FIlm Esaay 1 Essay

Submitted By ibds22
Words: 1047
Pages: 5

In early America World War 2 placed strains on relationships between men and women. Marriages and relationships were affected due to the fact that they were separated from their spouses or several years during the war. As well as this gender roles were changing because as men were sent off to war the women would take their jobs in order to maintain the economy. By the time the men came home from war they felt out of place and could not readjust to the norms of society in civilian life and family life. The war also broke down many class barriers by placing men from completely different backgrounds to fight hand in hand together and fight for our freedom. When these men came home though people saw that these class restrictions still existed which was hard to get used to all over again, especially since a wealthy man could of just been fighting along side a poor man in the same infantry. American films made shortly after the war reflected tensions between genders, as well as tensions between social classes in the form of film noirs. Films that reflect such elements are Cat People, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Rome Open City. In The Best Years of Our Lives, directed by William Wyler reflected many types of gender tensions throughout the film. Al Stephenson, who is the main character, returns home from the war to find his loving family surprised to see him home for the first time in several years. He has a loving wife named Milly and and adult daughter named Peggy. As well he has a son that is a college freshman too he appears later in the film. Milly has had to take care of the children and raise them while Al was gone, so she tries to keep them looking the same way until Al got back.
Eventually Milly says that they got away from her and she couldn’t stop them from growing up. So she had to raise the kids on her own for about 5 years by herself. These two maintained a good relationship throughout the film and didn’t really face much negative social tension, but another character whose relationship was tremendously affected by the war was Fred Derry. Fred met his wife Marie in flight training and married her shortly before he was shipped off for the war. She then became a nightclub waitress while he was gone and started to cheat on him. She didn’t like that she was married to an unskilled drugstore clerk that only brings in a small salary. Fred then meets Peggy who seems to like him a lot as he likes her as well. Marie confided in Peggy that she cheats on Fred a lot, so she make it her job to break them up in order to make things right. Peggy also wanted to be with Fred as well, which she does end up doing by the films end. Basically Fred got married quick so he would have someone to come home to as soon as the war ended but come home to a completely different women in Marie due to the fact that the war changed her completely and caused her to drift apart from Fred. Finally the third character Homer had a relationship to in this movie with Wilma. He got engaged to her before the war with the promise of a nice big wedding when he returns. During the war Homer got his hands blown off and got them replaced with hooks so he could grab things. Homer didn’t want to burden Wilma so he pushes her away most of the movie, although she still wants to marry him. Eventually Homer realizes he is being stupid and loves Wilma so much and wants to be with her forever. So they get married and assume to live happily ever after. In Cat People, which is directed by Jacques Tourneur, the male to female relationships appear to happen quickly. For example the characters seem to fall in love with each other rather quickly. The first relationship between Oliver and