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Many of the "New Hollywood Cinema" films of the 1970s have incompetent heroes, characters who fail to do what, generically, they are supposed to do.

Jack Nicholson and Elliott Gould are detectives who detect nothing in CHINATOWN and THE LONG GOODBYE. Warren Beatty is certainly incompetent in MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER. Ditto Nicholson as a writer who doesn't write in THE SHINING. Al Pacino is an incompetent bank robber in DOG DAY AFTERNOON. Charlie in MEAN STREETS fails in his attempts to balance his neighborhood mob connections with his religious upbringing. Also, the 1950s and 1960s-style "anti-hero" often fails; think Paul Newman in COOL HAND LUKE.



-----Original Message-----
From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Frank, Michael
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] QUERY: the incompetent hero

i have a student who's interested in writing about the incompetent hero in american movies, and asked me about such figures in movies from before the current century . . .  i immediately thought of woody allen but then drew a blank . . . can anyone suggest either a movie [or set of movies] featuring an incompetent hero, or an actor who regularly played the part of the incompetent hero?

many thanks

mike  

-----Original Message-----
From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dana Polan
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 9:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCREEN-L] critical studies of MacMahonism?

Does anyone know a good study (essay or otherwise) of that French cinephilia phenomenon known as MacMahonism?  I assume there's some material in de Baecque's history of its rivals at Cahiers du cinema.  And I came across a few pages here and there, but I'd love to come across a fuller treatment of the phenomenon.

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