Foreign Devils

Exile and Host Nation in Hollywood’s Golden Age

by Gábor Gergely (Author)
©2013 Monographs 192 Pages
Series: Framing Film, Volume 18


Foreign Devils investigates representations of exile in Hollywood cinema from 1930 to 1956 through the films of Peter Lorre, Béla Lugosi, and Conrad Veidt. This book dispels the assumption that by virtue of its hegemonic, reactionary, and exclusionary modes of representation, otherness is excluded from or only obliquely alluded to in classical Hollywood cinema. This book contends that Hollywood uses European émigré actors to speak of the experience of exile and the often-futile exilic attempts at integration into the host nation.
This original, cross-disciplinary study incorporates a number of research interests in film studies – specifically Hollywood cinema, exile and émigré filmmakers, the Golden Age of the studio system, the Universal Horror cycle, and Poverty Row filmmaking. Foreign Devils combines the close reading of key texts with a theoretical framework that encompasses body theory and theories of space and nation with historical accounts of immigration to the United States and American concepts of nationhood through the symbolism of blood and death studies.
Film studies students and academics, both undergraduate and postgraduate, as well as scholars in other disciplines, and anyone with an interest in Hollywood cinema, Central European culture in the 1930s-1950s, and European emigration to the United States will benefit from reading this book. Foreign Devils is also a valuable resource for courses in Hollywood filmmaking, émigré film, exile, Central European culture, nationalism studies, and Jewish studies.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2013 (May)
immigration otherness cinema
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. XIV, 192 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Gábor Gergely (Author)

Gábor Gergely, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Manchester, completed his PhD in film studies at the University of Exeter. He has published on French directors Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol in Studies in French Cinema and on Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad in the Journal of British Cinema and Television. He has contributed a chapter on Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados and its critique of neorealist cinema to a collected volume on the child in Italian cinema.


Title: Foreign Devils