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1981
Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167

Abstract

(1944) is often described by scholars as representing a ‘utopia’, with the definition of that term varying between disciplines. The movie’s vision of small-town living at the turn of the century is a comforting one, and its idyllic portrayal of domesticity has contributed to its success as one of MGM’s greatest film musicals. This article extends the utopian readings found in existing literature by providing an interdisciplinary approach that asks how and why this utopia was built, and that presents new findings gleaned through a comparative study of the film and its source material (Sally Benson’s novel of the same title). I argue that represents a specifically patriarchal utopia; an ideological structure made powerful by a distractive form of ‘resistance’ in its musical moments. This article’s approach reveals the interplay between the film’s ‘audible’ and ‘visual’ realms and demonstrates how the two work together to create a narrative that champions nineteenth-century gender ideals to wartime audiences.

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2024-05-09
2024-07-12
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