This article deals with the reception of American narratives on the Second World War in Italy, assuming the key role that myths and memories about the conflict played in post-war Europe and the importance of transcultural exchanges in the mass-media age. Such narratives were not imported to Italy by official US propaganda, but were mainly conveyed by Hollywood war movies, which were centred on the ideas of the righteousness of the conflict and of the fight between good and evil. The article focuses on a specific sector of the Italian audience, that of critics and film reviewers, who played a key role in interpreting the films and in fostering their acceptance–or refusal. Through the analysis of cinema magazines and newspapers, the research outlines how the reception of such movies was influenced by multiple elements, the different political and ideological allegiances, the cultural gap between elite and popular periodicals, and the interactions with Italian myths and memories about the war. Finally, the article compares the results of the inquiry with the rare sources about the reception of American narratives among a mass audience, and underlines the importance of a transnational approach to the study of cultural issues in contemporary history.

The American war: Italian culture and Hollywood movies on the Second World War

Pipitone D.
2018

Abstract

This article deals with the reception of American narratives on the Second World War in Italy, assuming the key role that myths and memories about the conflict played in post-war Europe and the importance of transcultural exchanges in the mass-media age. Such narratives were not imported to Italy by official US propaganda, but were mainly conveyed by Hollywood war movies, which were centred on the ideas of the righteousness of the conflict and of the fight between good and evil. The article focuses on a specific sector of the Italian audience, that of critics and film reviewers, who played a key role in interpreting the films and in fostering their acceptance–or refusal. Through the analysis of cinema magazines and newspapers, the research outlines how the reception of such movies was influenced by multiple elements, the different political and ideological allegiances, the cultural gap between elite and popular periodicals, and the interactions with Italian myths and memories about the war. Finally, the article compares the results of the inquiry with the rare sources about the reception of American narratives among a mass audience, and underlines the importance of a transnational approach to the study of cultural issues in contemporary history.
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Italy; Memory; movies; post-war; reception; transcultural
Pipitone D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1786959
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