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Pursuits of Happiness

Pursuits of Happiness

The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage

Stanley Cavell

ISBN 9780674739062

Publication date: 01/15/1984

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.

Praise

  • 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.

    —Al LaValley, American Film

Author

  • Stanley Cavell (1926–2018) was Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Emeritus, at Harvard University. His numerous books include The Claim of Reason, Cities of Words, and Philosophy the Day after Tomorrow.

Book Details

  • 296 pages
  • 0-11/16 x 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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