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Heroes, Monsters and Messiahs: Movies and Television Shows as the Mythology of American Culture

Andrews McMeel Publishing
2000/07/01

Heroes, Monsters and Messiahs: Movies and Television Shows as the Mythology of American Culture Overview

Movies and television don't just entertain us. They incorporate the ideals and flaws of our society. Heroes, Monsters, and Messiahs explains how, just as the ancients had an active mythology that guided their lives, the stories, characters, and ideals of movies and TV shows make up the mythology of American culture.Heroes, Monsters, and Messiahs traces the evolution of mythic symbols in American popular culture as shown in movies and on TV from 1939 to 1999-a remarkable 60-year span. The book details the fictional characters who have served as mythic role models for Americans, from Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler to Marshall Matt Dillon and Mrs. Robinson to the present-day heroes and heroines of Star Wars, ER, and The Lion King. Twelve chapters cover the years by decade and explore the relationships and roles of males, females, and machines in our cultural mythology. Motion picture and television show chronologies are included.


Heroes, Monsters and Messiahs: Movies and Television Shows as the Mythology of American Culture Table Of Content

Chapter 1 Motion Pictures and Television Shows as Myth 3
Chapter 2 The 1950s: Legends in Our Own Time 21
Chapter 3 The 1960s: Not So Turbulent 55
Chapter 4 The 1970s in Motion Pictures 105
Chapter 5 Television and the 1970s 135
Chapter 6 Motion Pictures of the 1980s 157
Chapter 7 Television Shows in the 1980s 205
Chapter 8 Television Shows in the 1990s 231
Chapter 9 Motion Pictures of the 1990s: A Diversity of Heroes 263
Chapter 10 Motion Pictures of the 1990s: Male and Female Relationships 281
Chapter 11 Motion Pictures of the 1990s: The Love-Hate Relationship between Humans and Machines 301
Chapter 12 Sailing into the New Millennium 327
Notes 341
References 351


Heroes, Monsters and Messiahs: Movies and Television Shows as the Mythology of American Culture Editorial Reviews

Booknews

Hirschman (marketing and management, Rutgers U.) maintains that what myths did for Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Celts, and, Romans, film and tv does for Americans, that is, they explain and guide our lives. To arrive at this conclusion, Hirschman examined film and tv from 1939-99, looking at the characters who served as role models: Scarlet O'Hara, Matt Dillon, and Mrs. Robinson to name a few. Hirschman's method of dividing these 60 years is generally to devote one chapter for tv and one for film per decade. Myth is scrutinized in terms of both content (characters and activities) and structure (interactions), using Jung and L<'e>vi-Strauss as guides. An example of one of Hirschman's observations is that a high place usually serves as the point of contact between human and higher beings, whether it be Moses and God on Mt. Sinai, or humans and extraterrestrials on Devil's Tower in . While the study lacks an index, it does include chronologies of the movies and tv shows in each decade. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


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