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Laughing Hysterically
Author: Ed Sikov

ISBN: 9780231079839
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 282
Published: 17 December 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.0 x 1.7
Description:
With the likes of Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and Frank Tashlin revelling in "monkeys, babies, beautiful blondes, money, and cruelty" in their signature films of the 1950s, this seemingly conformist period turns out to be one of the most dynamic and original eras in Hollywood history. What distinguishes these directors is their candid and amusing exploration of cultural anxieties in carnival form. Quirky yet complex films such as Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Sunset Boulevard, The Trouble with Harry, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? released and expressed the sexual repression and frustration we commonly associate with the decade. In clear and elegant prose, Sikov argues that these comedies are examples of popular cinema's uncanny capacity for cultural criticism. Highlighting Hawks's "skewed classicism, " Wilder's "gallows humor, " Hitchcock's "subversive morbidity, " and Tashlin's "shrill CinemaScopic" fragmentation, the author discusses the raucous "rebelliousness of the films these directors made in an era of widespread conservatism. Through satire and caricature, their films focus on...

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