Chapter 7 broadens the book’s concern with film music’s contribution to cultural memory toward its role in cultural politics by focusing on two mid-century American films where the transition to modern society involves the creation of trust. While George Stevens’s I Remember Mama (1946) is a parable of economic trust, Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) is a morality tale about racial trust. Both films are narrated by a daughter remembering her mother or father, thereby bringing into focus how trust emerges through affective attachment between child and parent; in both films, the formation and representation of such attachment involves the music by film composers Roy Webb and Elmer Bernstein, respectively. By shaping nostalgic memories of attachment, music itself became attached to these memories and thereby influenced the viewer’s trust in the narrator and, by extension, in film as a medium. As a quick heuristic for trust judgments, both composers scored caregivers—including ethnic, racial, and uncannily queer others—as trustworthy figures with whom children (and viewers) could form attachments whose lasting effects would shape the personal attitudes and actions essential for a functioning modern society.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.