Hollywood romantic comedy

States of Union, 1934-1965

By Kathrina Glitre

Hollywood romantic comedy


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7079-2
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: July 2006
  • BIC Category: The arts / Film theory & criticism, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Film history, theory & criticism, Film and Media


This book explores the changing representation of the couple, focusing on themes of marriage, equality and desire. Kathrina Glitre moves beyond the usual screwball territory to consider cycles of production from 1934-65. The central concern with the representation of the couple is distinctive and includes discussion of three star couples: Myrna Loy and William Powell, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and Doris Day and Rock Hudson.

Glitre offers explanations of genre, as well as detailed analysis of screwball comedy, career woman comedy and sex comedy. Each cycle is placed into context to analyse cultural discourses around heterosexuality, gender, romance and love. This structure also enables a more sophisticated understanding of such conventions as masquerade, gender inversion and the happy ending.

The book will appeal to university students and academics working on genre, gender, culture and representation, and anyone with a keen interest in Hollywood romantic comedy.


Part I: Hollywood romantic comedy
1. Genre, cycles and critical traditions
Part II: Marriage
2. The same, but different: Marriage, remarriage and screwball comedy
3. Making marriage fun: Myrna Loy and William Powell
Part III: Equality
4. A little difference: Equality and the career woman comedy
5. Economy and excess: Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn
Part IV: Desire
6. Possess me: Consuming desires in the sex comedy
7. There must be a boy! Doris Day and Rock Hudson
Conclusion: The extraordinary couple
Appendix: The cycles


Kathrina Glitre is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of the West of England

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