During the ’30s and ’40s, Hollywood produced a genre of madcap comedies that emphasized reuniting the central couple after divorce or separation. Their female protagonists were strong, independent, and sophisticated. Here, Stanley Cavell names this new genre of American film—“the comedy of remarriage”—and examines seven classic movies for their cinematic techniques and for such varied themes as feminism, liberty, and interdependence.
Included are Adam’s Rib, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, and The Philadelphia Story.
The great achievement of…Pursuits of Happiness is that it finally provides a solid framework for the serious discussion of the great dialogue comedies of the thirties and forties, perhaps the most revived and loved movies of Hollywood’s golden period.
This just must be, in its close readings and its stunning associations, one of the most compelling accounts of its kind. The fact is, it just is its kind.
This is a voice like no other in philosophy, today or ever.
No book about the art of Hollywood I have ever read can make its readers stop and think more effectively than this one.
Stanley Cavell’s book succeeds brilliantly… The individual ‘readings’ of the films and the general conceptual plan in which they are embedded are both so rich and rewarding that…‘brilliant’…seems an understatement.
- 296 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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