The American Film Musical

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Indiana University Press, 1987 - History - 386 pages
2 Reviews

"... a model of genre criticism and probably the best overall analysis of the film musical to date."
Journal of Popular Films and Television

"The American Film Musical is a truly admirable book which is well worth making a song and dance about. It will immediately assume biblical authority for all who are seriously interested in the dream-factory's most lavish fantasies, and it may even come to stand as a landmark in our understanding of Hollywood as a whole.... Altman's book is thorough, well informed and warmly good-humored. It has brought the study of musical films out of the dark ages." Times Literary Supplement

"... an important addition to both literature and film collections.... a landmark study."
Library Journal

"Altman's important study of the American film musical combines genre theory with film criticism and history.... Recommended... " Choice

The American Film Musical is at once the most advanced statement on genre theory and the most complete treatment of the American musical. Altman's unique interweaving of theory, history, and criticism represents an original and challenging contribution to film studies. Illustrated with over 200 frame enlargements and production stills.


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Review: The American Film Musical

User Review  - Whitney - Goodreads

Very helpful for this western musical paper I'm doing. In addition to his theories on syntax and semantics, his musical subgenres are pretty genius. I wish I could study with this guy...but they don't want me over there in Hoity-Toity Iowa City. Read full review


The American Film Musical as DualFocus
The Style of the American Film Musical
The Problem of Genre History
The Fairy Tale Musical
The Show Musical 100
The Folk Musical 171
Genre and Culture

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About the author (1987)

Rick Altman has been playing competitive tennis for over 40 years. He is the former managing editor of Inside Tennis magazine and a two-time national champion at the 10.0 mixed doubles level. His day job is as a communications coach and presentations consultant and he has written 15 books on graphic design and presentations. Let's be honest, though: if he were good enough to have played on the tour back in the 1980s, he would have chucked all of this.

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