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
Feb 11, 2016
In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, Vern Lund, president of Liberty Mine in central Mississippi near DeKalb, Miss., holds some of the lignite coal planned for use in the nearby Mississippi Power Co. carbon capture power plant. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Supreme Court hits the brakes on the heart of President Obama’s push to fight global warming. We’ll dig in.

Feb 11, 2016
A sampling of same of the great books author David Denby thinks could help encourage young readers to love books. (National Post)

David Denby on the 24 great books that can bring even today’s kids to reading. And maybe you, too.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 10, 2016
In this Feb. 1, 2016 photo, a technician from the British biotec company Oxitec, inspects the pupae of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Campinas, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Taking on the Zika virus, from tackling the disease itself, to killing the mosquitoes that carry it to the challenge of birth control.

 
Feb 10, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves to the crowd before speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The winners and losers in New Hampshire, and the path ahead in the presidential primary race.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #9: Remedy Or Replica?
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Jack Beatty offers one last note from New Hampshire, and looks beyond to the primary races yet to come in both parties.

More »
Comment
 
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment