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Foreign Devils

Exile and Host Nation in Hollywood’s Golden Age

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Gábor Gergely

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.

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C P: W  I  T  A  I  What’s eating the exile? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   C  M  Why Lorre, Lugosi, Veidt? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Journey : Béla Lugosi and the end of unrestricted immigration . . . . .  Journey : Peter Lorre and self-censorship in Hollywood . . . . . . . .  Journey : Conrad Veidt and the early years of the Second World War .  The theoretical context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Journeys of Desire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The World According to Hollywood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  An Accented Cinema . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  An imagined binary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   I ’ ,    I  Stereotype, identity and displacement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The exilic posthuman body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A zoo of posthumanities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Can’t join them? Beat them! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Jaffar and the limitations of willpower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A tale of two thieves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  White Zombie: the failure of exilic discursive power . . . . . . . . . . . .   H  D L   E S  The exile moves in: Dracula and the exilic space par excellence . . . . . . .  Exilic interior design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The exilic lair as space of relief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Permanent grafts onto transitory spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  A brief recap of the chapter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  viii C  T M   E  Madness sets in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Mad exile,Mad Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The Invisible Ghost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Medical experiments in the Rue Morgue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The revenge of the mad exile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Splitting selves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  C  Tarzan and all-too perfect integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Muscle-bound and already dead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Plus ça change… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  B    F  Peter Lorre, Hollywood films – . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Béla Lugosi, Hollywood films from Dracula, – . . . . . . . . .  Conrad Veidt, English-language films – . . . . . . . . . . . . .  I  People who have been exiles too long seem to end up as either zombies or vampires. I don’t want that to happen to me. (Dibdin, : ) I was determined to change countries and to blow up my bridges behind me. I resolved to forget about everything that was...

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