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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #2 (From Rose Marie)

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Both scenes show that there is a comfort level in their interactions with each other.  There is a playfulness that underscores their behavior that shows flirtation and wooing in a very respectful manner that is well within the code.

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In a nutshell, this movie is typical of the era:  boy meets girl & like each other. Not to seem forward, he shows interest but she resists which drives him to get closer to her. She resists as much as she can but since he's so persistent, she gives up towards the end of the movie & falls for his charm & "good guy Mountie" character. He may have control of the canoe, but she has control of the relationship. In the saloon scene, you can see that McDonald's character is more formal than those who patronize the saloon. However, necessity for money makes it necessary to "lower" herself to that level which adds to her discomfort. As she labors through songs, a local "bad girl" glides up to the piano & shows McDonald how the saloon songs should be sung. McDonald attempts to mimic Gilda Gray's character but it's so out of character for her that she fails.

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I had only previously seen clips of them during musical numbers but not their acting off each other. His playful manner when he is speaking to her in the canoe and watching her face as he sings to her and her expression changes from indifference to attraction.  In the saloon you can see her discomfort and embarrassment at trying to draw the crowds attention and self consciousness in her lack of 'sex appeal'.  The fact that the piano player described her singing as fair reflected the fact that her singing wasn't the style the customers wanted to hear. 

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You can tell that they both have an attraction for the other in the first clip.  The second clip they also have an attraction but they are almost embarrassed seeming in it, which could be a sense of the times they were living in, especially for women as you weren't supposed to come across as interested in the other person.   During this time period is history times were safe and pure. 

 

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Interaction between the two is stilted and very proper. Although they are in close proximity with one another, they are not face to face thereby allowing them to maintain a respectable distance. In the saloon scene, Nelson observes but does not acknowledge that he has seen MacDonald in such a degrading situation. This shows respect, empathy and the desire not to embarass or shame her. It shows the audience that he is a gentleman; ruled by good morals with the ability to handle an uncomfortable situation in an appropriate and discreet way. He may not be born into wealth but his manners demonstrate true goodness.

 

 

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What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.  In the first:  It is typical of pretty much all "boy meets girl" musical scenarios in which he is immediately and obviously smitten but the nice girl has to play hard to get.  (I'm also thinking of Mickey and Judy in "Girl Crazy"  She:  "I don't like you."  He: "I think you're cute").  Her icy demeanor: facial expressions and limited dialogue, are meant to show him she's not going to be taken in by this handsome young man in uniform, who appears to be arrogant enough to think that's all it will take for any woman to fall.  There is the playful banter in which he believes there is an unknown suitor and he tries to sell himself.  As he continues his attempts through song there is a quick play of emotions on her face, annoyance, maybe even boredom with the flirtatious game; and it is apparent she expects him to be terrible, (no match for her Italian tenor).  But then there is a gradual shift as he sings, a smile, a nod of the head, (Hey, not bad).  She's impressed, there is a continual softening of her face, and her heart, until she finds he has wooed others with song and she comes to her senses.  She's obviously jealous but covers it by mocking his singing and the song, and in essence tells him, "Yeah, yeah I see you're trying to put the make on me, like you have with those others but it ain't gonna work, buster."

In the second scene:  You see Jeanette's character's pluck, determination, and desperation, and unless you have seen the movie you don't know the reason why she's willing to "demean" herself by doing something she is so obviously ill-equipped for and uncomfortable with.  Then when the saloon girl takes over she makes a brave attempt to match her performance and for a brief second almost take control of the situation, by abandoning her sense of propriety and (gasp) shimmying, stroking herself and trying to out-singing the "old pro".   For a "nanosecond" Nelson's character is amused by the performance but then he senses her embarrassment and pain and shows a depth of feeling which he unlikely would show for the two "floozies" with him.  Critics have often considered Nelson "wooden" but the subtle play of emotions on his face show otherwise.


If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.   In other Nelson/Eddy screen pairings Jeanette's character is similarly resistant to his advances, and it takes some doing to melt the "Ice Princess".  However in "Maytime" she is almost immediately attracted to him but has to rebuff his charming advances not because of "nice girl must play hard to get" but rather out of a sense of loyalty and obligation to her vocal trainer/promoter, which proves she is a nice girl.


What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?  While the female may find the male attractive "nice girls" aren't allowed to give into their natural impulses; they are the pursued, not the pursuer.  And no matter what obstacles may come their way during the 120 or so minutes running time, rest assured before that lovely cursive title card pronounces: "The End", the good guy will get the good girl.  MCM mogul, Louie B. Mayer considered himself the purveyor of wholesome family entertainment, therefore the movie musicals and characters portrayed rather chaste pure relationships.  Leave the trashy, true-to-life-stuff to Warner Brothers. 

