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Reconstructing American Historical CinemaFrom Cimarron to Citizen Kane$
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J.E. Smyth

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124063

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124063.001.0001

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Competing Frontiers, 1933–1938

Competing Frontiers, 1933–1938

3 (p.88) (p.89) Competing Frontiers, 1933–1938
Reconstructing American Historical Cinema

J.E. Smyth

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the production of historical films in the U.S. during the period from 1933 to 1938. When censorship dismantled the production of historical gangster films, film studios were also unable to produce another award-winning film like Cimarron. Most of the films produced during this period reflect their authors' desire to revise, embarrass, emulate, or add to the work of traditional historians. Their different inabilities to sustain a critical view of the American past indicated a moment of crisis and doubt for historical filmmaking.

Keywords:   historical films, U.S., censorship, gangster films, filmmaking

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