The Hispanic Image on the Silver Screen: An Interpretive Filmography from Silents into Sound, 1898-1935

The Hispanic Image on the Silver Screen: An Interpretive Filmography from Silents into Sound, 1898-1935

The Hispanic Image on the Silver Screen: An Interpretive Filmography from Silents into Sound, 1898-1935

The Hispanic Image on the Silver Screen: An Interpretive Filmography from Silents into Sound, 1898-1935

Synopsis

This is the first collection of more than 1,800 films dealing with Hispanic topics, themes, and characters arranged chronologically from 1898 to 1935, with indepth annotations, cross-references and four separate indexes. A study of Hollywood's treatment of Hispanics worldwide. (those living in South, Central, and North America, the Philippines and Spain.) Richard has organized the work for those interested in assessing the effects that motion pictures have had on the viewing public in establishing and perpetuating accepted stereotypes. The role of censorship, the Production Code Administration, the Motion Picture Society for the Americas, the Latin American market, and Hollywood's version of Hispanic history are fully covered. Each entry includes a brief scenario which details the film's Hispanic connection.

Excerpt

This work was not conceived in the dingy back rows of the now nonexistent Pastime theater in Brunswick, Maine where as a child I spent not as many Saturday afternoons as I wished I could, but nonetheless, that is where it began. I was twelve then, and recently moved from the Home of the Angel Guardian to my new home on the Maine coast. The freedom I experienced at being trusted to walk the few miles from the house to downtown allowed for an extensive exploration of a new and enjoyable environment. More significantly, it included a window to a world I had never been privileged to look through before, one filled with images of travel into a land of western adventure that seemed more real than the new found security I enjoyed.

In the early fifties, Brunswick was about as far away from the Mexican border as any place in the country could possibly be then, but I soon came to realize that that's where I'd have to head for if I did something really bad, or if my new situation did not work out. If such a circumstance arose, there would be no question of going to Canada, even if it was significantly closer. At that time "heading for the border" did not mean the Canadian border, that would have made no sense. Mexico was where anyone who had to, went to hide. If one was too young to join up with the French Foreign Legion, one still had the Mexican border as a safety valve, it was a comforting, secure and silver screen learned fantasy.

There was only one large ethnic minority in Brunswick, the French Canadians, but few of us were conscious that there was any essential difference between us French guys and the others who had no noticeable accent. Some of those who had attended the French Catholic school in town, or had been isolated within a French community elsewhere, still used words and phrases like "dat," "dis," "trow me downstairs my shoes," and "back up ahead summore." Our speech frequently provoked laughter but we just laughed along with those who might have thought what we were saying was funny. Being called a "frog" was not even necessarily a good reason to fight, we were "frogs," the other guys were "amarikcans," pronounced with a French Canadian flavor. More importantly we all went to the "show" together where in the dark we became one audience united in the belief that the good guys would always win over the bad ones. It was an easily understood and continuously reinforced message. In 1950 Hollywood's projection of good and evil was as simple and two dimensional as being able to tell the difference between black and white.

There was no "black problem" in Brunswick in 1950, there simply were no blacks living there, but as children, we knew what "they" looked like and how "they" were expected to act. There were no Mexicans either, but everyone of us at the Pastime, knew everything that Could possibly be known . . .

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