OSU Film Courses

The Rise of the Hollywood Western 1939-1959

Advance Registration required: $129 for 10 classes

Westerns have been a vital staple of the Hollywood film industry from the very beginning, with literally thousands of quickly-made B pictures flooding theaters week after week during Hollywood's golden heyday. These early "oaters" (as they were then called in the trade papers) were crude and primitive, barely concerned with the routine action at hand and little else. It wasn't until John Ford made STAGECOACH in 1939--now acknowledged as the first serious "adult" western--did the genre at last reach the potential it was destined to achieve. Over the next two decades Hollywood produced some of the most exciting western films of all time, brilliantly evoking America's dusty past while stretching the elastic possibilities of film to new and exhilarating limits.

Through the viewing and discussion of TEN key western films from this classic period--ALL ON THE BIG SCREEN at Portland's Cinema 21—this ten-week class will trace the remarkable development of a genre most filmgoers casually take for granted but one that offers a plentitude of surprising rewards. Films directed by legendary giants like John Ford, William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, Anthony Mann, and Budd Boetticher will rub shoulders with works by notorious Hollywood mavericks like Nicholas Ray, Samuel Fuller, Joseph H. Lewis, and Andre De Toth. 

These classic American genre films will not only provide a thrilling spectacle of entertainment, they will also reveal a deeply humanistic, socially conscious side to cinematic storytelling, one that often gets ignored when assessing this often misunderstood genre.

These are the TEN films we'll be watching in luxurious comfort at Cinema 21 in Portland each Tuesday morning at 11:00 am beginning September 24.

Sept 24: STAGECOACH (1939; John Ford)
Oct 1: THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (1943; William Wellman)
Oct 8: PURSUED (1947; Raoul Walsh)
Oct 15: THE FURIES (1950; Anthony Mann)
Oct 22: DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950; Anthony Mann)
Oct 29: JOHNNY GUITAR (1954; Nicholas Ray)
Nov 5: FORTY GUNS (1957; Samuel Fuller) 
Nov 12: THE TALL T (1957; Budd Boetticher)
Nov 19: TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN (1958; Joseph Lewis)
Nov 26: DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959; Andre DeToth)Advance Registration required: $129 for 10 classes

Alfred Hitchcock and the Psychology of Suspense 1942-1960
September 21 - November 23

Advance Registration required: $129 for 10 classes

It seems there is no foreseeable end to the utter fascination with the "master of suspense," Alfred Hitchcock. Volumes have been written about him and universities continue to offer courses devoted to the staggering output created by this curious genius of darkly sophisticated cinematic entertainment. But who exactly was Alfred Hitchcock and why do his films still hold audiences spellbound the world over?

In an attempt to answer that question, this astounding TEN WEEK course will present a comprehensive overview of the great director's American films, spanning a nearly twenty year period that, inarguably, includes the most fruitful phase of his remarkable career. From pulse-pounding WWII-era thrillers like SABOTEUR, LIFEBOAT, and NOTORIOUS, to the slyly sinister SHADOW OF A DOUBT (long alluded to as the director's favorite among his own films), the wildly florid psychological explorations of SPELLBOUND and PSYCHO, a pair of sexually suggestive classics (ROPE and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN), the voyeuristically seductive REAR WINDOW and the seldom-seen, riveting I CONFESS, this experience promises to be a mind-bending array of psychological thrillers that contributed to making the name Alfred Hitchcock synonymous with high-calibre motion picture suspense.

The dramatic center of his own carefully crafted world, Alfred Hitchcock was among the first film directors to achieve the type of media fame usually reserved for movie stars and presidents---a notoriety and celebrity he continues to hold nearly forty years after his death. Find out why.

These are the TEN Hitchcock films we'll be watching in luxurious comfort at Cinema 21 in Portland each Saturday morning at 11:00 am beginning Saturday, September 21.

Sept 21: SABOTEUR (1942)
Sept 28: SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943)
Oct 5: LIFEBOAT (1944)
Oct 12: SPELLBOUND (1945)
Oct 19: NOTORIOUS (1946)
Oct 26: ROPE (1948)
Nov 9: I CONFESS (1953)
Nov 16: REAR WINDOW (1954)
Nov 23: PSYCHO (1960)