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August 1994


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"Edward R. O'Neill" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 8 Aug 1994 17:15:00 PDT
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Cal Pryluck's recent post points out the ubiquity of sequels in classical
Hollywood.  But I would disagree over the use of the term "sequel" to
describe, say, the Andy Hardy series, which is, after all, a series and
not a sequence of successive films with the same characters.  Like
the "Spitfire" series and others, this low-budget strategy was extremely
successful during this period, and much later television series look
remarkably similar in construction to these films.  But I don't believe
the word "sequel" is apt.
  There certainly were sequels during this period--I think Three Smart
Girls and its successors were that--as well as imitations of various sorts,
as Cal points out.  Indeed, the whole tangle of relations amongst series,
sequels, genres and cycles is quite complex.  Horror at Universal was a
particular genre, and a particular institution, as well, which could then
intersect with, say, the Abbott and Costello series, just to give one
  There is certainly much to think about in this kind of examination--
especially with respect to the recent screen-l topic of "dumbing down,"
which seems to relate to the contemporary action adventure genre and its
sequel-making tendency.
Edward R. O'Neill