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Portuguese musical comedies from the 1940s and 1950s and the transatlantic connection

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This article examines the broad patterns established by the first sound films produced in Portugal. Against the backdrop of the Salazar regime, it focuses in particular on the so-called comdia portuguesa, a cinematic tradition that proliferated in the 1930s and 1940s. It analyses in detail a paradigmatic example of this tradition, O ptio das cantigas/The Courtyard of Songs (1942). By the 1950s the conventions of these comedy films were hackneyed and yet they continued to be reproduced. This article studies two films from this era, namely Os trs da vida airada/The Fun-loving Three (1952) and O cantor e a bailarina/The Singer and the Dancer (1959). Particular attention is paid to how these later examples of the musical comedy borrowed from both Brazilian and Hollywood musicals in order to create a celebration of pan-Lusitanian identity.

Keywords: Cinema; Musical comedies; Popular culture; Portugal; Salazar; The Estado Novo

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-11-01

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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