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Author Hayward, Susan, 1945-

Title French costume drama of the 1950s : fashioning politics in film / Susan Hayward
Published Bristol, UK ; Chicago : Intellect, 2010
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (480 pages) : illustrations
Contents Contexts. Introduction -- Setting out the terrain: genre and history -- Setting out the terrain: technologies, technicians and stars -- Fairytales, foxy women and swashbuckling heroes. Costume drama from late-medieval to the eighteenth century: an overview -- Mysterious microcosms: three 'fairytales' -- Foxy women: queens, mistresses and minxes -- Swashbuckling heroes -- Representing history: epics, courtesans and master narratives 1796-1888. Setting the terrain: France 1796-1888 -- Representing history: 1796-1814 Napoleon Bonaparte/Napoleon I -- Representing the social: restoration-July Monarchy (1814-1848) -- Epic grandeur: part one, philanthropists -- Epic grandeur: part two, avengers -- From the Second to the Third Republic: innovation, corruption and new identities -- The Second Empire in the pink: violets, waltzes, and the pursuit of knowledge -- The Second Empire in the raw: Martine Carol's celebrity courtesans -- From Empire to Republic: a modernized France emerging -- Censoring the classics: Bel-Ami, Louis Daquin (1954; released in France 1957) -- Belle Epoque mania: Paris, the provinces and biopics. Belle Epoque films: an overview -- Parisian society of the Belle Epoque through film -- Truth and lies and the pursuit of marriage: love intrigues outside Paris -- Making li(v)es: Belle Epoque biopics -- Conclusion -- Bibliography -- Appendix: French costume drama of the 1950s -- Index
Summary When political and civil unrest threatened France?s social order in the 1950s, French cinema provided audiences a seemingly unique form of escapism from such troubled times: a nostalgic look back to the France of the nineteenth and earlier centuries, with costume dramas set in the age of Napoleon, the Belle Époque, the Revolution and further back still to seventeenth-century swashbuckler adventures and tales of mystery and revenge. Film critics, have routinely dismissed this period and this genre of French cinema, overlooking its importance in terms of political cultural history. French Costume Drama of the 1950s redresses this balance, exploring a diverse range of films including Guitry?s Napoléon (1955), Vernay?s Le Comte de Monte Cristo (1953), and Le Chanois? Les Misérables (1958) to expose the political cultural paradox between nostalgia for a lost past and the drive for modernization
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 453-457) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Epic films -- France.
Motion pictures -- France -- History.
France -- Social conditions -- 1945-1995.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1282896067
1841504343 (eisbn)
9781841504346 (eisbn)