The Classical Hollywood Narrative Structure Essay

The Classical Hollywood Narrative Structure Essay

Length: 1257 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Describe the classical Hollywood narrative structure. Use examples from the film Shadow of a Doubt to illustrate the structure.
There are three acts in the classical Hollywood narrative structure. The first being Equilibrium (Belton, 2005). Equilibrium is where life for these characters follow normal daily routine. The second act is known as Disruption (Belton). Where normal affairs are changed by an incident. Finally, the last act is known as Restoration (Belton). Where life returns to a normality having changed or progressed from the incident.
The film Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock, 1943) starts with an introduction to Charlie Oakley. We see he is a shifty man with a dark secret and a need to flee his current situation. A man of mystery and intrigue. We meet the Newton family living an average and comfortable life. Their current standing is our Equilibrium. However, the character of Charlotte ‘Charlie’ wants change. If by some telepathic miracle, as portrayed by the film, she and her Uncle usher in the Second Act of Disruption. Uncle Charlie travels to his sister Emma’s house. His coming “disrupts” the normal everyday lives of the Newtons. Young Charlie soon becomes suspicious that Uncle Charlie has a secret. After young Charlie figures out her Uncle’s secret, the police arrest the wrong suspect, and Uncle Charlie ends his visit; We enter the Final Act of Restoration. Uncle Charlie attempts to push young Charlie off the train, but unfortunately for him, he ends up falling off the train to be struck by another. Thus, ending his murder spree, wrapping up the conflict for young Charlie, while still keeping Uncle Charlie’s image intact for the rest of the family.
Describe the primary formal elements (style) of Classical Hollywood fi...

... middle of paper ...

...k secret, he’s well liked, but someone finds him suspicious. It has all been done before and I have seen it pan out a thousand different ways.
Despite this, the characters developed in a way where I felt empathy towards them. I didn’t want Emma to see her brother differently and the young children needed their “cool” uncle. I watched the film with care as I wanted to see how Hitchcock could simultaneously bring justice to the antagonist while not destroying the family we grew fond of. We realize the importance of Uncle Charlie as we see Emma breakdown when she learns he is leaving. The viewers understand that this family relies on Emma’s wellbeing. If she was to learn of Charlie’s evil-doings that would be the end of her sanity. The climactic death of Charlie answered my question. The antagonist gets justice while our protagonist family doesn’t get destroyed as well.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Art Cinema is an Alternative Mode of Filmmaking to traditional Hollywood Style

- According to both Geoffery Nowell-Smith, in Making Waves, and David Bordwell, in Film Criticism, art cinema is an alternative mode of filmmaking to traditional Hollywood style films. The films Band of Outsiders (Bande à part), and A Hard Days Night both negate traditional mainstream cinema techniques, however these films are equally not art cinema. Bordwell defines art cinema as, “explicitly against the classical narrative mode, and especially against the cause-effect linkage of events,” (57). Both films have a loose cause and effect based structure....   [tags: hollywood, filmmaking, film criticism]

Better Essays
1371 words (3.9 pages)

Classical Hollywood Cinema Essay

- The release of Gordon Hollingshead and Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer in 1927 marked the new age of synchronised sound in cinema. The feature film was a huge success at the box office and it ushered in the era David Bordwell describes as ‘Classical Hollywood Cinema’; Bordwell and two other film theorists (Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson) conducted a formalist analysis of 100 randomly selected Hollywood films from the years 1917 to 1960 in order to fully define this movement. Their results yielded that most Hollywood made films during that era were centred on, or followed, specific blueprints that formed the finished product....   [tags: film, scriptwriters, entertaintment]

Better Essays
1792 words (5.1 pages)

The Classical Hollywood Paradigm in Singin' in the Rain Essay

- Not all films which adhere to the classical Hollywood paradigm eschew issues. The film Singin’ in the Rain follows Don Lockwood, a popular silent film actor, as he attempts to maintain his star status during the advent of “talkies”. Lockwood’s journey manifests fame’s capricious temperament, the studio’s commercial interest, and the influence of outside variables on a film. Singin’ in the Rain uses Lockwood’s struggle with celebrity to expose the importance of public image and self esteem. A set of practices concerning the narrative structure compose the classical Hollywood Paradigm....   [tags: public image, self esteem, conflict]

