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January 1993


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BRIAN TAVES <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 Jan 1993 15:39:15 GMT
text/plain (27 lines)
          Barbara Marantz--Here's another angle on revolutionary
          representations, the  form  in  which  such  events  have  become
          ritualized  as   a   Hollywood  generic  convention:   historical
          adventure.  The level to  which these are full-fledged revolts or
          simply revolutions varies, but they are surely to be considered.
          For instance, note  the swashbuckling treatment given  the French
          Revolution, both  pro  and  con,  in  The Fighting Guardsman, The
          Scarlet Pimpernel, Scaramouche, and The Black Book
          Reign  of Terror.  A similar pattern  is  found  in  more  remote
          historical periods, whether The Flame  and  the Arrow, The  Exile
          (1947), and  the whole pattern of  Robin Hood  and Zorro legends.
          The same conventions are carried to their fictive extreme in Omar
          Khayyam,  The  Prince  Who  Was  a  Thief,  and  other  "Oriental
          swashbucklers".  Even imperial adventures typically include  some
          kind of revolution, including Khartoum, The Long Duel, Gunga Din,
          King of  the Khyber Rifles, and  The Real Glory.  This is only  a
          very brief sense of some of the ideas in my forthcoming book, The
          Romance of Adventure: The  Genre  of Historical Adventure Movies,
          appearing  this  summer  from  U  of  Miss  Press.   Forgive  the
          self-promotion, but  when  you  mentioned revolution, I  couldn't
          help but dive  in, since I  use  this notion as  the genre's main
          structuring force.
          Brian Taves, Library of Congress, Film Division
          [log in to unmask]
          My interests and views are  not necessarily those of  the Library
          of Congress.