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I see the couple as being very comfortable with each other. They would tend to be characters that are high brow, but be down to earth in appeal. I don't think the audiences would like them before the code, they tend to be a 'proper' characters.

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The first clip I enjoyed Eddy’s singing ability. Sometimes in films I think the style of singing feels distant from the scene or almost out of nowhere. As he sings the famous song, MacDonald’s reactions are captured beautifully as she reacts to the song. I found it humurous that after Eddy finishes the song and proclaims his love to her that you find out he sings it to many. The special moment that was created also creates a guardedness that although Eddy may have feelings for her, he is almost indifferent if she doesn’t return those feelings. This is something that people do every day. Share their thoughts and feelings and then make a lighthearted joke to lighten the tension or lessen the rejection.

The second clip, MacDonald definitely did not know how “read her audience.” She portrayed an insecurity and lack of confidence when she has a beautiful voice. Then when Eddy arrives, I immediately noticed the girls that were around him wanting his attention and he slightly didn’t mind it. Then when one of the girls gets up and takes over MacDonald’s song I was surprised she stayed up there trying to follow the other lady’s moves! I began laughing at her trying to mimick some of the more provocative dancing because her facial expression was that of someone learning a new dance. She then realized the audience and Eddy that she fled. Again, their interaction is more subtle and dated but still relatable to this day. People try to get other’s attention and can easily become embarrassed by their actions.

I have sadly, not seen them in other movies but they are added to my ever-growing list!

The Hollywood Code definitely changed interactions of films to be even more lighthearted and innocent. I agree with what many are expressing that relationships were depicted with a good guy falling in love with the good girl. Relationships were portrayed a love that almost happens immediately, at first sight. The female is often times a damsel in distress and the male comes in to help her but falls in love with her. This has shaped the pattern of films for years to come.

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What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

In the canoe scene, he persists, she resists, he insists, she desists. Both are interested, him to a greater degree than her, but they still play the initial cat and mouse game. In the saloon scene, she is definitely uncomfortable and out of place, but persists until she sees the futility in trying to fit in where she doesn't belong. He begins by appearing disinterested, proceeds to amused, then his face exhibits sympathy for her and he finishes his expressive facial emoting by showing genuine concern/admiration for her embarrassing effort as she hastily exits.

If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.

Have seen probably every film in which they were paired together, and their performances in non-paired films. He has a marvelous voice but has always seemed somewhat "stiff" and unnatural as an actor or as someone else posted on here: Eddy playing Eddy. MacDonald, however, has one of the loveliest voices imaginable, and has always seemed to me to be more "natural" in her acting endeavors and more adaptable to the characters she has played but still adding her own interpretation. Thought she was marvelous in San Francisco, although it is my understanding that her co-star Clark Gable did not warm up to her because he thought she was snobby and stuck-up.

What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

The relationships might have been interpreted as "antiseptic" whether or not there were underlying intentions. I suspect the norms supported were "clean, decent, pristine" with a flirt, a kiss, a hug because no one wanted a slap on the hand even though the public may have secretly longed for "Hester to win just one more A." ;)

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1. I noticed the two liked each other but were kind of being coy about it. It's like they don't want to come right out and say it. You can see it in the way Sgt. Bruce ends up singing the song with other women's names in it so it's like it's not just for Marie. You know he really does like her because in the saloon scene, he watches her with admiration. 

2. I have scene these two actors in Naughty Marietta. I think their dynamics are basically the same as this movie. They don't like each other at first and when they do, they don't admit it. The outpouring and admittance of their love for each other come out in song.

3. The male/female relationship in these days are romantic yet playful. 

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  • What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

I kind of think they are similar.  In the first, he is trying to woo her by singing to her. He is also showing his vulnerable side.  She shows her vulnerable side in the second clip.  She is trying to be the sexy siren at the club, but it just doesn't work.  She is too uptight.  When the other lady sings it like they would in a club setting, she is embarrassed because she can't pull it off. I think she is embarrassed because she wants him to see her as sexy and attractive, but she probably just thinks he feels sorry for her.     

  • If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.  

I have never seen either one in a movie, I think I will go check it out.  

  • What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

I feel that the male is the lead and the female is the secondary role.  I also feel that the female is cold at first, but longs to be considered more attractive.  The sexy character has a long skirt on, even though she is wiggling her hips like crazy, she is fully dressed.  Marie is fully dressed with what would be considered appropriate attire outside the home.  

