Please email your bibliography along with a rough title and brief description of your topic to your TA on Nov 15.

Choose an American, narrative film from the period 1930-1960 (years 1930 and 1960 are included). Write a research paper in which you analyze your film of choice from a historical perspective. You may work on the same film you chose for your mid-term assignment, if you want. Please do not choose a film we have watched/will watch in class.

This paper must be 7-9 pages long.

Citation style- Chicago, Font size- 12, Spacing- double

You can research the film in several ways including:

How the film used a new technology – e.g. sound, color, widescreen, 3D

Or how Hollywood was affected by other technologies like TV

How the film represents a social issue – e.g. sexuality, gender, race relations, war, crime, youth culture

How the film reflects changes/events in the film industry – e.g. the Hollywood Blacklist, censorship and the Production Code, independent production

How the film fits into a particular genre or cycle of films – e.g. noir, gangster films, screwball comedy etc.

Find 5-6 secondary sources for this paper. These are sources written by someone else, but do not have to be from the time that the film was made. This list of sources must not include any readings from the class nor any sources you found for the mid-term. You may use class readings and/or mid-term sources, but you must find 5-6 new secondary sources.

These should be taken from scholarly publications such as books, film journal articles, reputable film websites which feature articles by film critics (like Senses of Cinema, NOT random blogs OR encyclopedia websites), DVD interviews and commentary. Try to accrue a good range of perspectives on your film.

This paper should include close analysis of your film, which is then contextualized by your historical research.

TIP: Make your paper’s title a question – this way, your thesis will simply be the answer to this question.

E.g. Instead of “Crime and Gangsters in Public Enemy (1931)”

A more helpful title might be “How did the popularity of real-life gangsters and organized crime in 1930s American society affect the themes, plot, characters and design of Public Enemy (1931)?”


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