The 1950s: Film, Perfection & Propaganda

Subject 107-270 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1-hour lecture, a 1-hour tutorial and a 2-hour screening per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first year cinema studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Wendy Haslem
Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on the decade of the 1950s as a radical turning point in cinematic history. Considering the integral relationship that exists between the film product and society, attention will turn to key historical, economic and technological factors that affected the formal and aesthetic properties of the cinema. The darker side of 1950s Hollywood will be investigated by looking at the restructuring of the studio structure, the effect of McCarthyism, the HUAC hearings and the silencing of 'dissenting' voices. Themes and theoretical issues will include: cold war propaganda; gender, race, class and ethnicity; consumerism; ideology; the establishment of a critical and theoretical film culture. Emphasis will also be placed on the popularity of television, the shift to suburbia and the impact on film viewing and production; the rise of a new leisure culture and audience concerns with the more active experiences offered by new immersive, surround sound and widescreen film technologies such as Cinerama, Cinemascope and 3D, and by new spectacle genres; the redefinition of the star system; the popularity of Walt Disney, the birth of the film-themed park, and the beginnings of conglomeration; the influence of Hollywood B-film production and the resurgence of interest in experimental film production; the impact on and the impact of European and Japanese cinemas.

Assessment: A 1500 word tutorial paper 40% (due during the semester), and a 2500 word essay 60% (due during the examination period).Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis;

  • possess effective written communication skills;

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communication) & Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Diploma in Arts (American Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (American Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (American Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Cinema Studies)

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