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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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Thanks and Acknowledgments

Extract

T  A First, I would like to thank Professor Susan Hayward. I could not have wished for a finer teacher, stouter friend or more supportive mentor. Your generosity, wit and breadth of knowledge are truly humbling. Thanks also go to Will Higbee and Alastair Phillips for your comments and guidance. Thank you, Andrew Patch and TomasWilliams. You were ever happy to offer advice, lend an ear and help with the mulling as I wrote this book. I would also like to thank András Merkler. Your generosity and eagerness to discuss your memories of Alexander Korda are gratefully acknowledged. I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Gábor Bella. Thank you for your painstaking work in formatting the text for printing. Thanks must also go to the staff at Queen’s Café, particularly Caroline Lang- don and Karen Lippett who were always cheerful witnesses of much of the work on this book. I would like to thank two teachers who loom large over this project: Péter Galicza at ELTE, Budapest, who as friend and teacher shaped my thinking more than he knows; and Berwick Coates whose cautions against florid prose always ring in my ear as I type, hard as that may be to believe when you read this book. I must also thank my family. This book simply would not be without the sup- port of my parents Anna and Zsolt. Dad, I owemy love of films to you.Mum, thank you for your strength and generosity, and...

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