Stuart Green
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Exaggeration and nation
The politics of performance in the Spanish sophisticated comedy of the 1940s
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This chapter explores the acting styles of Spanish film in the 1940s. In analysing the so-called sophisticated comedies of early Francoism, it explores how discourses of nation in the post-war decade determined the study of the performance of their stars and supporting actors. It closely analyse the exaggerated performance style of both supporting actors, and romantic leads, which, as the chapter discusses, is largely influenced by the theatre. It shows how the problematic combination of these two acting styles is fundamental to understanding the commercial success of the sophisticated comedies of the post-war. As the chapter demonstrates, if the acting styles of exaggerated secondary characters and theatrical romantic leads are more prominent in Spanish films of the time, it is because of the persistence of a paradigm that transcended the theatre and was appropriated by the cinema.

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