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  1. The film flashbacks and tells Cohan’s life story and through that you experience WWI through his eyes. Cohan is older but Yankee Doodle Dandy reminds people that they won WWI. They show Cohan singing to the troops his famous songs which build morale. At the end of the film when Cohan receives the Congressional Medal of Honor from President FDR, Cohan recognizes that he did not fight and this honor should go to soldiers, however; FDR reassures him that his music and what did hear was helping people fight. If the film opened as just a bio in chronological order I think I would have less respect throughout the film. That scene peaked my interest and made me realize the importance and significance of George M. Cohan, someone I did not know much about until this film. I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed learning the story of his life more than the musical aspects.
  2. 1. I saw what many have expressed with this scene. The battle has some equality based on what Rogers is wearing. It is not a feminine dress to show her legs and quick movement. I enjoyed her hands in her pockets as she mimicked Astaire’s movements perfectly. The lack of touch at the beginning of the routine is noticeable as well but they begin to become familiar with each other and the lightening strikes. 2. This film portrays more of a story of two people falling in love rather than the woman being a damsel in distress. The screwball comedy plays into the Depression era of being lighthearted but the differences I experience is more of the songwriter’s creating songs that flow. For example before Fred sings, “No Strings” he talking and mid sentence begins to sing and then dance. It was not like he was on stage being introduced but it fit more into the storyline. 3. These films had the screwball comedy aspect while others were pre-code. Screwball comedies were trying to create humor and innuendoes that would go under the radar from the Code. I thought about the difference of dress of Rogers to the ladies in Broadway Melody. What a drastic difference as well as the famous tap scene of Astaire and Rogers as she puts on her robe and heads to his room to confront him. Both of which are fully clothed which in some of the pre-code could have been a more risqué scene.
  3. This is a new film to me as well and I look forward to watching the whole thing now! 1. I agree with many that the props I noticed included the beautiful apartment, the garter, gun, and drawer full of similar items. The dialogue of little English and mostly French made me think of a silent film because you were gathering information based on the actors body language and facial expressions. 2. I specifically noticed the gun shot and was greatly surprised by it. I wasn’t expecting it to happen because I was thinking in the lines of the Depression era having a more lighthearted approach. Then the husband comes in and shoots Chevalier and Chevalier’s dramatical reaction to trying to find the wound males the scene comical. Then the camera turns to a close up of MacDonald as she opens her eyes. I find these reactions essential to the effectiveness of the film. 3. This screwball comedy demonstrates the humorous battle of the sexes of who is going to out-wit whom. Did Chevalier think she were dead or did she play him? Seeing the humor play out in this clip reveals more of the escapism the Depression era films demonstrated.
  4. 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.
  5. I think so many of my thoughts have been expressed in the great posts that have others have written. What I found fascinating was the the doorman acknowledging that Ziegfeld had given him too much and Ziegfeld’s joke. If I had watched this during the Depression era I think I would find it encouraging that there are still people willing to give more. I would see it as a glimmer of hope. I did find the joke about “losing pounds” comical which makes light of the money given. That moment of laughter is why I personally watch older movies for those few one liners that make you laugh and feel lighthearted. Between Broadway Melody and this musical it gives people an insight of the musicals that they could see in the theater and not having to travel to Broadway for the actual show. I think the Depression era brought some of the finer things in life closer to home for those who could not afford to travel to see a show. I also wonder if Helds joke about being able to sing in English but not read in English would have connected with the audience during the Depression era because many children had stopped going to school to help work. It struck me as a lighthearted view of not being able to read that viewers could relate to as well. Lastly, like so many have expressed I have learned more about Pre-code this week than I ever knew. Compared to Broadway Melody, Helds had definitely more clothing on for a dressing room scene. She also had another female in the dressing room instead of Ziegfeld or Billings meeting her back there.
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