Austria Made in Hollywood
Title Details

22nd February 2019

208 Pages

22.86 x 15.24 cm

8 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Screen Cultures: German Film and the Visual

Imprint: Camden House

Austria Made in Hollywood

by Jacqueline Vansant

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Considers over sixty Hollywood films set in Austria, examining the film industry, the influence of domestic factors on images of a foreign country, and the persistence of clichés.
Maria von Trapp, watching the final scene of The Sound of Music for the first time as "her" family escaped into Switzerland, exclaimed, "Don't they know geography in Hollywood? Salzburg does not border on Switzerland!" Hadshe thought about the beginning of the film, which transports viewers to "Salzburg, Austria in the last Golden Days of the Thirties," when the country was in fact suffering from extreme political and social unrest, she might haveasked, "Don't they know history either?" In The Sound of Music as well as in Hollywood's many other "Austria" films, the projections on the screen resemble reflections in a funhouse mirror. Elements of a "real" place with a"real" history inhabited by "real" people can be found in the fractured distortions, which have both drawn from and contributed to the general public's perceptions of the country and its citizens.
Austria Made in Hollywood focuses on films set in an identifiable Austria, examining them through the lenses of the historical contexts on both sides of the Atlantic and the prism of the ever-changing domestic film industry. The study chronicles theprotean screen images of Austria and Austrians that set them apart both from European projections of Austria and from Hollywood incarnations of other European nations and nationals. It explores explicit and implicit cultural commentaries on domestic and foreign issues inserted in the Austrian stories while considering the many, sometimes conflicting forces that shaped the films.

JACQUELINE VANSANT is Professor of German at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Introduction
Erich Stroheim, His Austria(ns). and Their US Contexts
Cross-Cultural Encounters of the Intimate Kind: Hollywood's Americans in Love with Austria(ns), 1932-60
The Empire Strikes Back: Imperial Austria Fights Nazis, 1938-41
Reflections and Refractions of the Anschluss on the Hollywood Screen, 1941-42
Confronting and Escaping History: The Cardinal (1963) and The Sound of Music (1965)
Conclusion: Hollywood's Austria - Its Past, Present, Future
Appendix: Hollywood Films Set in Austria
Bibliography
Index
"Vansant's study is essential reading for students and scholars of film history and criticism, Austrian studies, and intellectual history. . . . It will be an important enhancement to library collections and a key entry on syllabi . . . ." CONTEMPORARY AUSTRIAN STUDIES
"[W]ould be an excellent addition to a syllabus for a history course on Europe and the United States, or as a country case study for a film course. This is the definitive book on the image of Austria and Austrians in American film. . . . An extraordinary achievement . . . ." AUSTRIAN HISTORY YEARBOOK
"[Shows how] filmmakers drew on the American fascination with the empire, the aristocracy, the baroque, and classical music to address concerns of the day. . . . Students, teachers, and scholars can all draw on Vansant's focused, concise, and clear narrative, a novel and insightful examination of cinematic treatments of national cultures in historical context." MONATSHEFTE
"As a rich source of information on often forgotten celluloid depictions of Austria, this book will be of value to scholars of Austria, and its careful readings of shifting Hollywood depictions of a single subject will make it of interest to many film scholars as well." GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW
"Vansant's monograph about Hollywood's selection of Austrian topics and themes projected through the lens of the American political and sociohistorical perspective is meticulously researched and thus can serve as an excellent source book for teachers and students of film and literary studies." GERMAN QUARTERLY
"An immensely readable study: it persuasively illustrates how American films about Austria, both during Hollywood's golden age and at the present time, were and will continue to be projections, which often reveal much more about the contemporary concerns and values of the United States than they do about the Austria they are reconstructing on screen." AUSTRIAN STUDIES
"[C]oncise [and] enjoyable to read and may inspire readers to search out films that they are not yet familiar with. It should definitely be of interest to film scholars and could potentially be useful with undergraduates or graduate students. And perhaps it will inspire a contemporary American filmmaker to reexamine Austria." JOURNAL OF AUSTRIAN STUDIES
"[F]ills a gap in the history of the great migration of Nazi refugees from Europe to California by concentrating on the image of Austria in commercial products coming out of Hollywood. [Vansant] is most illuminating in her discussion of the generation from Erich von Stroheim to Otto Preminger, including Ernst Lubitsch, Michael Curtiz, Billy Wilder, and Josef von Sternberg." CHOICE

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Title Details

22nd February 2019

208 Pages

2.286 x 1.524 cm

8 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Screen Cultures: German Film and the Visual

Imprint: Camden House