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"Must the Players Keep Young?": Early Hollywood's Cult of Youth

Heather Addison
Cinema Journal
Vol. 45, No. 4 (Summer, 2006), pp. 3-25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4137165
Page Count: 23
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"Must the Players Keep Young?": Early Hollywood's Cult of Youth
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Abstract

Hollywood's predilection for youth is a long-standing, widely acknowledged phenomenon. Using articles and advertisements from the popular press, especially fan magazines, this essay investigates early Hollywood's publicly constructed relationship to the process of aging and argues that a cult of youth was firmly established by the late 1920s. This cult of youth, which celebrated young adulthood as the most privileged period of life, was the product of a number of historical forces, including prevailing American views on aging; the demands of an emerging consumer culture; and concerns about the motion picture camera's propensity to highlight the physical signs of advancing age.

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