Marriage and the Movies: A History

The topic of marriage in the movies has always provided a fascinating reflection of changing social attitudes, shifting morals and gender roles. We will explore how films have defined marriage, identified seven core problems, and varied its three narrative components -- a couple, their problems, their situation -- from decade to decade from the silent to the modern era.

About The Course

From the beginning of motion picture history, marriage has been a topic for popular story-telling, but Hollywood struggled with a subject that presented problems an audience already knew and perhaps did not want to see as entertainment.

How the film-making business crafted tales that were simultaneously an "I do!" of happiness and an "I don't!" of disappointment is a fascinating reflection of America's history, changing social attitudes, shifting morals and gender roles. Hollywood found ways both to reflect reality and deflect misery as decade after decade, movies adjusted a basic formula to audience needs.

Film clips and still photographs will illustrate how films defined marriage in the movies, identified a core seven problems, and varied its three narrative components -- a couple, their problems, their situation -- from decade to decade from the silent to the modern era.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class? Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • Recommended Background

    No background is required; all are welcome!
    This course will particularly appeal to all ages of film aficionados!