The American Dream Film Analysis

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White picket fences, broad verandas, children riding their bikes down the street, neighbors grilling on a sunday afternoon: These are depictions of the “American Dream” However, the dream was actually the creation of a group of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, rather than a product of America’s prior history. Hollywood was founded and for many decades operated by Eastern European Jews. It was through their movies, they painted an idealized portrait of an American society that they were denied access to. The Hollywood Jews had an outsider’s longing to assimilate into American society. They wanted to be accepted as Americans and their movies displayed this. Jews trying to pass as gentiles made movies about blacks trying to pass as white.…show more content…
Many of the first moguls came from aspects of the sales business. Adolph Zukor was a fur seller and Samuel Goldwyn was a glove salesman. This background gave the Jews an advantage. They were good at merchandising, beating the competition, and understood public taste and could accurately estimate market swings. They could relate to working class families and other immigrants, two groups that made up a large portion of the moviegoing audience. Despite all their similarities such as their relentless desire to succeed and survive, the Hollywood Jews were different from one another. This was evident and reflected in their films. Louis B. Mayer’s vision of the good American life was symbolized in his optimistic MGM movies. Harry Cohn’s modesty found expression in the plain-speaking common sense of Frank Capra’s heroes (Champlin). In their films, the Hollywood Jews created a combination of ideas and images that were powerful enough to colonize the American imagination. People associated America with the movies. Due to this, American values came to be defined largely by their movies. By creating their idealized America on the screen, the Jews reinvented America in the image of their
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