90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Marriage At The Movies

Why marriage doesn’t work for Hollywood.  The troubled history of going the distance on the silver screen.

Myrna Loy and William Powell of "The Thin Man" film series. (Wikimedia Commons)

Myrna Loy and William Powell of “The Thin Man” film series. (Wikimedia Commons)

We go to the movies, or watch them at home, to escape.  For romance.  Adventure.  Something wild.  Something different.  So maybe it’s obvious why marriage has not been Hollywood’s favorite theme.

After all, marriage is about constancy and, in some ways, the familiar.  Hollywood loves the chase, the seduction.  Marriage is the capture.  And yet, marriage is a big part of a lot of lives.

So what to do?  Make them assassins trying to kill one another?  Mr. and Mrs. Smith?

This hour, On Point:  Hollywood’s long and difficult wrestling match with marriage.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest

Jeanine Basinger, chair of film studies at Wesleyan University. Author of “I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Salon Marriage is both mundane and notoriously mysterious. It is also a subject that has perplexed Hollywood from the very beginning, according to Jeanine Basinger, a film historian and author of the lively new book “I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.”

The Boston Globe “As a bonus prize inside her Cracker Jack box of a book, Basinger also compares marriage movies and 1950s TV sitcoms. Despite happy endings, she reminds us, monsters lurked close to the surface of movies; beneath sitcoms, where marriage was de-sexed and familial problems easily solved, ‘lurked the sponsors.’”

Denver Post “What could be more weighty than the slow encroachment of mortality at the end of a long, well-lived life? Especially for a couple that seem to have gotten the rhythms of their romantic partnership down to a delicate, authentic minuet of casual touches, matter-of-fact conversations and binding memories?”

Excerpt From “I Do And I Don’t”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 1, 2014
Pro-democracy protesters hold umbrellas under heavy rain in a main street near the government headquarters in Hong Kong late Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them on Tuesday and threatened wider actions if he did not, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub. (AP)

China, democracy and Hong Kong. They’re in the streets in Hong Kong with their “Umbrella Revolution.” What now?

Oct 1, 2014
Actress Eva Longoria, center, Henry R. Munoz III, co-founder of the Latino Victory Project, left, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, are seated at an event launching The Latino Victory Project, a Latino political action committee, at the National Press Club in Washington, Monday, May 5, 2014. (AP)

Latino America. It is very large and growing very fast. How will it move the country?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

 
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Peter Thiel Wants Us All To Go From ‘Zero To One’
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

Entrepreneur Peter Thiel on innovation, technological failure and humanity’s uncertain future.

More »
Comment
 
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment