American Culture Through Film

The movies listed at the left have been reviewed for the purpose of showing them to advanced English language learners. To aid viewers with rapidly-spoken English and unfamiliar cultural conventions, the reviews are sometimes lengthy and they include transcripts of key dialogues in the film.

A sample syllabus and film vocabulary list is included. For some movies, sequence lists are appended to help the teacher select important moments for review. Musicals usualy include the text for one or more songs.

This course, developed in 1994, without access to the resources of the Internet, and pieced together from the films already available in the school's library, could use considerable amendment. If I were to put together a new syllabus, I would show and compare directors who have tried to tell the American story (among them, John Ford, Ron Howard, Frank Capra, and Martin Scorsese) as well as feature genres that Americans have made their own (the musical, the Western, science fiction).