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The 'No' to the Great American 'Yes': Hollywood's Criminal Representation of Organised Crime, 1929-1951.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date2003
Host publicationCrime & Hollywood Inc.,1929-1951: Le Crime Organis' ' la Ville et ' l''cran (1929-1951)
Place of PublicationRouen
PublisherPublications de l'Universit' de Rouen
Number of pages79
ISBN (print)2877753492
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Bibliographic note

This publication is the product of a plenary paper to the Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan (Paris) Aggregation-CAPES colloquium on organised crime in the city and on screen (for which Munby's previous work on the American gangster film was a set text). This contribution to a bi-lingual anthology, motivated by French scholars' engagement with ideas in part raised by earlier research, extends primary investigations into the relation of gangster ethnicity to laissez-faire capitalism in the 1930s in order to better understand what was at stake in the moral panic and censorship crusade mounted against this kind of mass representation. The contention is that what is missed in the scholarship devoted to one of Hollywood's most enduring and definitive genres is the question of ethnic mediation. The particularity of the gangster's popularity is dependent on how he 'voices' a vernacular complaint about the lingua franca'in this case white Anglo-Saxon hegemony'at moments of social and cultural crisis. The gangster's demand is simultaneously one for inclusion in the dominant culture while at the same time revealing the way one is excluded as a member of the striving ethnic urban lower class. The wider remit of this work is to challenge axioms that see classical Hollywood as always already servicing ideologically reactionary interests'and to argue for a theory that is more responsible to the historical contingencies of film production and reception. RAE_import_type : Chapter in book RAE_uoa_type : LICA