Hollywood Melodrama:
A Bibliography of Materials in the UC Berkeley Library

This is a static page that is no longer maintained

Journal and Newspaper Articles
Books/Articles about Douglas Sirk

Articles and Books on Individual films
Max Ophüls bibliography
Douglas Sirk bibliography


Barefoot, Guy
Gaslight melodrama: from Victorian London to 1940s Hollywood / Guy Barefoot. New York: Continuum, 2001.
UCB Main PN1995.9.M45 B37 2001

Byars, Jackie.
All that Hollywood allows: re-reading gender in 1950s melodrama / Jackie Byars. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1991. Series title: Gender & American culture.
UCB Main PN1995.9.S47 B9 1991
UCB Moffitt PN1995.9.S47 B9 1991

Cavell, Stanley
Contesting tears: the Hollywood melodrama of the unknown woman / Stanley Cavell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
UCB Main PN1995.9.W6 C38 1996

Cook, Pam.
"No Fixed Address: The Women's Picture from Outrage to Blue Steel." In: Screening the past : memory and nostalgia in cinema / London ; New York : Routledge, 2005.
MAIN: PN1995.9.N67 C66 2005;
Table of contents http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0416/2004006798.html

Cook, Pam.
"Melodrama and the women's picture." In: Screening the past : memory and nostalgia in cinema / London ; New York : Routledge, 2005.
MAIN: PN1995.9.N67 C66 2005
Table of contents http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0416/2004006798.html

Desilet, Gregory E.
Our faith in evil : melodrama and the effects of entertainment violence Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, Date c2006.
Main Stack PN1995.9.V5.D47 2006

Doane, Mary Ann
"Clinical eye : medical discourses in the "woman's film" of the 1940s." In: The Female body in western culture : contemporary perspectives / Susan Rubin Suleiman, editor. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1986, c 1985.
Anthropology NX652.W6.F461 1986
Main Stack NX652.W6.F461 1986
Moffitt NX652.W6.F461 1986

Doane, Mary Ann.
The desire to desire : the woman's film of the 1940s Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, c1987.
MAIN: PN1995.9.W6 D61 1987

Elsaesser, Thomas.
"Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama." In: Film genre reader II / edited by Barry Keith Grant. 1st ed. pp: 50-80. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.
Main Stack PN1995.F45792 19953 1995

Fischer, Lucy.
Cinematernity: film, motherhood, genre / Lucy Fischer. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1996.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W6.F565 1996

Gaines, Jane.
"Fire and Desire: Race, Melodrama, and Oscar Micheaux." In Black American Cinema. Edited by Manthia Diawara. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Main Stack PN1995.9.N4.B45 1993
Moffitt PN1995.9.N4.B45 1993

Also in: Melodrama: stage, picture, screen / edited by Jacky Bratton, Jim Cook, Christine Gledhill. p. 231-45. London: British Film Institute, 1994.
Main Stack PN1912.M45 1994

Also in: Melodrama : stage, picture, screen / edited by Jacky Bratton, Jim Cook, Christine Gledhill. London : British Film Institute, 1994.
Main Stack PN1912.M45 1994

Gaines, Jane.
"The Melos in Marxist Theory." In: The Hidden foundation : cinema and the question of class / David E. James and Rick Berg, editors. pp: 56-71. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c1996.
Main Stack PN1995.9.P6.H5 1996

Gallagher, Mark
"I married Rambo : spectacle and melodrama in the Hollywood action film." In: Mythologies of violence in postmodern media / edited by Christopher Sharrett. Detroit, MI : Wayne State University Press, c1999. Contemporary film and television series.
Main Stack PN1995.9.V5.M98 1999

Home is where the heart is: studies in melodrama and the woman's film
Edited by Christine Gledhill. London: BFI Pub., 1987.
UCB Main PN1995.9.M4 H6
UCB Moffitt PN1995.9.M4 H6

Imitations of life: a reader on film & television melodrama
Edited by Marcia Landy. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, c1991. Series title: Contemporary film and television series.
UCB Main PN1995.9.M45 I45 1991
UCB Moffitt PN1995.9.M45 I45 1991
Contents via Google books

Johnson, Lesley.
"The Three Faces of Eve." In: Sentenced to everyday life : feminism and the housewife / Lesley Johnson and Justine Lloyd. Oxford ; New York : Berg, 2004.
Full text available online [UCB users only]
Main (Gardner) Stacks HQ1426 .J64 2004

Joyrich, Lynne
"All that television allows: TV melodrama, postmodernism, and consumer culture." In: Private screenings: television and the female consumer / Lynn Spigel and Denise Mann, editors. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, c1992. Camera obscura book.
Main Stack HQ1233.P755 1992
Moffitt HQ1233.P755 1992

Kaplan, E. Ann.
Motherhood and representation: the mother in popular culture and melodrama / E. Ann Kaplan. London; New York: Routledge, 1992.
UCB Main PS228.M66 K36 1992
UCB Moffitt PS228.M66 K36 1992

Kaplan, E. Ann.
"Classical Hollywood Film and Melodrama." In: The Oxford guide to film studies / edited by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson; consultant editors, Richard Dyer, E. Ann Kaplan, Paul Willemen. pp: 272-82 Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Main Stack PN1995.O93 1998

