The War of the Accents: The Reception of Hollywood Spanish Language Films in Los Angeles

Author(s): Colin Gunckel


During the early years of sound, both major studios and independent producers were faced with a series of difficult issues involving foreign language distribution. Through an examination of the substantial coverage devoted to cinema in La opiniĆ³n, a Spanish language newspaper published in Los Angeles, the author charts the major trends in local Spanish language film exhibition and provides an overview of the discursive environment that shaped the reception of such films. In this context, Spanish language Hollywood films are seen to have facilitated the decline of Spanish language theater in Los Angeles, challenging the authority of elite and middle class cultural authorities and their control over Spanish language entertainment in the city. The paper argues that cinema must be considered alongside a broader and more diverse array of cultural practices, particularly in terms of the relationship between mass culture and national and/or ethnic identity.

Publication Information:

Periodical Title: Film History

Year of Publication: 2008

Volume Number: 20

Page Numbers: 325-343

Issue Number: 3