I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies (Paperback)

I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies Cover Image
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Here is happily ever after except when things aren t happy, and when ever after is abruptly terminated by divorce, tragedy . . . or even murder. With her large-hearted understanding of how movies and audiences work, leading film historian Jeanine Basinger traces the many ways Hollywood has tussled with the tricky subject of marriage, explicating the relationships of countless marriages from Blondie and Dagwood to the heartrending couple in the Iranian "A Separation," from Coach and his wife in "Friday Night Lights" to Tracy and Hepburn, and even to Laurel and Hardy (a marriage if ever there was one). A treasure trove of insight and sympathy, illustrated with scores of wonderfully telling movie stills, posters, and ads.

About the Author

Jeanine Basinger is the chair of film studies at Wesleyan University and the curator of the cinema archives there. She has written nine other books on film, including "A Woman s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930 1960"; "Silent Stars," winner of the William K. Everson Film History Award; "Anthony Mann"; "The" "World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre"; and "American Cinema: One Hundred Years of Filmmaking," the companion book for a ten-part PBS series."

Praise For…

Praise for Jeanine Basinger's I Do and I Don't

“Fascinating. . . . The real fun comes from the splendidly crafted, creative, compelling critiques that make you want to see many movies again or for the first time.”
The Boston Globe
“A breezy, fun excursion into Hollywood’s presentation of matrimony. . . . Deeply personal.”
Los Angeles Times
“A witty look at how films portray marriage, and how these onscreen contradictions mirror the institution itself.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Comprehensive and cleverly written . . . a necessary addition to our understanding of movies about marriage.”
The Washington Post

“Authoritative and perceptive. . . . Crammed with summaries and analysis of films from the past 100 years, I Do and I Don’t brilliantly demonstrates Hollywood’s abiding ambivalence about the institution of matrimony.”
The Wall Street Journal

“An insightful account of how films have represented wedlock, both holy and unholy, through the years. . . . Basinger has a gift for zeroing in on tantalizing details that bring a visual medium to readable life.”
USA Today

“Lively. . . . Knowing and illuminating. . . . Hollywood movies of the studio era were not, as Basinger takes pains to point out, produced by naifs. Many of them convey sophisticated references to sexual intercourse, prostitution, even homosexuality—if you know how to interpret them. That some of us still do is often thanks to popular scholars like Basinger. . . . Hilarious, spot-on.”

“Basinger [is] one of the great film gurus. . . . An exhaustive survey of its subject. . . . Basinger is wonderfully insightful, and her witty asides made me laugh out loud. . . . Ultimately Basinger makes a fine case for the place of marriage movies in particular and American moviemaking in general.”
—Judith Newman, The New York Times

“[Basinger’s] writing is strong, the vision clear. . . . The amount of titles discussed and revisited are staggering. . . . Informative and witty. . . . Deft.”
Slant Magazine

“A spikily opinionated voice congenial to a diverse readership: barbed observations for the casual fan and a hog heaven of footnotes for the tenure track cineaste.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Thanks to her impeccable research and thoroughly entertaining prose, Basinger provides a take on matrimony that is never less than fascinating. Nimbly moving through history, she illustrates the lengths to which Hollywood has gone in order to make the institution of marriage exciting enough to attract audiences looking for escapism. . . . A riveting lesson in history and pop psychology, one that will appeal to film buffs of just about every stripe, not only those interested in happily ever after.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Breezily written, aggressively researched. . . . Basinger manages to map out the terrain of the world of marriage that movies cover with the skill of an experienced cartographer who isn’t afraid to stop and enjoy the view once in a while.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“[An] entertaining take on how the silver screen has portrayed wedded bliss and wedded misery. . . . The main pleasure here is Basinger’s explication of how the movies and stars of the studio system years made all this work. . . . Fascinating, fact-filled.”
Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804169745
ISBN-10: 0804169748
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Pages: 395
Language: English
Series: Vintage