Kaplan, E. Ann.
"Classical Hollywood Film and Melodrama." In: American cinema and Hollywood : critical approaches / edited by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Main Stack PN1993.5.U65.A44 2000

Kauffmann, Stanley
"Film: melodrama and popular culture: Melodrama and farce: a note on a fusion in film." In: Melodrama / edited by Daniel Gerould Martinsville, N.J. : Analecta Enterprises, 1980 New York literary forum ; 7
Main Stack PN1912.M4

Kim, Soyoung
"Questions of Woman's Film: The Maid, Madame Freedom, and Women." In: South Korean golden age melodrama : gender, genre, and national cinema. pp. 185-200.Detroit : Wayne State University Press, c2005.
MAIN: PN1993.5.K6 S68 2005

Kuhn, Annette.
"Women's Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory." In: Feminist film theory: a reader / edited by Sue Thornham. pp: 146-56. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W6.F465 1999

Kuhn, Annette.
"Women's Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory." Screen, (1984) 25(1)
UC users only

Kuhn, Annette.
"Women's Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory." In: Feminist film theory: a reader / edited by Sue Thornham. pp: 146-56. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W6.F465 1999

Kuhn, Annette.
Women's pictures : feminism and cinema. London ; New York : Verso, 1994.
MAIN: PN1995.9.W6 K8 1994

Landy, Marcia.
"Melodrama and Femininity in Second World War British Cinema." In: The British cinema book / edited by Robert Murphy. 2nd ed. pp: 119-26 London : British Film Institute, 2001.
Main Stack PN1993.5.G7.B66 2001

Lang, Robert
American film melodrama: Griffith, Vidor, Minnelli / by Robert Lang. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1989.
UCB Main PN1995.9.M45 L361 1989
UCB Moffitt PN1995.9.M45 L36 1989

Lehman, Peter.
"Crying over the Melodramatic Penis: Melodrama and Male Nudity in Films of the '90s." In: Masculinity : bodies, movies, culture / edited by Peter Lehman. New York : Routledge, 2001. AFI film readers.
Main Stack PN1995.9.M46.M34 2001

Leibowitz, Flo.
"Apt Feelings, or Why 'Women's Films' Aren't Trivial." In: Post-theory: reconstructing film studies / edited by David Bordwell and Noel Carroll. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, c1996. Wisconsin studies in film.
Grad Svcs PN1994.P6565 1996 Non-circulating; may be used only in Graduate Services.
Main Stack PN1994.P6565 1996 219-29. 1996

Lusted, David.
"Social Class and the Western as Male Melodrama." In: The book of westerns / edited by Ian Cameron and Douglas Pye. pp: . New York: Continuum, 1996.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W4.B66 1996
Moffitt PN1995.9.W4.B66 1996
Bancroft PN1995.9.W4.B66 1996 Non-circulating; may be used only in The Bancroft Library.

Lutz, Tom.
"Men's Tears and the Roles of Melodrama." In: Boys don't cry? : rethinking narratives of masculinity and emotion in the U.S. / edited by Milette Shamir and Jennifer Travis. pp: 185-204. New York : Columbia University Press, c2002.
Main Stack PS173.M36.B69 2002

Mayer, David. Day-Mayer, Helen.
"A 'Secondary Action' or Musical Highlight? Melodic Interludes in Early Film Melodrama Reconsidered." In: The sounds of early cinema / edited by Richard Abel and Rick Altman. pp: 220-31. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, c2001.
UCB Main PN1995.75 .S64 2001

Mayne, Judith
"The Woman at the Keyhole: Women's Cinema and Feminist Criticism." New German Critique, No. 23. (Spring - Summer, 1981), pp. 27-43.
UC users only

McHugh, Kathleen Anne.
American domesticity: from how-to manual to Hollywood melodrama / Kathleen Anne McHugh. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Full-text available online (UCB users only)
UCB Main PN1995.9.W6 M38 1999

Melodrama and Asian cinema
Edited by Wimal Dissanayake. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993. Cambridge studies in film.
Main Stack PN1993.5.A75.M45 1993

Melodrama: stage, picture, screen
Edited by Jacky Bratton, Jim Cook, Christine Gledhill. London: British Film Institute, 1994.
UCB Main PN1912 .M45 1994

Mercer, John, Dr.
Melodrama : genre, style, sensibility London ; New York : Wallflower, 2004.
MAIN: PN1995.9.M45 M47 2004

Mulvey, Laura.
"'It Will Be a Magnificent Obsession': The Melodrama's Role in the Development of Contemporary Film Theory." In: Melodrama: stage, picture, screen Edited by Jacky Bratton, Jim Cook, Christine Gledhill. pp: 121-33. London: British Film Institute, 1994.
Main Stack PN1912.M45 1994

Neale, Stephen.
"Melodrama and the Woman's Film." In: Genre and contemporary Hollywood / edited by Steve Neale. London ; New York : Routledge, 2000.
Full-text available online (UCB users only)
PN1993.5.U6 N436 2000

Nowell-Smith, G.
"Genre criticism. Minnelli and melodrama." In: Movies and methods : an anthology / edited by Bill Nichols. Berkeley : University of California Press, c1976
Main Stack PN1994.M71 Library has: v.1-2 (1976-1985)

