God’s Law and the Wide Screen: The Ten Commandments as Cold War “Epic”

  • Author(s): Alan Nadel
  • When: 1993-05
  • Where: PMLA
  • The wide-screen movie format developed in the 1950s as a response to the increased popularity of television. which by 1953 had entered two-thirds of American households. To recapture an audience that had declined by twenty-five percent from 1946 to 1953. the film industry attempted to provide a grandeur unattainable on small black-and-white television screens. But aside from offering larger images. the wide screen signified a kind of truth inaccessible to television. Live drama. live game shows. and especially live coverage of congressional hearings underscored television's claim to be the privileged site of `real" life. but this reality was limited widened mall segment of what the eye could sec In response. filmmakers the movie screen on that the visual capacity of the audience. not the object of scrutiny. defined the scope of cinematic reality.

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