Course Description

View and discuss images of American society portrayed through a cinematic lens. Discover, or revisit, Hollywood comedies made between the 1920s and early 2000s and consider their historical context, stylistic aspects, and social implications. Each class meeting focuses on a different film and how it approaches “insiders” and “outsiders” (in portrayal of gender, race, ethnicity and class) on screen.

Course Outline

This class will feature the following films:

  • The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
  • The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin, 1957)
  • The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983)
  • Barbershop (Tim Story, 2002)
  • Clips from other films also will be shown.


  • Online registration closes at 6 p.m. one day before the start of the class, unless noted on individual sections.
  • Late registration is welcome! Please contact SMU CAPE at 214-768-2273 for assistance.
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