Dream Girls and Handsome Heroes

Ref: C2226695

After WWII, when many went to the cinema once a week, film stars imperceptably became part of our lives. Their screen image was created by the studios to capture the public imagination, and stars became style icons and role models. Via clips from American and British films (plus the odd Continental surprise) we'll investigate why these 'dream girls and handsome heroes' still retain their fascination today.

Additional information about this course

Half term break 21/10/2019

Course aim

Investigate how film stars of Hollywood's Golden Age were created by the studios. Their cultural and artistic significance then and now.

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 mid 20th Century..

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

  • Explore the workings of the star system of the major Hollywood studios.
  • Recognise innovative film technologies of the 1950s
  • Recognise how male and female stars were gender-specifically presented to the public in the USA and Europe
  • Discuss how stars were seen as the personal embodiment of the roles they played.

How will I be taught?

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

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • The tutor will clarify points, answer questions, and encourage informal discussion of individual learners' ideas and opinions about course content as we progress.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • No prior knowledge of the subject is necessary, and you do not need to bring anything to class.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The tutor will provide weekly handouts and recommend further sources of information as we progress.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Attend more WEA film courses!

Download full course information sheet

Dream Girls and Handsome Heroes


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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