Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hour
Seminars / Tutorials Seminars 1 x 1 hour per week every other week (Students will be informed of their group allocations)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2000 word essay  For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at  40%
Semester Assessment 3000 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

  • To develop an understanding of the historical and industrial contexts of American mainstream cinema through a study of the Hollywood "classical" era and the studio system.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of filmmaking practices - from technical terminology through to wider aesthetic choices available to filmmakers in order to create meaning for audiences - through a study of "Classical Hollywood style".
  • To begin to develop an awareness of important critical themes and appropriate critical perspectives within film studies discourses associated with Classical Hollywood.
  • To effectively analyse a range of films screened on the module at an appriate scholarly level.


-To develop a cache of formal and analytical terminology which were codified within the classical Hollywood period (1915-1960) and have become the norms of film studies discourse including narrative image, mise-en-scene, editing, the star system, genre, and sound;
-To begin to develop a critical awareness of some of the theoretical issues in film studies which have been discussed in this period including a consideration of ideology, gender and sexual orientation representation.

Brief description

Classical Hollywood Cinema, the so-called `Golden Age?, approximately between the years 1915 ? 1960, was the period that the codes of cinematic storytelling were established, and to which, some theorists/historians argue, all later filmmakers respond, either by duplicating these codes or by rejecting and disrupting them. Either way, Classical Hollywood Cinema is the dominant discourse of all filmmaking sensibilities. In other words, it is the centre to which all other discourses develop from/respond to. This module negotiates the basic terminology of film studies through this historical period and by presenting an introduction to film theory, proceeds to examine how this terminology may be applied, by extension, to contemporary Hollywood cinema.

Reading List

Recommended Background
Blandford, Steve, Barry Keith Grant and Jim Hillier (2001) The Film Studies Dictionary London: Arnold Primo search Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson (2001) Film Art - an introduction 6th edition London: McGraw-Hill Primo search Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson (1985) The Classical Hollywood Cinema London: Routledge Primo search Braudy, Leo and Marshall Cohen (eds) (1998) Film Theory and Critcism 5th edition Oxford: OUP Primo search Cook, Pam and Mieke Bernink (eds) (1999) The Cinema Book 2nd edition London: BFI Primo search Elsaesser, Thomas and Warren Buckland (2002) Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis London: Arnold Primo search Hollows, Joanne, Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich (eds) (2000) The Film Studies Reader London: Arnold Primo search McDonald, Paul (2000) The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities London: Wallflower Press Primo search Nichols, Bill (ed) (1976) Movies and Methods Volume I Berkeley: University of California Press Primo search Nichols, Bill (ed) (1985) Movies and Methods Volume II Berkeley: University of California Press Primo search Stam, Robert and Toby Millers (eds) (2000) Film and Theory: An Anthology Oxford: Basil Blackwell Primo search Thomas, Deborah (2001) Reading Hollywood: Spaces and Meanings in American Film London: Wallflower Press Primo search Thompson, Kristin (1999) Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique London: Harvard University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5