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Hollywood Cinema and Film Genre Reader

Genre movies are those commercial feature films which, through repetition and variation, tell familiar stories with familiar characters in familiar situations, he says. They also encourage expectations and experiences similar to those of similar films we have already seen…a movie was a ‘western’ or a ‘war movie’ or a ‘musical,’ and such descriptive labels came to signal information to prospective consumers about the story and the kind of pleasure it was likely to offer. (Barry K. Grant, Film Genre Reader III, Int., p.1-2, University of Texas Press, Austin, 2003.) Analyzing films based on genre allows for a more complete assessment of each film. It does not assume the authorship of the film to be strictly that of the director, as has often been the case in film analysis. The auteur theory led to such nonsense, says Phillip Dunne, the noted screenwriter of, among other films, How Green Was My Valley. If John Ford was the supreme creator of How Green Was My Valley, then who was Daryl Zanuck, me, Richard Llewelyn, who wrote the novel, or William Wyler, the director who prepared the script for production with me…To give sole authorship to a non-writer director is just absurd. (Lee Server, Screenwriter, p.110, The Main Street Press, Pittstown, NJ, 1987.) It is quite common for many of the genres to overlap. Gothic films can often also be categorized as horror films and also as science fiction. The series of Frankenstein films made in the 1930s by Universal Pictures would be examples of this. The gloomy setting in the basement of an old mansion makes them part of the gothic genre. The monster terrifying the local people makes it a horror film, while the creation of a monster by a doctor makes it science fiction. Other films that would fit into all three genres include two others produced by Universal Pictures, (which had great success producing horror films in the early thirties) Dracula from 1931 and The Invisible Man (which shows the closeconnection of film genres to literary genres.