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  1. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? When these two dance in most of their films, they are very evenly matched and a pleasure to watch. I guess I never saw it as a battle between the sexes - more a delightful competition between two very talented people. They must have had a lot of fun together. 2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? The film is more sophisticated as sound and technique are improving. I remember watching this as a child and then as a teen on TV. I loved it. My grandmother had saved all of my mother's and aunt's party clothes from the 1940's. We used to dress up in them and pretend to be actors from this era of movies. 3. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? I agree with some of the other comments about the role of women changing during this time. My grandmothers were very much partners with their husbands. One of my grandmothers helped her husband run a business. My grandfather would build a home. They would move in and my grandmother would help him finish the home and they would sell it. She also kept the books for the lumber and cabinet company they owned. My other grandmother helped to run the farm while she raised four children. My grandfather was the county agent and she participated in some of the programs he initiated with farm families. She also helped to start a women's choral group of community women that was part of Purdue University for many years.
  2. 1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? I thought this was a delightful scene. I had never heard of the Lubitsch touch. I want to meet Alfred because he is charming and fun. I liked the way he spoke English to the audience. The props helped to explain what was happening between the characters. The drawer full of guns was a great way to let us in on the female character. She was a busy girl! 2. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of sound? Describe a specific sound or line of dialogue you hear and what you think it adds to the scene’s effectiveness. I agree with others who commented about the conversations that could be heard behind the doors. We also would have missed the comments from Alfred that were spoken in English to the audience. 3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? The main characters are once again "the idle rich" who have time to be involved in a "screwball comedy" instead of scraping together a living and worrying about the mundane of ordinary life - a true escape!
  3. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the characters in these two scenes? Please give specific examples Jeanette MacDonald's character Marie seems more relaxed after she hears the song. I liked her way of chiding Nelson Eddy about the other women he might name in the song. The second scene shows Marie to be out of her element. She does try to mimic the other female singer which I found humorous. 2. If you have seen either or both of these actors in other films or television shows, please share your perceptions about them. I cannot remember seeing them other than in clips. I do remember that my grandmother had the sheet music for Indian Love Song. She would play it on the piano and my sisters and I would sing it. We would sing it at the top of our lungs, really exaggerating parts of the song and then collapse with laughter. 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? The "good" female (in this case Jeanette) would definitely be modest in dress, behavior (no shimmy in her dancing!) and demeanor. Nelson's character would be friendly with those girls who dress less modestly and shimmy, but would he marry one of them - heavens no!
  4. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? Why or why not? I know that I do not always want to see real life represented in a movie - I want glamour, adventure and romance! I think musicals should be fun and maybe a little unrealistic. 2. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression era musicals? I think that showing wealth (the large tip to the doorman, "all the orchids in the world") in a movie during the depression allowed people to forget for a few moments the money problems everyone was facing in their daily lives. They could sit in the dark and dream about better times. 3. Since this is a musical that was made after the motion picture code was enforced, how might you imagine it might have been filmed or scripted differently if it had been pre-code? Give specific examples. Perhaps Anna Held would have been dressed more provocatively. I also think that instead of implying that her maid was undressing her, she would have removed some clothing. Her song might have had more suggestive lyrics.
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