 

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1. Rose Marie is very conservative and sergeant Bruce is broad minded.The first scene the sergeant serenades Rose Marie with a song about her, but it turns out that he changes the name in the song to the girl he is with at the time. So he has been with many girls. In the second scene Rose Marie has taken a job singing in a saloon and struggles to get anyone’s attention. She sings a modern song as an opera and when she try’s to modernize her routine by observing another woman, she’s awkward and then she realizes that she can’t bring herself to dance that way.

2. I’m not sure if I’ve watched all of Rose Marie, but I did see Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in Maytime. From the clips and Maytime I can see they have a great chemistry on screen and they sang beautifully together. It’s easy to see why they paired them in a lot of movies. I also noticed their characters in Rose Marie and Maytime shared some characteristics. Nelson plays the worldly carefree guy and Jeanette plays the prim and proper lady.

3. The male/female relationships in films of this era are that the women will act properly, they follow etiquette and have high standards. The men are carefree and sometimes have low standards. But the opposites attract and of coarse the girl must act indifferent until marriage is brought up. Under the Hollywood Film code I think the norms of a relationship would be like it’s your first date so you meet in a public place, maybe chaperoned. Once the couple is engaged they could meet alone in a public place. And so on.

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1. In both clips, the Bruce and Marie characters clearly reveal a growing infatuation with each other, with Marie often feigning a dismissive attitude. On the lake, this love is communicated with song and dialogue; at the saloon, it’s shown wordlessly, just by a shared look. Sergeant Bruce is more forthcoming in his expression (although we find his early overtures are often a creative musical pickup line), as Marie holds her feelings closer. Finally, she seems to accept a sympathetic look from Bruce, after her failure at the saloon before slipping away.

2. I have to admit I’ve never been much of a fan of MacDonald/Eddy films. My experience was limited to the “When I’m Calling You” clips and parodies, and I dismissed their high art style as just muscle vocals. Had I seen these clips, I might have had a better opinion. I liked the lighthearted back-and-forth of the canoe scene, and especially enjoyed MacDonald poking fun at her own upper crust inability to master the more down-to-earth ****-tonk sensibilities. 

3. Sergeant Bruce is portrayed as a ladies’ man (along with his fellow Mounties), whether partying in the saloon — or as we learn from his bespoke lovesong ruse, one who routinely tries to woo women by formula. Maria is classically demure, but shows how she quickly sees through Bruce’s schemes. In the saloon, she gamely mimics the dance hall girl’s sexy performance, desperately trying to make her talents more marketable. There’s an interesting dynamic between the two in that Marie respects the saloon singer’s ability to engage her audience, but can’t quite bring herself to mirror the man-pleasing gyrations. Being a good girl has its limits, even when you’re trying to hold a job.

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The first thing I notice is Jeannette McDonald's independence of spirit. She is on her way in the, presumably, Canadian woods, and she isn't about to fall for a Mountie when she is going to her sweetheart. She also has the independence of spirit to accuse Nelson Eddy of being a ladies' man, using whatever name is at hand with the tune he sang to her. The second thing I noticed is Eddy's respect for her. It shone from his eyes as he watched her in the saloon, even though he was at a table with the blonde.

I have seen several of the McDonald/Eddy films and find Eddy to be a stuffed shirt. Maybe he doesn't seem real enough and I don't warm to him. McDonald first impressed me with her beautiful soprano. She seems to have an effortless voice. I also find her funny. I enjoyed her very much in San Francisco and thought that she and Spencer Tracy, in that film, had a warmth that I never got from Clark Gable's **** until the ending of the movie. 

Male/female relationships, make that man/woman relationships, (it's warmer and less clinical that way) are chaste. The woman is responsible for keeping the brakes on physicality and the man is responsible for wooing and wedding. It's never expected that couples will go too far for the woman to retain her respectability. After all, she doesn't know whether this is going to work out or not. A great singer may not a husband who will support you make. This is the standard musical man/woman relationship until Funny Girl, I think.

 

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1) It is apparent in the 2 scenes that these two have a courting-type relationship with one another. They are not going together, but there is an attraction they hold between them. The camera scenes mimic the witty back-and-forth style of banter and singing to further show they have a tense, but budding relationship. The way Marie plays with her fingers with a raised eyebrow shows her interest and playfulness towards the sergeant. The sergeant's words are playful but aimed to strike a chord - especially when discussing him rowing her towards her suitors.

