The Cool and the Crazy: Pop Fifties Cinema

The Cool and the Crazy: Pop Fifties Cinema

by Peter Stanfield

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Explosive! Amazing! Terrifying! You won’t believe your eyes!    Such movie taglines were common in the 1950s, as Hollywood churned out a variety of low-budget pictures that were sold on the basis of their sensational content and topicality. While a few of these movies have since become canonized by film fans and critics, a number of the era’s biggest fads have now faded into obscurity. The Cool and the Crazy examines seven of these film cycles, including short-lived trends like boxing movies, war pictures, and social problem films detailing the sordid and violent life of teenagers, as well as uniquely 1950s takes on established genres like the gangster picture.  
  Peter Stanfield reveals how Hollywood sought to capitalize upon current events, moral panics, and popular fads, making movies that were “ripped from the headlines” on everything from the Korean War to rock and roll. As he offers careful readings of several key films, he also considers the broader historical and commercial contexts in which these films were produced, marketed, and exhibited. In the process, Stanfield uncovers surprising synergies between Hollywood and other arenas of popular culture, like the ways that the fashion trend for blue jeans influenced the 1950s Western. 
  Delivering sharp critical insights in jazzy, accessible prose, The Cool and the Crazy offers an appreciation of cinema as a “pop” medium, unabashedly derivative, faddish, and ephemeral. By studying these long-burst bubbles of 1950s “pop,” Stanfield reveals something new about what films do and the pleasures they provide. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813573007
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 04/08/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 236
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

PETER STANFIELD is a professor in the film department at the University of Kent, UK. His previous books include Maximum Movies—Pulp Fiction: Film Culture and the Worlds of Mickey Spillane, Samuel Fuller, and Jim Thompson, "Un-American" Hollywood: Politics and Film in the Blacklist Era (both Rutgers University Press), and Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy.

Table of Contents

Series Title Copyright Dedication Contents Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Monarchs for the Masses 2. War Fever 3. Got-to-See 4. Teenpic Jukebox 5. Intent to Speed 6. Punks! 7. Dude Ranch Duds Conclusion Notes Index

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