You may find some ideas in the film syllabi included on ScreenSite:
There are a few there that deal specifically with US film.
>Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 13:26:40 -0400
>From: Ellene Phufas <[log in to unmask]>
>I will be teaching a course called American Film after having taught
>Intro to Cinema for several years. Can anyone recommend a strategy for
>such a course? I have always focused on the technical and directorial
>contributions of films but I would like to try a different focus, the
>relationship between US cultural history and films perhaps?
>Any suggestions would be most welcome including a recommendation for a
>text and films.
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The second edition of TELEVISION: CRITICAL METHODS AND
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite