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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.