the narrative structure of public enemy by wellma

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Downloaded 35 times

The Public Enemy has been described as a poorly plotted but well told. Assess this claim through discussing two or more narrative elements and the extent to which they lack classical narrative motivation.

From the origins of the film directors have strived to make the perfect film for audiences, and gradually directors (particularly in America) developed a formula which became the Classical Hollywood Narrative this style influenced many people who go to see films and those who make them. They mainly consisted of the ‘happy ever after’ ending and followed the sequence of events in a chronological order (more or less, it was mainly detective movies that started at the end though the story still followed a relatively chronological sequence). This made it easier for the people to understand what was going on and what to expect. It was not until really the emergence of New Wave cinema that films, and their makers became a lot more experimental and films try to rebel against the established techniques of film making, with films such as Easy Rider.

Very few films that were made in America in the classical era (1920-1950) defied the techniques as at this time as most of the control of the production and final effect came from the Hollywood studios who were more interested in the profit margins than breaking new ground. It was only after the Paramount decision that films went back to the directors as they were in the very beginning.

This therefore creates one of the problems with a film like Public Enemy as it was created in a time that was influenced by the classical style. the dominance of this classical style in cinema at the time the film was made (1931) and even very much today with the big budget Hollywood blockbusters create...