Oroz, Silvia
Melodrama : o cinema de lagrimas da America Latina / Silvia Oroz. Rio de Janeiro, RJ : Rio Fundo Editora, c1992.
Main Stack PN1995.9.M45.O76 1999
Main Stack PN1995.9.M45.O76 1992 [earlier edition]

Partington, Angela.
"Melodrama's Gendered Audience." In: Off-centre : feminism and cultural studies / edited by Sarah Franklin, Celia Lury & Jackie Stacey. pp: 49-68. London ; New York : Harper Collins Academic, 1991. Cultural studies Birmingham.
Main Stack HQ1190.O34 1991b

Robards, Brooks.
"Reel Art: Excursions into the Biopic, Mystery/Suspense, Melodrama and Movies in the Eighties." In: Beyond the stars. Vol 3: The material world in American popular film. / edited by Paul Loukides and Linda K. Fuller. pp: 106-20 Bowling Green, Ohio : Bowling Green University Popular Press, c1990
Main Stack PN1995.9.C36.B49 1990 Library has: v.[1]-5 (c1990-c1996) Note: Vol. numbering on dust jacket only.
Moffitt PN1995.9.C36.B49 1990 Library has: v.[1]-5 (c1990-c1996)

Rowe, Kathleen
"Comedy, melodrama, and gender." In: Classical Hollywood comedy / edited by Kristine Brunovska Karnick and Henry Jenkins. New York: Routledge, 1995. AFI film readers.
Main Stack PN1995.9.C55.C56 1995

Rowe, Kathleen
"Melodrama and men in post-classical romantic comedy." In: Me Jane: masculinity, movies, and women / edited by Pat Kirkham and Janet Thumin. 1st ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.
Main Stack PN1995.9.M46.M35 1995
Moffitt PN1995.9.M46.M35 1995

Sharratt, Bernard.
"The Politics of the Popular? From Melodrama to Television." In: Performance and politics in popular drama: aspects of popular entertainment in theatre, film, and television, 1800-1976 / edited by David Bradby, Louis James, and Bernard Sharratt. pp: 275-295 Cambridge [Eng.]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980.
UCB Main PN1643 .P4 1980

Singer, Ben.
"Female power in the serial-queen melodrama : the etiology of an anomaly." In: Silent film / edited, and with an introduction by Richard Abel. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c1996. Rutgers depth of field series.
Main Stack PN1995.75.S55 1996
Moffitt PN1995.75.S55 1996

Singer, Ben
Melodrama and modernity : early sensational cinema and its contexts / Ben Singer. New York : Columbia University Press, c2001.
Main Stack PN1995.9.M45.S56 2001
PFA PN1995.9.M45.S56 2001
Table of contents from Google books

Sobchack, Thomas.
"Interiors: The Space of Melodrama." In: Beyond the stars. Vol. 4: Locales in American popular film. / edited by Paul Loukides and Linda K. Fuller. pp: 261-77 Bowling Green, Ohio : Bowling Green University Popular Press, c1990
Main Stack PN1995.9.C36.B49 1990 Library has: v.[1]-5 (c1990-c1996)
Moffitt PN1995.9.C36.B49 1990 Library has: v.[1]-5 (c1990-c1996)

Tasker, Yvonne
"Female friendship: melodrama, romance, feminism." In: Working girls: gender and sexuality in popular cinema / Yvonne Tasker. London; New York: Routledge, 1998.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W6.T36 1998

Tims, Hilton.
Emotion pictures : 'the women's picture', 1930-55 / Hilton Tims ; Foreword by Ann Todd. London : Columbus, 1987.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.W5 T56 1987

Waldman, Diane
""At Last I Can Tell It to Someone!": Feminine Point of View and Subjectivity in the Gothic Romance Film of the 1940s" Cinema Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2, Winter, 1984 (pp. 29-40)
UC users only

Walsh, Andrea S.
Women's film and female experience, 1940-1950 / Andrea S. Walsh. New York: Praeger, 1984.
Main Stack PN1995.9.W6.W3 1984
Moffitt PN1995.9.W6.W3 1984
Contents via Google books

Williams, Linda
"The American Melodramatic Mode." In: Playing the race card: melodramas of black and white from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson / Linda Williams. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c2001.
Grad Svcs E185.625.W523 2001 Non-circulating; may be used only in Graduate Services.
Main Stack E185.625.W523 2001
Moffitt E185.625.W523 2001

Williams, Linda
"Melodrama revised." In: Refiguring American film genres: history and theory / Nick Browne, editor. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1998.
Grad Svcs PN1993.5.U6.R443 1998 Non-circulating; may be used only in Graduate Services.
Main Stack PN1993.5.U6.R443 1998
Moffitt PN1993.5.U6.R443 1998

Williams, Linda
Playing the race card : melodramas of black and white from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2001.
MAIN: E185.625 .W523 2001
MOFF: E185.625 .W523 2001
ETHN: E185.625 .W523 2001; Housed at Ethnic Studies Library.

Journal Articles

Bisplinghoff, Gretchen
"Mothers, madness and melodrama." Jump Cut nr 37 (July 1992); p 120-126.
Examines concepts of gender in melodrama's dealing with psychoanalysis, esp. with the link of madness and motherhood.

