Slum plays, salvation stories, and crook pictures: the gangster regeneration cycle and the prehistory of the gangster genre

Heffernan, Nick (2017) Slum plays, salvation stories, and crook pictures: the gangster regeneration cycle and the prehistory of the gangster genre. Film History, 29 (2). pp. 32-65. ISSN 1553-3905

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Abstract

Recent scholarship exhorts film historians to attend to production cycles in order to interrogate established conceptions of genres. This essay identifies and examines a neglected cycle of gangster regeneration films that flourished between 1910 and 1925 and constituted the prehistory of a genre usually identified with the early 1930s. The gangster regeneration cycle drew from the “slum plays” and “salvation stories” of stage melodrama a set of narrative formulas and thematic concerns that reflected the influence of Progressive ideology. In its attitude to social reform and gender, it stands in sharp distinction to the canonical gangster cycles that succeeded it.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: film cycles, gangster genre, Progressivism, sentimentalism, gender politics, Jazz Age
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies > Department of American and Canadian Studies
Identification Number: 10.2979/ lmhistory.29.2.02
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Heffernan, Nick
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2017 09:00
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 20:35
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/44472

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