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Understanding LovePhilosophy, Film, and Fiction$
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Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195384512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.001.0001

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Talking Back to Hollywood

Talking Back to Hollywood

Ordinary Love Stories on Film, 1946–1964

Chapter:
(p.287) 14 Talking Back to Hollywood
Source:
Understanding Love
Author(s):

Judith Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.003.0014

This essay analyzes several films made on the fringes of or outside the Hollywood studio system between 1946 and 1964. These films, From This Day Forward (1946), The Marrying Kind (1952), Marty (1955), Nothing But a Man (1964), featured love stories that grounded romance, intimacy, and marriage in “ordinary” social locations as an alternative to Hollywood romance conventions relying on gentility or glamour, the accoutrements of wealth, or the drama of crossing an unlikely class divide. Made by left-wing artists influenced by labor activism, popular front feminism, and sexual modernism, these films envisioned ordinary love stories as demonstrating the possibilities inherent in expanded postwar democracy. They represented working-class marriage and other loving relationships operating within economic constraints and scarcity, enhanced by, as well as in competition with, larger networks of friends and kin, and they introduced new representations of white and black working class lovers, neither exoticized or hypersexualized.

Keywords:   Ordinary love stories, Working-class marriage, Sexual modernism, Left-wing artists, From This Day Forward, The Marrying Kind, Marty, Nothing But a Man

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