Carpender, Lynette
"Guilty pleasures: women and the weepies." (melodramas reflect women's limited options and difficult choices) Ms. Magazine May-June 1991 v1 n6 p74(3)

Connor, J. D.
"Disappearing, Inc.: Hollywood Melodrama and the Perils of Criticism." MLN. 112(5):958-70. 1997 Dec
"Books such as 'The Cinema of Max Ophuls: Magisterial Vision and the Figure of Woman,' 'Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture, and the Films of Douglas Sirk,' 'Contesting Tears: The Holywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman' and 'Max Ophuls in the Hollywood Studios' represent the significance of Hollywood melodramas. The genre provides a means for criticism which is important to social formations. These books brings to focus that as long as attention is given to Hollywood films, the genre will remain." [Expanded Academic Index]

Cunningham, Stuart
"The 'force-field' of melodrama." Quarterly Review of Film Studies Vol VI nr 4 (Fall 1981); p 347-364.

de Allencar Lyon, Andre
"The Afterlife of Melodrama" Stanford Undergraduate Journal Spring 2004
Develops a religious-political framework for the understanding of melodrama and relates it to some contemporary examples of new Hollywood cinema.

Dissanayake, Wimal (ed.)
"Special Issue on Melodrama and Cinema." East-West Film Journal. 5 (1) 1991 Jan.

Fell, John L.
"Melodrama, the Movies, and Genre." New York Literary Forum. 7:187-195. 1980.

Fell, John L.
"Melogenre." North Dakota Quarterly. 51(3):100-110. 1983 Summer

Ferriss, Suzanne and Young, Mallory
"Chick Flicks and Chick Culture." Post Script; Fall2007, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p32-49, 18p, 6bw
UC users only
"An essay is presented which discusses motion pictures designed for women, known as chick flicks, the varying reactions to them by audiences and their place as a part of women's culture. The authors discuss how the term "chick," once considered an insult to feminists, has been embraced by young women. Many feminists believe chick flicks such as "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "Legally Blonde" promote consumerism and traditional views of women. The authors note films such as "Waiting to Exhale" and "Bride and Prejudice," which offer positive depictions of minority women, and films such as "Calendar Girls," which feature older women. They note how chick flicks can belong to different film genres such as melodrama and romantic comedy." [Ebsco]

Fink, Janet. Holden, Katherine
"Pictures from the Margins of Marriage: Representations of Spinsters and Single Mothers in the Mid-Victorian Novel, Inter-War Hollywood Melodrama and British Film of the 1950s and 1960s." Gender & History, 11 (2): 233-55 1999.

Fischer, Lucy.
"Two-faced women: the double in women's melodrama of the 1940's." Cinema Journal Vol XXIII nr 1 (Fall 1983); p 24-43.
UC users only

Flinn, Carol
"The problem of femininity in theories of film music." Screen Vol XXVII nr 6 (Nov-Dec 1986); p 56-72.
Consideration of film music as the feminine, examining film music as a process of signification in its own right, and analysing the function of music in classic Hollywood melodramas.

Flitterman-Lewis, Sandy.
"The Blossom and the Bole: Narrative and Visual Spectacle in Early Film Melodrama." Cinema Journal. 33 (3): 3-15. 1994 Spring.

Fuqua, Joy Van.
"'Can You Feel It, Joe?': Male Melodrama and the Feeling Man." Velvet Light Trap. 38: 28-38. 1996 Fall.

Gaines, Jane
"The scar of shame: skin color and caste in black silent melodrama." Cinema Journal Vol XXVI nr 4 (Summer 1987); p 3-21.
Discusses the use of melodrama to reach black audiences in the 1920's, esp. in "The scar of shame", and theorizes on the nature of the black audience (see also separate Oscar Micheaux bibliography)

Gledhill, Christine
"Speculations on the relationship between soap opera and melodrama." Quarterly Review of Film and Video Vol XIV nr 1-2 (July 1992); p 103-124.
Explores similarities and differences between the genres, citing British/US examples past and present.

Higgins, Scott.
"Suspenseful Situations: Melodramatic Narrative and the Contemporary Action Film." Cinema Journal. Winter 2008. Vol. 47, Iss. 2; p. 74 (23 pages)

Higson, Andrew; Vincendeau, Ginette
"Melodrama." Screen Vol XXVII nr 6 (Nov-Dec 1986); p 2-5.
Introduction to a series of articles on aspects of melodrama.

Hollinger, Karen.
"Listening to the female voice in the woman's film." Film Criticism, 1992, Vol. 16 Issue 3, p34-52, 19p

"Hollywood reconsidered." Jump Cut nr 32 (Apr 1986); p 15-32.
On women in the Hollywood film, incl. the representation of fantasy women in "The stepford wives", the simultaneous celebration and reduction of wartime heroines such as "Rosie the riveter" and an analysis of melodrama.

Jacobs, Lea.
"The Woman's Picture and the Poetics of Melodrama." Camera Obscura. 31:121-47. 1993 Jan-May UC users only
Considers definitions of melodrama and tragedy in relation to the pressure or assertive nature of the heroine in literature and in women's romantic Hollywood films of the 1930's and 1940's.

