The American Dream and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema

The American Dream and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema

by J. Emmett Winn

J. Emmett Winn is Professor of Film Studies at Auburn University. He is the co-editor of Transmitting the Past: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Broadcasting (University of Alabama Press, 2005). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Continuum, 2007
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    9781441109651 (epdf)

    9780826428615 (hardback)

    9781441129758 (paperback)

    9781628929010 (online)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
The American Dream and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema
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While the myth of a classless America endures in the American Dream, the very stratification that it denies unfairly affects the majority of Americans. Study after study shows that it's increasingly difficult for working class people to achieve upward mobility in the US - so how does the American Dream continue to thrive?

J. Emmett Winn shows us that the American Dream's continued glorification in contemporary Hollywood cinema should not be ignored. The book explicates three major themes surrounding the American Dream in contemporary Hollywood cinema and relates those findings to the United States' social and cultural changes in the last 25 years. Through his thoughtful analysis of films as diverse as Working Girl, Titanic, Pretty Woman, Flashdance, The Firm, Good Will Hunting, Saturday Night Fever, Wall Street and many others, Winn shows that contemporary Hollywood is very much in the business of keeping the Dream alive.