Historical Social Research

Barbara Englert: The Hollywood Sports Film – Visualizing Hidden and Familiar Aspects of American Culture. [Abstract]

This essay highlights a number of Hollywood sport films from the 1970s focusing on national and personal identity issues. Against the backdrop of contemporary history, the meaning of sports and film, and its pop cultural intertwinement becomes transparent revealing a basic pattern. Aspects come into the picture which from a European perspective seem both familiar and, in a way, hidden. Besides being great entertainment, sport films like North Dallas Forty (1979), Semi-Tough (1977) or The Bad News Bears (1976) have the quality to serve as a rich and meaningful archive of visual sources for research in the humanities.

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