Kaplan, E. Ann.
"Melodrama, Cinema and Trauma." Screen. 42(2):201-05. 2001 Summer
Approaching the genre of melodrama from the perspective of 'trauma theory' highlights gaps in theorising about melodrama, previously articulated through Freudian psychoanalysis.

Kaplan, E. Ann.
"Theories of Melodrama: A Feminist Perspective." Women & Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory. 1(1):40-48. 1983 Spring-Summer.

Kauffmann, Stanley.
"Melodrama and Farce: A Note on a Fusion in Film." New York Literary Forum. 7:169-172. 1980.

Kennedy, Harlan
"The melodramatists." (film makers Douglas Sirk and Nicholas Ray) American Film Jan-Feb 1992 v17 n1 p54(3)

Kleinhans, Chuck
"Notes on melodrama and the family under capitalism." Film Reader nr 3 (1978); p 40-47.
Discusses the family under capitalism in order to better understand bourgeois domestic melodrama.

Kuhn, Annette
"Women's genres." Screen Vol XXV nr 1 (Jan-Feb 1984); p 18-28.
Developments in film and tv theory relating to critical work on film melodrama and tv soap opera, with particular reference to the audience for these genres, which is traditionally female.

Leonard, Garry.
"Tears of Joy: Hollywood Melodrama, Ecstasy, and Restoring Meta-Narratives of Transcendence in Modernity." University of Toronto Quarterly, Spring2010, Vol. 79 Issue 2, p819-837, 19p
UC users only
There is critical consensus that modernity is characterized by a lack of meta-narratives, by de-sacralization, by the sequestration of people from the meaning contained in their life experiences, and by a crisis in valuation. This paper argues that Hollywood melodrama compensates for these aspects of modern life by locating the sacred within the secular. Part of the compensatory function served by this genre is effected through the emotional impact that melodramas have on audiences, which can be usefully contextualized in relation to religious ecstasy. A comparative analysis of the two films Broken Blossoms (1919) and American Beauty (1999) reveals how the evocation of ecstasy through film can reinstate meta-narratives, present an alternative means of valuation to capitalism, and manifest an opposite logic to that of investment – that of sacrifice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Lloyd, Justine. Johnson, Lesley.
"The Three Faces of Eve: The Post-War Housewife, Melodrama, and Home." Feminist Media Studies. 3 (1): 7-25. 2003 Mar., Book Publication Date: 2003.

MacKinnon, Kenneth
"The family in Hollywood Melodrama: actual or ideal?" Journal of Gender Studies Volume 13, Number 1 / March 2004, pp: 29 - 36
UC users only
"This paper suggests that 1950s movie melodrama highlights the gulf between the experience of an actual family and its members' belief, implicit and sometimes explicit, in Family as an idealised Platonic form. At the dénouement, the transcendental ideal of the latter entity is maintained despite the unsettling experiences of a particular family, or the discovery of a superior version of family, in the preceding narrative. Melodrama's apparent celebration of familial ideology, and of the mythology which makes the bourgeois patriarchal family so 'natural' that it marginalises all rival versions, could be viewed as reactionary in terms of sexual politics. Perhaps, though, the very exposure of the consequences of Family mythology could be thought to be at least potentially 'progressive'. An especially succinct exemplification of the process whereby a particular family fictionalises itself into a closer approximation to the ideal is provided by Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Several other movie melodramas of the 1950s are also briefly explored, however, to show that reluctance to jettison family, as long as there is belief in Family, is widely shared." [Taylor & Francis]

Margolis, Harriet.
"Contemporary Women's Films: A Fictional Genre?" Film Criticism. 13(2):47-60. 1989 Winter.
UC users only

McKee, Alison
""L'affaire Praslin" and All This, and Heaven Too: Gender, Genre, and History in the 1940s Woman's Film." Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film & Television, Spring95, Issue 35, p33-51, 19p

McKee, Alison
"What's Love Got To Do With It?: History and Melodrama in the 1940s Woman's Film." Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies Volume 39.2 (Fall 2009)
UC users only

"Melodrama." Film Criticism. 9(2). 1984-1985 Winter.

"Melodrama." Wide Angle Vol IV nr 2 (1980); p 4-51.
"Five articles studying examples of the melodrama genre in the light of recent work in theory and feminism."

"Melodrama and transgression." Screen Vol XXIX nr 3 (Summer 1988); p 2-115.
Dedicated to the portrayal of heroines in melodramas.

Mendelsohn, Daniel
"The Melodramatic Moment." (are current melodramas such as 'Far From Heaven' sincere, or manipulative?) The New York Times Magazine March 23, 2003 p40 col 1 (50 col in)

Merritt, Russell.
"Melodrama: Postmortem for a Phantom Genre." Wide Angle 5(3):25-31. 1983
The body of work defined by the word 'melodrama' may constantly shift in line with shifting standards of realism.

Modleski, Tania.
"Time and desire in the woman's film." Cinema Journal Vol XXIII nr 3 (Spring 1984); p 19-30.
UC users only
Using "Letter from an unknown woman" as its chief example, reviews the scholarship on melodrama and speculates on the reasons for the appeal of this genre to women.

