Tuesday, 3 February 2009

American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations

edited by Barry Keith Grant

While the war in Vietnam was escalating to the point that there were almost 185,000 troops in the country by year's end, one would be hard pressed to find any evidence of that in mainstream films. By the same token, another war--President Lyndon Johnson's much ballyhooed War on Poverty--also seems to have left little trace on celluloid images of the year. One learned from protest singer-songwriter Phil Ochs that 23,000 U.S. troops landed on the shores of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, but the movies were silent on this score, too. Bubbling beneath the surface, however, even within the mainstream, one could easily detect the restlessness and disillusionment that would threaten to break apart the fabric of American society later in the decade and that certainly ended the ride of Hollywood's family-style, Production Code-restricted cinema.

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