"Significant Others": Celebrated Acting Teams of Hollywood’s Golden Age
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The Classic Era of American filmmaking produced several effective and popular "star duos," men and women whose professional careers and personal lives often intertwined to the delight of movie audiences at home and abroad. Such pairs of leading actors appeared in films across all genres: historical adventures, serious dramas, crime and mystery films, westerns, musicals, war pictures, and light comedies. They were customarily assisted by a capable roster of supporting players, whose presence further enhanced the creative teaming of the men and women at the top of the cast list. This seminar will explore representative works by a few of these famous star partnerships, examining such topics as the chemistry between the two headliners; their working relationships with directors, screenwriters, and other members of the creative team; the central role of the character actors who often appeared in several of their successive films; and the stylistic qualities and substantive themes that have made the films of these "Significant Others" enduring hallmarks of Hollywood's Golden Age.
Jack Rhodes received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Texas at Austin and later became interested in communication and film studies. His principal academic assignments were at Colorado College, the University of Utah, and Miami University (Ohio), where he taught the graduate course on Rhetoric of Film for several years. Rhodes also served as chair of the Department of Communication at Miami and retired as executive director of Miami's regional campus in Hamilton, Ohio. He is the author of three books and several scholarly articles and has recently concentrated his research and lecturing on the rhetoric of film genres. This will be his tenth year teaching Björklunden seminars.