Compare two moving image texts the genere gangster flims - Essay Example

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This discussion will compare two generic gangster texts, Dick Tracy (1990) and The Untouchables (1987). The purpose of the essay will be to compare the narrative aspects together with the intended audience and the genre specifics of them. The narrative section will begin by discussing the story line and discuss the ways in which the story is told…
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s Textual Comparative Analysis of Two Texts A. Introduction This discussion will compare two generic gangster texts, Dick Tracy (1990) and The Untouchables (1987). The purpose of the essay will be to compare the narrative aspects together with the intended audience and the genre specifics of them. The narrative section will begin by discussing the story line and discuss the ways in which the story is told. The following part will analyse the intended audience for each text while part D will discuss the generic elements and how they compare to each text.
B. Narrative
The narrative structure of Dick Tracy follows the story line which is not uncommon in similar films of the same genre. The main story line of the film is Dick Tracy's efforts to bring down Big Boy Caprice's gangster empire and the search for a mystery assassin known as The Blank. A secondary storyline follows Tracy's romances with Tess Trueheart and Breathless Mahoney. The third sub-plot is Tracy's rescuing a young orphan boy, The Kid, who looks up to Tracy as a father figure. All this becomes quickly tangled when Tracy finds himself framed for the murder of Chicago's beloved (although corrupt) District Attorney, and Caprice's empire begins to take over the city itself.
Classical Hollywood cinema has traditionally presented its viewer with a unified narrative. The Untouchablesis a perfect example of this. The film's narrative deals with Treasury Officer Elliot Ness's quest to get criminal Al Capone behind bars. This is a goal that is clearly and explicitly delineated from the start, and most scenes follow the protagonist's actions from that point on. At first he tries to achieve this goal by himself, which leads to failure when he finds out that the rest of the police force is corrupt. As he walks home, depressed about his embarrassing failure, the character of Maloneis introduced. The death of Malone not only has the plot function of strengthening Ness's resolve to catch Capone, it also functions structurally as reinforcement of the audience's sympathy for his quest.
C. Audience
When comparing these two texts together and placing them in the gangster genre that they belong, it is apparent that they are both very similar, narratively and generically. The fact that the genre itself has a cult audience following (which begun with films such as the Godfather, and even the 1930's Dick Tracy), signifies this even more. The audiences over generations have grown up with these types of films, and it is certainly a type that audiences are still interested in considering gangster films are still made today. The audience knows that when they go to see a gangster film, they will be involved with a film that contains guns, high speed chases and usually a few crooked cops. Audiences are attracted to films like this because they know they will receive a 'closed ending' which in turn gives them a sense of closure and satisfaction by the end.
D. Genre
While the gangster genre plays a predominant role as the main generic element of these texts, they are apart of a much larger genre, drama. The gangster genre itself is really just another breed of drama, and each text is consistent with this fact. As noted before, gangster films are constant in producing high levels of drama that keep people coming back to them, which is why the genre itself has been so successful throughout filmic history.
Dick Tracy (1990) Directed by Warren Beatty. Buena Vista International.
The Untouchables (1987) Directed by Brian De Palma. Paramount Pictures. Read More
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