Montgomery, Sarah
"Women's Women's Films." Feminist Review No. 18, Cultural Politics (Winter, 1984), pp. 38-48
UC users only

Morris, Gary
"John M. Stahl: The man who understood women." Film Comment Vol XIII nr 3 (May-June 1977); p 24-27.
Discussion of the themes and style of the melodramas of Stahl.

Neale, Steve
"Melo talk: on the meaning and use of the term 'melodrama' in the American trade press." Velvet Light Trap nr 32 (Fall 1993); p 66-89.
On the use of the term 'melodrama' to describe Hollywood films of the period 1938-60. Concludes that contrary to popular belief the term was not derogatory, and was used more frequently to describe male-orientated action films than for films aimed at women.

Neale, Steve
"Melodrama and tears." Screen Vol XXVII nr 6 (Nov-Dec 1986); p 6-22.
Reappraisal of the genre in terms of a series of relationships or tensions, exploring the genre as a processing of spectatorial pleasure, and explaining why we cry when we watch melodramas.

Neumeyer, David
"Melodrama as a compositional resource in early Hollywood sound cinema." Current Musicology Jan 1995 n57 p61(34)
"Studio producers, directors, composers and sound technicians evolved the basic practices of film music in the late 1920s and early 1930s when cinema changed from silent movies to talkies. Max Steiner, Alfred Newman and Herbert Stothart were the pioneers in this field. Steiner drew from Wagner and Viennese melodrama while underscoring dialogue in a terse synchronized manner. The main contribution of the 1930s was the integration of the melodramatic with the operatic style. This is one of the preferred techniques even in the 1990s." [Expanded Academic Index]

Rodowick, D.N..
"Madness, authority, and ideology in the domestic melodrama of the 1950's." Velvet Light Trap nr 19 (1982); p 40-45.

Russell, Catherine.
"'Overcoming Modernity': Gender and the Pathos of History in Japanese Film Melodrama." Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies. 35: 131-57. 1995 May.

Scheman, Naomi.
"Missing mothers/desiring daughters: framing the sight of women." Critical Inquiry, 1988, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p62-89, 28p;

Singer, Ben
"Female power in the serial-queen melodrama: the etiology of an anomaly." Camera Obscura nr 22 (Jan 1990); p 90-129.
Reappraisal of the US melodramatic film serials, pointing out the central position given to the heroine.

Singer, Ben
"Serial melodrama and narrative Gesellschaft." (Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft)(Critical Essay) Velvet Light Trap Spring 1996 p72(9) (5797 words)

Sobchack, Vivian.
"Child/Alien/Father: Patriarchal Crisis and Generic Exchange." Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies. 15: 7-34. 1986 Fall.

Tay, Sharon
"Constructing a Feminist Cinematic Genealogy: The Gothic Woman's Film beyond Psychoanalysis." Women: a Cultural Review Volume 14, Number 3 / December 2003 Pages: 263 - 280
UC users only
"The Gothic woman's film, as a particular 1940s phenomenon, responded to the social changes caused by the upheavals of the Second World War. It featured female protagonists, expressed anxieties about marriage and complicated the classic realist premises of narrative and heterosexual closures. As the Gothic narrative trajectory revolved around the heroine's pursuit of marital happiness, these films are often theorized in the sexually differentiated terms of Lacanian psychoanalysis. As a result, they are interpreted as cinematic manifestations of paranoia, primal scenes, passive female desires and the impossibility of female subjectivity. Tay considers how the Gothic woman's film may resist such psychoanalytic codifications by considering critiques of psychoanalysis and investigating the ways in which Gilles Deleuze's cinematic topography may apply to the genre. This engagement with Deleuze reveals how 1940s Gothic films--such as Suspicion (Hitchcock, 1941), Gaslight (Cukor, 1944), and Sleep, My Love (Sirk, 1948)--breach the narrative normativity of classic realist love stories like Random Harvest (LeRoy, 1942). Culminating in a detailed analysis of Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940) as a film that sustains female transgression in its textual operation, Tay posits possibilities for furthering a feminist cinematic discourse beyond psychoanalytic codifications." [Taylor & Francis abstract]

Turim, Maureen.
"Fictive Psyches: The Psychological Melodrama in 40s Film." Boundary 2-An International Journal of Literature & Culture. 12-13(3-1):321-31. 1984 Spring-Fall
UC users only

Turim, Maureen.
"Psyches, Ideologies, and Melodrama: The United States and Japan." East-West Film Journal. 5 (1): 118-43. 1991 Jan.

Viviani, Christian
"Who is without sin? The maternal melodrama in American film, 1930-39." Wide Angle Vol IV nr 2 (1980); p 4-17.
Considers the four versions of "Madame X". Trans. from 'Cahiers de la Cinmathque' 28-29, 1979.

Waldman, Diane.
"At Last I Can Tell It to Someone!": Feminine Point of View and Subjectivity in the Gothic Romance Film of the 1940s." Cinema Journal, 23:2 ([1984:Winter]) p.29
UC users only

Williams, Linda.
"Melodrama in Black and White: Uncle Tom and The Green Mile." Film Quarterly. 55(2):14-21. 2001-2002 Winter

All About Eve

Cook, Page.
"The sound track." Films in Review Vol XL nr 8-9 (Aug-Sept 1989); p 437-440.
Analysis of Alfred Newman's score for "All about Eve".

