Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American

By Catapano, Peter | Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA), June 2008 | Go to article overview

Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American


Catapano, Peter, Journal of American Culture (Malden, MA)


Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American Peter Decherney. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Hollywood and the Culture Elite is an ambitious attempt to describe the process by which the "movies" came to be accepted by the traditional mandarins of high culture. There is no arguing with Peter Decherney's assertion that the creation of film programs by museums and universities during the 1920s and 1930s represents an acceptance of the medium as an art. However, his argument that the cultural elite self-consciously with the active participation of Hollywood attempted to define the movies as an essential American form of self-expression is less convincing.

Decherney begins this book by overstating both the role of Hollywood in the development of film art during the 1910s and 1920s and the closeness of the relationship of the "culture elite" to the industry. According to Decherney, "film didn't become art until Hollywood decided it was good business for film to become art and the leaders of American cultural institutions found it useful ... to embrace and promote Hollywood film" (3). As Decherney himself argues quite well in his first two chapters, universities and museums did begin to discuss the artistic qualities of moving pictures before World War I. Vachel Lindsay's seminal work of film theory, The Art of the Moving Picture, was first published in 1915, the same year the Columbia University creates its first extension courses on film. However, both events are independent of "Hollywood," for many reasons. For one, there is no "Hollywood" during the early silent period. The Edison Trust still controlled an industry that was still largely located in New York and other eastern cities. Unless, Decherney may mean to use "Hollywood" as a synonym for the movie industry, but it obscures the historical development of the studio that only in retrospect seem inevitable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.