Spectacle in Classical Cinemas: Musicality and Historicity in the 1930s, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Spectacle in Classical Cinemas

Musicality and Historicity in the 1930s, 1st Edition

By Tom Brown


278 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138548718
pub: 2018-02-13
SAVE ~$10.39
Hardback: 9781138852945
pub: 2015-08-14
SAVE ~$32.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315723136
pub: 2015-08-11
from $25.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Spectacle is not often considered to be a significant part of the style of ‘classical’ cinema. Indeed, some of the most influential accounts of cinematic classicism define it virtually by the supposed absence of spectacle. Spectacle in ‘Classical’ Cinemas: Musicality and Historicity in the 1930s brings a fresh perspective on the role of the spectacular in classical sound cinema by focusing on one decade of cinema (the 1930s), in two ‘modes’ of filmmaking (musical and historical films), and in two national cinemas (the US and France). This not only brings to light the special rhetorical and affective possibilities offered by spectacular images but refines our understanding of what ‘classical’ cinema is and was.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Critical Contexts Part 1: Musicality 1. Performance Space 2. Emotional Topos 3. Entertainment and Dystopia? Part 2: Historicity 4. Monumental History 5. Spectacular Vistas and the Décor of History 6. Critical History? Conclusion

About the Author

Tom Brown is Lecturer in the Film Studies Department at King’s College London, UK

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Film Studies

This series is our home for innovative research in the field of film studies. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into this important and evolving subject area.


To submit a proposal for this series, please contact:
Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor for Media, Cultural and Communication Studies
[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / France
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
HISTORY / Social History
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies