The Lives of Heterosexuals: Three Hollywood Musicals
Through images and text, this paper discusses three Hollywood book musicals: On Moonlight Bay from 1952, Cover Girl from 1944 and State Fair from 1945. Through ekphrasis, analyses, and a range of sources, I discuss how each of these films deals with some formulation and relationship to the heterosexual family unit and the process of forming romantic partnerships. The way in which the different films relate to these structures for social organization can be understood in terms of a tension between instincts encouraging isolation and solidarity with a wider community. These instincts are shown in these films through mechanisms specific to both the technology of film as well as the specific qualities of the musical genre.