According to our book, musicals operate “according to two different laws” (145)–the laws of traditional narrative and the laws of musical spectacle–which they alternate back and forth between. Read over what the book has to say about this on pages 145-147 and write a 200+ word response in which you discuss how this shift from one set of rules to another happens and/or functions in one of the scenes in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes(d. Howard Hawks, 1953, 91 min). You might like to consider how the actors make and/or mark the transition into (or out of) the world of spectacle in this scene, the impact of releasing “them from their duties and responsibilities . . . [and] permitting them to perform for us” (146), and how the film gets out of the spectacle and back to “reality.” Are there consequences (think the judge in the final courtroom sequence) or not (“Anyone for Love”)?
American cinema American culture by John Belton point of view of narrative and musical number shift