an unnamed southern state. He heads to the town’s hotel where he books a room with Mrs. Lambert, the elderly desk clerk. She orders the equally aged white bellhop to air out a room, berating him for his slow
western’s iconography on the part of this ﬁlm it is possible to see something of the death of the genre foreshadowed. Still, amid all the deconstruction going on, with even John Wayne putting his tongue a bit in his cheek, the western was certainly hobbled. For Sam Peckinpah, however, as evidenced by Major Dundee, the western still had much to offer, even if it was to speak about how the genre and history were sometimes at odds and the image of the western hero always contained more ﬁction than