Austria in Hollywood:  Immigrants in the Movie Machine
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   GRC 311(35700) = AMS 315 (27095) = STS 311(43205)
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GRC 311: Austria in Hollywood: Immigrants and the Movie Machine

Hollywood's golden age, from the 1930s through the 1960s, was due in no small part to the presence of emigrants or refugees from Austria: actors, directors, writers, studio heads, and technical production people.

This course will introduce you to some of their finest films, and to some other aspects of "Austria in Hollywood," from Hedy Lamarr through Arnold Schwarzenegger and Klaus Maria Brandauer, from The Sound of Music to Sunset Boulevard, Ninotchka to Eyes Wide Shut -- these are the figures that create, transcend, exploit, and perpetuate international images of Austria as the land of Waltzes, Whip Cream, and black humor. Yet within the film industry, these Austrians constitute an exemplary immigrant community, an unparalleled source of film industry talent and critical intelligence. "Austria in Hollywood" contributed an urbane, witty tone to the Hollywood film, joining entertainment to sophisticated social criticism.

These films will also be used to introduce how to "read" films and think critically about their content. Topics to be addressed include:

  • adaptations (book to film to play)
  • remakes
  • conventions and stereotyping
  • film genres
  • famous directors, including Ernst Lubitsch (Ninotchka), Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, Some Like it Hot), and Michael Kertez/Curtis (Captain Blood)
  • famous faces: how celebrity works