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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

The Rugged, Seductive Mirror

Hollywood in the Early Sound Era

The Hollywood sign
The Hollywood sign

This module will explore the multifaceted and critical period of Hollywood cinema from the introduction of sound in 1927 to the enforcement of the Production Code in 1934. 

We will begin by discussing the state of the cinema at the height of silent film and discuss the revolutionary effect of sound.  We will also examine how movies reflected the many cultural trends and issues of this period: the Great Depression, the aftermath of World War One, as well as how racial and women's issues were discussed without extensive, industry wide-film censorship. 

The module will examine the birth of three film genres: the musical, the horror film, and the gangster picture.  The module will end with the enforcement of the Production Code and pose the question of whether this industry-wide attempt at a more ethical cinema produced the intended effect, stifled free artistic expression, or some combination thereof.


Avenue Campus

Course date/time:

Tuesdays starting at 18:30 from 2nd October 2012


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