2) I have not had the opportunity to see any other movies with these two actors together, so I am unable to comment on their chemistry.

3) Looking back on this era of film-making (after the Code was enforced), it really seems tame. Real life is hardly ever this neat and "proper," and I think it skews our view of what life was actually like during that time. The male/female relationships of this time seem good-natured and playful, as if they didn't want to take anything too seriously. The "norms" supported under the Code seem to be: minimal physical interaction, hinting at rather than being direct with anything sexual in nature, and also showing the virtues of each character through their courtship.

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I will admit not being very familiar with the work of Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald.  That being said, I see similarities in their relationships that follow on and come before many of the stereotypical relationships of that era.  The woman is supposed to act shy or reticent while the man is charmingly interested but not overbearing, but then ultimately comes to the woman's rescue (emotionally or physically).  Sometimes the operatic music is a distraction for me; not sure why.

Class differences and character differences seem to have become more "good/bad" as time progressed.  

 

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I love the facial expressions between Nelson and Jennette in this scene. The story is right on their faces, no dialogue is necessary. You feel closer to both characters. I felt so embarrassed and sympathetic to Jennette's character when the saloon singer upstages her. She didn't mind the people in the saloon not paying any attention to her singing but when Nelson walked in, you could tell that she hated that he didn't see her winning over the crowd. And the look on Nelson's face showed me he wasn't being a player anymore and that he really cares about her. This is such a wonderful scene. Like most movies in this era, the road to romance starts out a bit bumpy and later, they realize they are in love.

I've seen all of the Nelson Eddy - Jennette MacDonald movies and found them all to be charming. I like opera so the music really appeals to me as well as the story. I especially liked "Sweethearts" and Naughty Marietta." They have such a wonderful on-screen chemistry together. I've heard that they were very different off-screen. Jennette liked making movies and Nelson hated it. You would never know that by seeing them in the movies.

Relationships in movies of this era show couple playing by the rules. The man makes the first move, the woman is reserved and cautious. Something happens that makes them drift apart and then they realize that they belong together. Anytime there is a conflict between two women wanting the same man, the "good girl" always gets him in the end. 

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  1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.

The music is treated as a source of attraction.  Eddy starts to woo McDonald with a romantic song in the canoe.  When she compliments him on the quality of his singing, he doesn't acknowledge the compliment.  Instead, he asks if she's impressed with the romantic nature of the song.  She, playfully perhaps, is offended over his using another woman's name.  Later, as McDonald tries to sing in the saloon, Eddy is clearly smitten with her voice as well as her appearance.

If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.

They always come across as innocent, straight-laced, and classy.  Even though they are older, well beyond college age, each regards romance as young teenagers.  In addition, there is always a sense of playful whimsey between them.

  1. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?

A clear distinction is made between the acceptable girl (McDonald) and the debauched floozies in the saloon.  Romance is always depicted as sweet and innocent.  There is a flirtatious element, but it is playful and funny rather than sexual.

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What I find interesting about their interaction in the 2 scenes is how it is affected by eye contact.  In the first scene, they talk while she has her back to him - no eye contact.  He sings a beautiful love song, and we can see by her facial expression that it piques her interest - but no eye contact throughout most of the song.  When she does turn to look at him, it is only with limited, short glances - and her interest in him becomes "what a goof this guy is."  In the second scene, they don't speak.  She sings, trying to use her talent in the only way she knows.  He watches, catching her eye - and in this eye contact we see them interact on a deeper level.  She tries not to look at him out of embarrassment, trying to stay within herself to hold it together and complete the song.  She even attempts to copy the saloon girl's movements - without looking at him.  We see in his eyes how he is so sad for her, for the fact that she has come down to this to earn money, and that she is failing and will have nothing.  At the end of the clip, their eyes meet - He smiles in sympathy; she looks mortified, then tosses her head in pride as she leaves.

Or maybe it's that the first scene is so perfect - He paddles the canoe on a lovely evening, sings a beautiful song, and she can relax and enjoy his presence - too perfect and superficial.  Hence the comic banter.  And the second scene is her worst moment - when she has hit bottom.  He then rises to the top for one of his better moments.  

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  1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples.  In the first scene Jeanette MacDonald was at ease and in control of her surroundings and Nelson Eddy was giving his all to impress her.  In the second scene Nelson Eddy was in his element with friends and Jeanette MacDonald was making a tremendous attempt to adapt.  Both end up impressing the other.  
  2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them.  I've seen Jeanette MacDonald in "Three Daring Daughters" 1948.   She allows you to feel her "oh dear" moments when her health was failing and she had to take a vacation.  In the second clip she truly portrays how it feels to not fit in.  It's sickening because you already love her.
  3. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code?  There were bad girls and good girls and the good girl is the star of the movie.  Whenever a bad thing is done in a 1930s movie there are moral consequences so the movie will pass code.

