From the beginning of motion picture history, marriage has been a topic for popular story-telling, but Hollywood struggled with a subject that presented problems an audience already knew and perhaps did not want to see as entertainment.
How the film-making business crafted tales that were simultaneously an "I do!" of happiness and an "I don't!" of disappointment is a fascinating reflection of America's history, changing social attitudes, shifting morals and gender roles. Hollywood found
ways both to reflect reality and deflect misery as decade after decade, movies adjusted a basic formula to audience needs.
Film clips and still photographs will illustrate how films defined marriage in the movies, identified a core seven problems, and varied its three narrative components -- a couple, their problems, their situation -- from decade to decade from the silent
to the modern era.
5 weeks, 10 films, 22 lectures
WEEK I Introduction Lecture 1: An Overview on Marriage and the Movies Lecture 2: Hollywood and Marriage Lecture 3: The Silent Era Lecture 4: The Silent Era part II Film 1: WILD ORCHIDS (Franklin, 1929) (Warner Archive / Amazon)
Lecture 5: Defining the Marriage Movie Film 2: MADE FOR EACH OTHER (Cromwell, 1939) (Amazon)
WEEK 2 Lecture 6: The "I Do" and "I Don't" versions Film 3: THE MARRYING KIND (Cukor, 1952) (Amazon) Lecture 7: Variations and Vignettes
Lecture 8: The Couple Lecture 9: The Couple part II Film 4: ADAM'S RIB (Cukor, 1949) (Amazon)
WEEK 3 Lecture 10: The Seven Recurring Problems Lecture 11: Money and Infidelity Film 5: BRIEF ENCOUNTER (Lean, 1945) (Amazon) Lecture 12: The Infidelity Story Over Time
Lecture 13: In-laws/Kids and Class/Incompatibility Lecture 14: Incompatibility continued Film 6: VIVACIOUS LADY (Stevens, 1938) (Warner Archive / Amazon)
Karla Cabrera completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
This course was splendid! The professor submerged the student(s) into the different eras of movies, since the silent era until nowadays. The explanations she gave according of each movie and/or in relationship with what it was considered marriage and all its implications such as what it was right and wrong in it; and of course its problems in it were clear and precise. Another remarkable thing about the course is the participation of the people in the discussion forum, I really enjoyed reading and replying to all the movie lovers!