History of American Cinema

OSH 592 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English

Course Description:

This course surveys the history of American cinema from 1930 to 1970, highlighting prominent aesthetic innovations, technological developments, and industrial changes. Through close readings of exemplary films, the course aims to familiarize students with major trends and directors of this era and situate cinema within a broader cultural landscape. 

Note: Members will need to rent films online on either Amazon or Criterion collection (which depending on existing subscriptions or use of free trials come in under $40 total.

Week 1 Classical Hollywood: Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933); Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939).

Week 2 Hollywood at War & Film Noir: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944); The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946).

Week 3 Cinema In Cold War America: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956); Rebel Without A Cause; (Nicholas Ray, 1955).

Week 4 Auteur Directors - Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954); Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960).

Week 5 Leading Ladies: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953); Sabrina (William Wyler, 1954).

Week 6 New Hollywood: The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967); Bonnie & Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967).

Suggested Readings: American Film: A History, (1st or 2nd Edition) Jon Lewis, W.W. Norton & Company (2008 or 2019) Price ranges from $20 used to $199 new for paperbacks.


Instructor: Dr. Sylvie Vitaglione


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This course is available as part of the following:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Courses
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all OLLI at UM fall courses will be taught remotely, via Zoom.

OLLI 2020-2021 Membership is required to take this course and will be added to your cart upon enrollment. If you already have purchased a membership, you will not be charged for this membership.
OLLI 2020-2021 Membership Added to cart upon enrollment.
Starts: 8/1/2020 Ends: 7/31/2021