Social Problem Films:
A Bibliography of Books and Articles in the UC Berkeley Libraries

This is a static page that is no longer maintained

Alcoholism and Drugs in the Movies bibliographies
Labor and the Working Class in the Movies bibliographies
Lawyers and the Legal Process in the Movies bibliographies
Children, Teens, and Families in the Movies and TV (for discussions of juvenile delinquency in films)

Briley, Ronald.
"Reel History and the Cold War (Post-WWII Social Problem Films: A Short-lived Liberal Approach)." OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 8, No. 2, Rethinking the Cold War (Winter, 1994), pp. 19-22
UC users only

Brownlow, Kevin.
Behind the mask of innocence / Kevin Brownlow. New York : Knopf, 1990.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.75 .B68 1990
Moffitt PN1995.75 .B68 1990
Pacific Film Archive PN1995.75

Burton. C. Emory
"Sociology and the Feature Film." Teaching Sociology, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Jul., 1988), pp. 263-271
UC users only

Byars, Jackie.
"The Social Problem Films of the 1950s." All that Hollywood allows : re-reading gender in 1950s melodrama Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
MAIN: PN1995.9.S47 B9 1991
MOFF: PN1995.9.S47 B9 1991

Casper, Drew.
"Social Problem Film and Courtroom Drama." In: Postwar Hollywood, 1946-1962 Malden, MA : Blackwell, 2007.
MAIN: PN1993.5.U6 C34 2007; MOFF: PN1993.5.U6 C34

Cripps, Thomas.
Making movies Black : the Hollywood message movie from World War II to the civil rights era / Thomas Cripps. New York : Oxford University Press, 1993.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.N4 C687 1993
Moffitt PN1995.9.N4 C687 1993

Hill, John
"The British 'Social Problem' Film: 'Violent Playground' and 'Sapphire'." Screen, January/February 1985; 26: 34 - 49.
UC users only

Hirsch, Joshua
"Film Gris Reconsidered. Journal of Popular Film & Television; Summer2006, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p82-93, 12p
UC users only
"Thom Andersen defined film gris as an offshoot of film noir characterized by leftist criticism of American society (1947-1951). This article reviews Andersen's work on film gris, identifies some problems in the work, proposes solutions, and provides a reconceived overview of the content and context of the films." [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Kuzina, Matthias
"The Social Issue Courtroom Drama as an Expression of American Popular Culture." Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 28, No. 1, Law and Film (Mar., 2001), pp. 79-96
UC users only

Lay, Samantha.
British social realism : from documentary to Brit-grit / Samantha Lay. London : Wallflower, 2002.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995.9.D6 L39

Lay, Samantha.
"Good intentions, high hopes and low budgets: Contemporary social realist film-making in Britain." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film Volume: 5 | Issue: 3 November 2007 Page(s): 231-244
UC users only

Maland, C.
"The Social Problem Film." In: Handbook of American film genres / edited by Wes D. Gehring. New York : Greenwood Press, 1988.
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1993.5.U6 H3351 1988

Neale, Stephen.
"Social Problem Films." In: Genre and Hollywood / Steve Neale. London ; New York : Routledge, 2000. Location Call No. Status
Full text available online (UCB users only)
PN1993.5.U6 N436 2000
PN1993.5.U6 N436 2000

Neve, Brian.
Film and politics in America : a social tradition London ; New York : Routledge, 1992.
MAIN: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992
MOFF: PN1995.9.S6 N46 1992)

Nickel, John.
"Disabling African American Men: Liberalism and Race Message Films." Cinema Journal 44:1 (Fall 2004) p. 25-48
UC users only

Noriega, Chon
"Citizen Chicano: The Trials and Titillations of Ethnicity in the American Cinema, 1935-1962." Social Research; Summer91, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p413-438, 26p
UC users only
"This article deals with motion pictures which addressed the issue of the place of the American in the U.S. Given the nature of the social problem of American citizenship, the films had to define the internal-external paradigm as a domestic rather than international one. The social-problem films fall into three major genres: romantic melodrama; courtroom drama/juvenile delinquent and boxing films. While in general these genres provide for diverse courses of action, each of the above films has an act of violence as the inciting incident, the incident the narrative attempts to resolve." [EBSCO]

Patton, Cindy.
Cinematic identity : anatomy of a problem film Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2007.
Full text available online (UCB users only)
MAIN: PN1995.9.S62 P38 2007)

Popísil, Tomás.
"The Liberal Message Films of the Late 1940s and the Position of African-Americans." Brno Studies in English: Sborník Prací Filozofické Fakulty Brnenské Univerzity, S: Rada Anglisticá/Series Anglica, vol. 30, no. 10, pp. 179-87, 2004

Roffman, Peter.
The Hollywood Social Problem Film: From the Depression to the Fifties. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1981. [Main Stack PN1995.R63; Moffitt PN1995.R63]

Sloan, Kay.
The loud silents : origins of the social problem film Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1998.
Main Stack PN1995.9.S62.S58 1988
Moffitt PN1995.9.S62.S58 1988

Roffman, Peter
The Hollywood social problem film : from the Depression to the fifties / Peter Roffman & Jim Purdy Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1981
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1995 .R63 AVAILABLE
Moffitt PN1995 .R63 c.11

Ryan, Michael.
"Social Problem Films." In: Camera politica : the politics and ideology of contemporary Hollywood film / by Michael Ryan and Douglas Kellner. Bloomington, Ind. : Indiana University Press, c1988.
Main (Gardner) Stacks; Moffitt, PFA PN1993.5.U6 R931 1988

Sloan, Kay.
"A Cinema in Search of Itself: Ideology of the Social Problem Film During the Silent Era." Cineaste, 1985, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p34-56, 5p

Sloan, Kay.
"Silent Cinema as Social Criticism: Front Page Movies." In: Hollywood's America: Twentieth-Century America Through Film / edited with an introduction by Steven Mintz and Randy Roberts. St. James, N.Y. : Brandywine Press, 1993.
Full-text available online
Main (Gardner) Stacks PN1993.5.U6 H64 1993

Wilt, David; Shull, Michael.
"Social Problem Films." In: The Columbia Companion to American History on Film / New York : Columbia University Press, c2003.
Full-text available on line [UCB users only]
Doe Reference PN1995.9.U64 C65 2003
Media Resources Center PN1995.9.U64 C65 2003; Moffitt PN1995.9.U64 C65 2003

Young, Lola
"Representation and British 'racial problem' films." Women: A Cultural Review, Volume 2, Issue 1 Spring 1991, pages 40 - 51
UC users only

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