Better Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema Essay

- Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema INTRODUCTION During the course of this essay it is my intention to discuss the differences between Classical Hollywood and post-Classical Hollywood. Although these terms refer to theoretical movements of which they are not definitive it is my goal to show that they are applicable in a broad way to a cinema tradition that dominated Hollywood production between 1916 and 1960 and which also pervaded Western Mainstream Cinema (Classical Hollywood or Classic Narrative Cinema) and to the movement and changes that came about following this time period (Post-Classical or New Hollywood)....   [tags: History Hollywood Movies Films Essays]

Better Essays
2472 words (7.1 pages)

The Use of Classical Hollywood Theory in Die Hard Essay

- Beginning the mid 1920s, Hollywood’s ostensibly all-powerful film studios controlled the American film industry, creating a period of film history now recognized as “Classical Hollywood”. Distinguished by a practical, workmanlike, “invisible” method of filmmaking- whose purpose was to demand as little attention to the camera as possible, Classical Hollywood cinema supported undeviating storylines (with the occasional flashback being an exception), an observance of a the three act structure, frontality, and visibly identified goals for the “hero” to work toward and well-defined conflict/story resolution, most commonly illustrated with the employment of the “happy ending”....   [tags: cinema, style, ending ]

Better Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)

Movie Review : Rear Window Essay example

- The Classical Hollywood Cinema was a period of time that roughly lasted from 1917-1960 where the production of film followed both visual and narrative style. These films follow the same structure with a beginning of the film with an opening shot, and then an event occurs that causes a problem which sets the characters in motion to work towards a goal which by the end has been resolved which the common route for a classical film is. This essay will analyse the components that construct the film Rear Window (1954) and why this classic Hollywood film appealed to the audience....   [tags: Classical Hollywood cinema]

Better Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Jean-Luc Godard´s Breathless Essay

- Breathless is in many ways the antithesis of the classical Hollywood cinema; the changes have a direct effect on the relationship the film has with the viewer. Classical Hollywood cinema includes standards such as continuity editing, highly motivated, character-driven stories and a coherent narrative structure. Breathless defies these elements of traditional filmmaking, instead defining what we know as French New Wave. From its opening scene Breathless breaks convention. Michel Poiccard, the main character in the film, is seen at the beginning but given no introduction....   [tags: classical Hollywood cinema, traditional filmmaking]

Better Essays
1367 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis of Diving Bell and the Butterfly Essay

- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a script which falls somewhere in the middle of the Classical Design Triangle. It presents moments of causality in a non-linear temporal arrangement. The single protagonist, Jean-Dominique Bauby, is passive due to his affliction yet struggling with both his inner conflict to resolve his life’s choices and the external conflict to regain some semblance of a normal existence. Plot points for this script were not as clearly defined as they are in a script which fully utilizes the Classical Hollywood narrative structure....   [tags: script, classical, acts]

Better Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

Cinema Novo: The Juxtaposition of Classic Hollywood Cinema to Brazilian Cinema

- ‘12 years a Slave, award winning film director Steve McQueen associates making a film to, "writing a novel – you're telling a story. " This message is powerful and defines the true purpose of filmmaking that is, ‘to tell a story.’(Victorino) Hollywood has capitalized on the aspect of visual storytelling first introduced in 1985 by the Lumiere brothers with their first movie ever made for projection -- Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory. They (Hollywood), then designed a Studio System called Classic Hollywood Cinema to Finance, Organize, Produce, Market, Distribute, and Exhibit movies for financial gain while entertaining movie goers....   [tags: film movement, brazilian film]

Better Essays
1747 words (5 pages)

Experimental Structure Essay

- Structure is a very important aspect of filmmaking. The Classical structure of film is setup in 3 acts and divides a narrative into 3 parts. Each part unravels and depicts the storyline for a film. The first act wills establish the main characters, the world or setting these characters live in and their establish relationships between characters. The second will begin to rise the action. This will depict the protagonist attempts to deal with the situation that he/she has been dealt with. This act will demonstrate the forces of that the antagonist has on the protagonist and how the audience sees this unravel....   [tags: film, characters, protagonists]

Better Essays
715 words (2 pages)