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New York and Los AngelesThe Uncertain Future$
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David Halle and Andrew A. Beveridge

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778386.001.0001

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New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as Depicted in Hit Movies

New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as Depicted in Hit Movies

(p.484) Chapter 18 New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as Depicted in Hit Movies
New York and Los Angeles

David Halle

Eric Vanstrom

Jan Reiff

Ted Nitschke

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines depictions of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago in hit movies. It shows that each of these three cities is associated in public perceptions, perhaps even stereotyped, with one or more specific images or perspectives. New York basically reflects whatever appears to be the dominant image(s) of city/urban life at the time the movie is made, so New York's depiction changes as those dominant image(s) change. In short, New York is a stand-in for the currently popular notion of big city life. Chicago, by contrast, is stereotyped around four main images that have remained strikingly constant over time. These include gangsters and political corruption; ethnic groups; a vibrant urban center containing both jobs and a cutting-edge cultural life; and dull, bedroom-commuter suburbs that surround the vibrant urban core. Los Angeles's depictions fall midway between Chicago's thematic stability and New York's urban adaptability.

Keywords:   motion pictures, cities, popular attitudes, representations, city life

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