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Title:"Happ'ly-ever-aftering": Changing social and industry conventions in Hollywood musical adaptations, 1960-75
Author(s):Woller, Megan
Director of Research:Magee, Gayle S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Magee, Gayle S.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Magee, Jeffrey S.; Bashford, Christina; Basu, Anustup
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Film musicals
Abstract:This dissertation explores seven Hollywood adaptations of Broadway musicals from the 1960s and early seventies. Though generally considered beyond the “Golden Age” of film, this period produced some of the most enduring and well-loved film musicals of any decade. Furthermore, they can all be seen as products of their time. The 1960s were a highly volatile time in American history as well as within the film industry. Socio-cultural and political factors, such as the Cold War, feminism, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, and the gay rights movement, all impacted American society and popular culture. Furthermore, the studio system continued to break down and with it the Hollywood Production Code. Towards the end of the decade, the so-called New Hollywood filmmakers introduced new ways of American filmmaking. Through seven case studies – West Side Story (1961), The Music Man (1962), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), The Sound of Music (1965), Camelot (1967), Paint Your Wagon (1969), and Cabaret (1972) – I place film adaptations of musicals in their socio-political and film industry situation by analyzing the changes made in the translation from stage to screen, delving into the possible reasons for the alterations. In every chapter, I discuss the approach to fidelity and use of cinematic techniques. Each of the chapters then focus on different issues: gender and ethnicity in West Side Story, regionalism and politics in The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie, politics, feminism, and the folk revival in The Sound of Music, New Hollywood and the sexual revolution in Camelot and Paint Your Wagon, and discussion of Cabaret as an experimental, adult musical that can be seen as the culmination of the decade. An in-depth study of the musicals from the 1960s and early seventies provides a reassessment of the genre during this period as dynamic and very much in tune with the myriad changes.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Megan Woller
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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