The Use of Classical Hollywood Theory in Die Hard

analytical Essay
574 words
574 words

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”. Studios understood precisely what an audience desired, and accommodated their wants and needs, resulting in films that were generally all the same, starring similar (sometimes the same) actors, crafted in a similar manner. It became the principal style throughout the western world against which all other styles were judged. While there have been some deviations and experiments with the format in the past 50 plus ye...

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that hollywood's ostensibly all-powerful film studios controlled the american film industry, creating a period of film history known as "classical hollywood".
  • Analyzes how die hard utilizes a step-by-step style of narration, where the end and the objectives of the protagonist, john mcclane, are not arrived upon until all complications are resolved and enemies in the film are eliminated.
  • Explains that hollywood films have reconnoitered numerous ways to tell a story, styles of cinematography, and technological effects, but one element remains: the notion of 'neatly' happy ending.'
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