CTV 2332/CTV 5310: American Popular Film
This course will examine Hollywood movies in the 1970s. In the late 1960s some Hollywood films began to break from the stylistic traditions and conventions of the past. While economic factors in the film industry itself partially account for it, change also came in response to forces in American society at large. It’s no coincidence that Hollywood entered its most socially reverberant period during the political tumult of the 1960s and 70s, against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War in particular, which is to say, in a time of questioning of all traditional social institutions and values. Filmmakers began to respond to the social, political, and cultural changes brought about by the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, the Watergate scandal, and the energy crisis. The decade 1also marked the emergence of the first “film school generation” of directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and George Lucas. The complex social and cultural struggles of the time are recorded in some of the decade’s most popular movies.
This course fulfills requirements under Perspectives (Arts) for the current General Education Curriculum.
Dr. Rick Worland received his Ph.D. in Motion Picture/Television Critical Studies from UCLA. He is a Professor in the Division of Film & Media Arts at Southern Methodist University where his teaching includes International Film History, Documentary, popular genres including Westerns, science fiction, the horror, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. He has been teaching courses on Hollywood movies of the 1960s and 1970s for the past twenty years, and was the 1997-98 Algur H. Meadows Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Meadows School of the Arts. His work has been published in Cinema Journal, The Journal of Film & Video, and The Journal of Popular Film & Television among others. His first book, The Horror Film: An Introduction, appeared in 2007 from Blackwell Publishing. He is currently working on a new book, Ultimate Trips: Hollywood Films in the Vietnam Era, 1960-1979 (Wiley/Blackwell, forthcoming 2013).
Learning Outcomes and Benefits
- Survey some of the most popular and significant films of the 1970s in order to grasp the range and variety of American filmmaking
- Point to influential links and exchanges between American movies and larger social and cultural events during this time
- Provide basic concepts and insights for critical and stylistic analysis of movies in order to generalize about such relationships in film and media today or in other periods.