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  1. The characters show the audience that they are interested in each other by speaking to one another in a playful tone, but show attentiveness and longing to the other when they think the other is not looking, stealing quick glances and turning away quickly. 
  2. This is my first time watching these two actors.
  3. The film was an example of men as the pursuers in the relationship. The norms are to show the development of a relationship in an innocent and morally correct manner.

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1. The canoe scene is very reminiscent of every Astaire-Rogers pairing:  boy meets girl, girl resists,...  But the saloon scene offers more.  Without having seen the film, we have no idea what circumstances have led her to sing in this place where she is clearly a fish out of water, but we do know that his interest in her has progressed from a basic flirtation to concern for her well-being.

2. I have only seen clips of their films in the past.  He is so unattractively “stiff” all of them that I never sought out full films.

3. First scene:  sweet and innocent flirtation, no touching for this newly-met couple, but she has a little more backbone than one might find in the typical non-musical female character of the era.  Second scene:  “good girl” McDonald is painfully out of her element in the seedy saloon—and the good girl makes her escape quickly when the other singer’s dance takes a sexual/sensual turn.

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1.). In the first clip Jeannette MacDonald is distracted as Nelson Eddy tries to gain her attention with small talk, "Beautiful night, isn't it?"  It's apparent he's interested in her.  He tells her she has everything here in these beautiful surroundings, implying she's looking for romance in the wrong place.  She let's him know, surroundings were not what she was looking for. She definitely has her mind made up on an Italian tenor, which she looks starry eyed about when she speaks of him. However, Nelson Eddy proceeds to try to convince her to take a look at him.  She finally turns around; they make eye contact.  He asks what the Italian tenor is like.  She asks why.  He tells her he wants to know what his competition is like.  She seems perturbed at his questions.  Until....wait for it....he starts to sing to her!  Her expression reveals that she is very much liking what she is hearing.  Love blossoms in the Hollywood code era.

In the second clip, Jeannette MacDonald's character is so very out of her element in this smoke filled, rough & tumble saloon.  She is a classy lady in a derelict situation.  Her clothes are very prim & proper whereas the lady who joins her in a song that Ms. MacDoanld was in the middle of, is dressed what seems to me to be pre code.  Her gyrations also seem pre code.  I loved the way JM tried to copy the other "lady!"  She was very comical & I laughed out loud at her attempt!  Her connection with Nelson Eddy in this scene is based on her shame in being there & his admiration for her guts.

2.)  I have seen movies with Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy many, many, moons ago when I was a child.  At the time, they were not my favorite in musicals.  I didn't like opera, and probably never saw any of their movies to the end.  After seeing the second clip of them in the saloon, and loving it, I will have to see this movie, and view it with an older lens!

3.)  Regarding the male/female relationships in these clips and what they tell me about how they're depicted in the films during this era, I would have to say that they are very clean and wholesome compared to the pre code era.  The relationships are depicted mostly with facial expressions and leaves the viewer with having to use our imaginations.  The boy & girl become attracted to each other, usually after a conflict of some kind, but naturally end up together with a kiss at the end.  That's as racey as it gets.  I would expect the norm under the Hollywood Film code to be boy meets girl, conflict ensues, boy gets girl.  The code being that this is all done very above board with strong morality.

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1) What I have notice in the first two scenes is that on the boat ride you can see he's singing his heart out and when you see her facial expressions she is trying to play coy but she's enjoying it but they have no physical interactions between the two

2) I have not seen these two before in any tv or movies

3) They are playful, happy and light-hearted, there is really no physical interactions between them, but you can see that they have feelings for each other

 

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  1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples. It depicts the classical old hollywood relationship between a male and a female, I mean where the man it's and important character in the movie and the woman usually pretended not to be interested on his appeal or his fame, and we can see the approaches of the male character without giving away that he really likes her or sacrificing his looks on society.
  2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. Nope, first time, that's the reason i signed in the class I really like classical films and I wanted to expand my knowledge on them.
  3. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films during this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? I am assuming relationships needed to be depicted as pure love, taking the sexual part out of the equation, they needed show the audience of deeply in love they are to each other and that creates a lot of the comical situations in most of the movies, even nowadays.
  4.  

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