I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies by Jeanine Basinger

By Jeanine Basinger

From one in every of our best movie historians and interpreters: a brilliantly researched, irresistibly witty, delightfully illustrated exam of “the marriage movie”; what it really is (or isn’t) and what it has to inform us concerning the movies—and ourselves.

As lengthy as there were function videos there were marriage video clips, and but Hollywood has continually been wary approximately the right way to label them—perhaps simply because, in contrast to the other style of movie, the wedding motion picture resonates without delay with the event of virtually each grownup coming to determine it. here's “happily ever after”—except while issues aren't chuffed, and whilst “ever after” is unexpectedly terminated via divorce, tragedy . . . or perhaps homicide. together with her large-hearted knowing of the way movies—and audiences—work, Jeanine Basinger lines the various methods Hollywood has tussled with this tough topic, explicating the relationships of numerous marriages from Blondie and Dagwood to the heartrending couple within the Iranian A Separation, from Tracy and Hepburn to Laurel and Hardy (a marriage if ever there has been one) to teach and his spouse in Friday evening lighting fixtures.
A treasure trove of perception and sympathy, illustrated with ratings of splendidly telling motion picture stills, posters, and advertisements.

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Extra info for I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies

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Directed by John Korty; cinematography by Bill Butler. With James Woods, Robert Emhardt, and Gino Ardito. Produced by Richard Shepherd; released by 20th Century-Fox. see When the Lights Go Down. Alex in Wonderland US (1970): Comedy 109 min, Rated R, Color Paul Mazursky's account of a movie director (Donald Sutherland), who has just made his first picture (Mazursky had just made his first, BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE), fretting and fantasizing over his next project. Alex's fantasy life has no intensity-it's a series of emotionally antiseptic reveries, staged like the big production numbers in a musical.

Mickey Rourke plays a private eye who is hired by a mysterious client (Robert De Niro) to search for information about a crooner of the prewar era who has disappeared. Rourke searches in the murkiest holes in America-New Orleans is almost as dim as the New York slums. Every place Rourke goes is artfully arranged to be scuzzy, and he's scuzzy, although women don't seem to mind. He has a cajoling, intimate manner with Elizabeth Whitcraft as a ready-for-action blonde, with Charlotte Rampling as a sullen psychic, and especially with the sexpot Lisa Bonet as a teenage Mambo priestess who has a penchant for smearing herself with chicken blood.

The American Friend France-Germany-US (1977): Mystery 127 min, No rating, Color The young German director Wim Wenders is attracted to the idea of telling a story, but he can't quite keep his mind on it; he overdoses on mood-poetic urban masochism-in this adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's crime novel Ripley's Game. Wenders' unsettling compositions are neurotically beautiful visions of a disordered world, but the film doesn't have the nasty, pleasurable cleverness of a good thriller; dramatically, it's stagnant-inverted Wagnerianism.

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