Camera and Action

American Film as Agent of Social Change, 1965–1975


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About the Book

This study examines the changes in the American film industry, audiences, and feature films between 1965 and 1975. With transformations in production codes, adjustments in national narratives, a rise in independent filmmaking, and a new generation of directors and producers addressing controversial issues on the mainstream screen, film was a major influence on the social changes that defined these years. After a contextual history of film during this era, several key films are discussed, including The Graduate, Alice’s Restaurant, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, M*A*S*H, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Little Big Man, and The Godfather series. The author describes how these films represented a generation, constructed and deconstructed American culture, and made important contributions during ten years of great change in America.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Elaine M. Bapis is an adjunct professor and has taught literature, history, and film at Westminster College and the University of Utah. Her current interests include the study of early twentieth century immigration and film. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Bibliographic Details

Elaine M. Bapis
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3341-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5123-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface     1

Introduction: For the Love of Film     3


1. As Hollywood Turned: Expansion, Exhibition, Codes, and Directors at Mid-Decade       15

2. A New Audience for the Now Movie: Film Societies, the College Campus, the American Film Institute and Making Film Art      27


3. The Graduate: Representing a Generation     41

4. Alice’s Restaurant: Constructing Hippie Folk and Legitimizing Revolutionary Distinction      61

5. Back in the Saddle Again: Men, Westerns, Hippies, and Easy Rider      78


6. Under the Influence: Representing Masculinity in Midnight Cowboy      99

7. No Icon Left Unturned: M*A*S*H and the Project of Antiestablishment      114

8. Out of the Saddle, into the Seventies: Gender in McCabe and Mrs. Miller      128

9. What’s Sex Got to Do with It? Carnal Knowledge and the Delusion of Telling It Like It Is      145


10. Forever Native: Penn’s New Authentics in Little Big Man      163

11. The Godfather Films as America      178

Conclusion: Cinematic Anarchists Go Generic      204

Chapter Notes      213

Selected Bibliography      237

Index      253