Corber, Robert J.
"Cold War Femme: Lesbian Visibility in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All about Eve." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-22, 2005
UC users only

Dick, Bernard F.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Boston : Twayne Publishers, 1983.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1998.A3 M31975 1983
Lower, Cheryl Bray. Joseph L. Mankiewicz : critical essays with an annotated bibliography and a filmography Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, 2001.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1998.3.M35 B73 2001

Gussow, Mel.
"The lasting allure of 'All About Eve'." The New York Times Oct 1, 2000 pAR13(N) pAR13(L) col 1

Gussow, Mel.
"The man who made 'All About Eve' recalls his sometimes bumpy ride." (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) (Living Arts Pages) Mel Gussow. The New York Times Nov 24, 1992 v142 pB1(N) pC13(L) col 1

Haun, H.
"All about Eve." (production history) Films in Review Vol XLII nr 3-4 (Mar-Apr 1991); p 74-83.

Holdstein, Deborah H.
"Men and Women: Voices in the Women's Picture." In: Holding the vision : essays on film : proceedings of the First Annual Film Conference of Kent State Film Conference of Kent State University (1st : 1983) [Kent, Ohio] : International Film Society, Kent State University, c1983.
NRLF (UCB) PN1995 .F4577 1983

Rotolo, Steven J.
"Motherhood, Fertility, and Creativity in Mankiewitz's All about Eve." West Virginia University Philological Papers, vol. 52, pp. 70-76, 2005

Shingler, Martin.
"Interpreting All About Eve: A Study in Historical Reception." In: Hollywood Spectatorship: Changing Perceptions Of Cinema Audiences; Ed. By Melvyn Stokes. pp: 46-62. London British Film Institute 2001

Swicord, Robin
"Blonde ambition." Sight & Sound Vol V nr 11 (Nov 1995); p 59.

Brief Encounter

See David Lean bibliography

Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)

See Todd Haynes bibliography


See George Cukor bibliography


See William Wyler bibliography

The Letter

See William Wyler bibliography

Letter From an Unknown Woman

See Max Ophüls bibliography

Mildred Pierce

See Film Noir bibliography

Now Voyager

Berlant, Lauren Gail
"Remembering Love, Forgetting Everything Else: Now Voyager." In: The female complaint : the unfinished business of sentimentality in American culture / Lauren Berlan Durham : Duke University Press, 2008.
Main (Gardner) Stacks BH301.E45 B47 2008

Brabazon, Tara
"Bette Davis and her Camellias." Hecate; 2000, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p98, 15p
UC users only
Features Bette Davis, an actress. Her role in the motion picture 'Now, Voyager'; Personal background; First of many roles where Davis enlarged the parameters of acceptable female behavior.

Britton, Andrew.
"A new servitude: Bette Davis, "Now, Voyager" and the radicalism of the woman's film." Cineaction, Winter 1992, Issue 26/27, p32-59, 28p
UC users only

Cavell, Stanley.
"Ugly Duckling, Funny Butterfly: Bette Davis and Now, Voyager." Critical Inquiry. 16(2):213-289. 1990 Winter
UC users only

Ely, M. Lynda
"The untold want: representation and transformation echoes of Walt Whitman's "Passage to India" in "Now, Voyager"." (19th-century American poet)(Critical Essay) Literature-Film Quarterly Jan 2001 v29 i1 p43(10)
UC users only
"The manner in which a couplet about unfulfilled desire in Walt Whitman's poem "Passage to India" frames the themes in the 1941 novel, "Now, Voyager," by Olive Higgins Prouty, and the 1942 movie of the same name are examined. Topics include the spirituality of Whitman's poetry, the theme of metamorphosis, the manners in which romantic relationships and motherhood define women, and the constrictions of convention in the life of Prouty's main female character." [Expanded Academic Index]

Ferguson, Susan J.
"The Old Maid Stereotype in American Film, 1938 To 1965." Film & History ; Dec1991, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p130-144, 15p
UC users only

Fink, Janet; Holden, Katherine.
"Pictures from the Margins of Marriage: Representations of Spinsters and Single Mothers in the mid-Victorian Novel, Inter-war Hollywood Melodrama and British Film of the 1950s and 1960s." Gender & History Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 233–255, July 1999
UC users only

Glancy, Mark
"'What Would Bette Davis Do?' British Reactions to Bette Davis in the 1940s: A Case study of Now, Voyager." Screen, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 77-85, 2008 Spring
UC users only

Hart, Kylo-Patrick R.
"Now, Voyager, the (Hollywood) culture industry, and commodity consumption's deleterious illusion of empowerment" In: Film and television stardom / edited by Kylo-Patrick R. Hart. Newcastle : Cambridge Scholars Pub., 2008
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1998.2 .F5425 2008

Holdstein, Deborah H.
"Dark Victory. Now Voyager. The Great Lie: Women's Pictures and the Perfect Moment." Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, vol. 32, pp. 22-24, 1987 Apr
UC users only

Jacobs, Lea.
"Now Voyager: Some Problems of Enunciation and Sexual Difference." Camera Obscura. 7:89-104. 1981
UC users only

