Day School: Dream Girls and Handsome Heroes

Ref: C2224762

After WW11, when many went to the cinema once a week, film stars became part of people's lives. Their screen image was carefully created by the studios to capture the public imagination, and they became icons of style and role models. Via film clips, we'll investigate why these 'dream girls and handsome heroes' still retain their fascination today.

Course aim

To investigate how film stars of the 1940s and 50s were created by the Hollywood studios, and why they still retain their fascination as role models and style icons today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is for anyone interested in film culture of the 1940s and 50s.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Be acquainted with the star system of the major Hollywood studios.
  • Recognise some innovative film techniques of the 1950s.
  • Recognise how male and female stars were gender-specifically presented to the public in the USA and Europe.
  • Consider how stars were seen as a personal emodiment of the roles they played.

How will I be taught?

  • After viewing film clips, informal group discussion of content will be encouraged. There will be no work outside the class.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The tutor will clarify points, answer questions and encourage individual learners to share their thoughts and ideas about course content.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No prior knowledge of the subject is necessary. Nothing need be brought to the class.

What can I do next?

  • The tutor will provide a handout and recommend further sources of information.

Download full Course information sheet

Day School: Dream Girls and Handsome Heroes


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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