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The Decline of Sentiment seeks to characterize the radical shifts in taste that transformed American film in the jazz age. Based upon extensive reading of trade papers and the popular press of the day, Lea Jacobs documents the films and film genres that were considered old-fashioned, as well as those dubbed innovative and up-to-date, and looks closely at the works of filmmakers such as Erich von Stroheim, Charlie Chaplin, Ernst Lubitsch, and Monta Bell, among many others. Her analysisfocusing on the influence of literary naturalism on the cinema, the emergence of sophisticated comedy, and the progressive alteration of the male adventure story and the seduction plotis a comprehensive account of the modernization of classical Hollywood film style and narrative form.
About the Author
Lea Jacobs is Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is author of The Wages of Sin: Censorship and the Fallen Woman Film, 1929-1942 (UC Press) and Theatre to Cinema: Stage Pictorialism and the Early Feature Film.
Table of ContentsPreface ix1. toward a history of taste 12. hollywood naturalism 253. sophisticated comedy 794. the male adventure story 1275. the seduction plot 1806. the romantic drama 217afterword 274Notes 277Bibliography 315Filmography 327Index
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From the Publisher
"A groundbreaking examination of a pivotal turning point in American cinema. . . . Jacobs' thoroughly researched arguments make her thesis as convincing as it is original. . . . A formidable achievement."American Cinematographer