LaPlace, Maria.
"Producing and Consuming the Woman's Film: Discursive Struggle in Now, Voyager." Home is where the heart is : studies in melodrama and the woman's film / edited by Christine Gledhil
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.M4 H6 DUE 02-27-11
Pacific Film Archive PN1995.9.M45 H6 1987

Mustard, Deborah J.
"Spinster: An Evolving Stereotype Revealed Through Film." Journal of Media Psychology Volume 4, Winter 2000,

Polan, Dana.
"Now, Voyager." Senses of Cinema,
UC users only

Rhu, Lawrence F.
"Now, Voyager." In: Stanley Cavell's American dream : Shakespeare, philosophy, and Hollywood movies / Lawrence F. Rhu. New York : Fordham University Press, 2006.
Main (Gardner) Stacks B945.C274 R48 2006

Scheman, Naomi.
"Missing mothers/desiring daughters: framing the sight of women." Critical Inquiry, 1988, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p62-89, 28p

Shingler, Martin
"Bette Davis Made over in Wartime: The Feminisation of an Androgynous Star in "Now, Voyager" (1942)." Film History, Vol. 20, No. 3, Studio Systems (2008), pp. 269-280
UC users only

Shingler, Martin.
"Breathtaking: Bette Davis's Performance at the End of Now, Voyager." Journal of Film and Video. Spring 2006. Vol. 58, Iss. 1/2; p. 46 (13 pages)
UC users only
The article presents the author's views on the history of classical Hollywood melodrama. In the author's opinion, the melodramatic acting entangles a set of heightened and elaborated gestures and expressions: histrionic and conventionalized, even stereotypical. Irving Rapper's film "Now Voyager," one of the finest example of melodrama offers the specific use of gestures, poses, movements, and expressions that have become codified and acquire particular meanings.

Wells, Lynn; Weathers, Winston.
"Staging Nontraditional Fiction: 'Now Voyager' as a Case History." Literature in Performance: a Journal of Literary & Performing Art. 3(2):45-54. 1983 Apr.

Whelehan, Imelda
"'Don't Let's Ask for the Moon!': Reading and Viewing the Woman's Film." In: The Cambridge companion to literature on screen / edited by Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1997.85 .C36 2007 AVAILABLE
Media Resources Center PN1997.85 .C36 2007

The Old Maid

Ferguson, Susan J.
"The Old Maid Stereotype in American Film, 1938 To 1965." Film & History ; Dec1991, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p130-144, 15p
UC users only

Fink, Janet; Holden, Katherine
"Pictures from the Margins of Marriage: Representations of Spinsters and Single Mothers in the mid-Victorian Novel, Inter-war Hollywood Melodrama and British Film of the 1950s and 1960s." Gender & History; Jul99, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p233, 23p
UC users only

Hoellering, Franz.
"Films: The Old Maid." Nation; 8/19/1939, Vol. 149 Issue 8, p204-205, 2p
UC users only

David Melville.
"Auntie Dearest: Mothers, Daughters and The Old Maid." Senses of Cinema,
UC users only

Stella Dallas

See King Vidor bibliography

Imitation of Life

Douglas Sirk (1954)

See Douglas Sirk bibliography

John Stahl (1934)

Berlant, Lauren Gail
"National Brands, National Body: Imitation of Life." In: The female complaint : the unfinished business of sentimentality in American culture / Lauren Berlan Durham : Duke University Press, 2008.
Main (Gardner) Stacks BH301.E45 B47 2008

Butler, Judith.
"Lana's 'Imitation': Melodramatic Repetition and the Gender Performative." Genders. 9: 1-18. 1990 Fall.

Butler, Jeremy G.
"Style and the Domestic Melodrama." Jump Cut /32, Apr 86; p.25-28.
Discusses a theory of style through a comparison of the 1934 and 1959 versions of "Imitation of Life".

Caputi, J. and Vann, H.
"Questions of Race and Place." Cineaste XV/4, 87; p.16-21.
Discusses racism in "Imitation of Life" and "Places in the Heart".

Caughie, Pamela L.
"Let It Pass: Changing the Subject, Once Again." PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America. 112 (1): 26-39. 1997 Jan.

Milne, Tom.
"Imitation of Life." (review) Films & Filming /327, Dec 81; p.42-43.

Pulleine, Tim.
"Imitation of Life." (Review). Monthly Film Bulletin XLVIII/574, Nov 81; p.229.

Smith, Valerie
"Reading the Intersection of Race and Gender in Narratives of Passing: Black Female Spectatorship and Imitation of Life (1934)." Diacritics Vol. 24, No. 2/3, Critical Crossings (Summer - Autumn, 1994), pp. 43-57
UC users only

Thaggert, Miriam
"Divided images: black female spectatorship and John Stahl's 'Imitation of Life.'" African American Review, Fall 1998 v32 n3 p481(11)
UC users only
"Director John Stahl's 1934 film 'Imitation of Life' offers images and characters for black female spectatorship. The film, an adaptation of Fannie Hurst's novel of the same title, contains cinematic elements such as black feminism that create pleasure in African American women viewers. This unique interplay of feminist film theory and black female spectatorship is effectively exploited in the strained relationship between the film's black mother and her light-skinned daughter." [Expanded Academic Index]

Magnificent Obsession

See Douglas Sirk bibliography

Written on the Wind

See Douglas Sirk bibliography

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