Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified Essay

Pages: 5 (1372 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film

Movie Classifications

Movies are classified according to genre which is French term meaning "type." In cinema around the globe, films have been classified into variety of genres, some being more dominant than others. Some of the most well-known genres are comedy, horror, thriller, drama, musical and westerns. And some of these movies will also have a sub-genre like a slapstick comedy or a gothic horror movie. Richard Maltby has given us eight major genres into which most cinematic creations can be classified: "The Western, the comedy, the musical, and the war movie are four uncontested categories. Different critics will then argue the relative independent merits of at least one of the thriller, the crime or gangster movie, and list the horror movie and science fiction as either one or two additional genres." (p. 116). To this we can also add romance and action adventure as two more important genres. Since movies are no longer single-generic, most movies will combine two or more main genres such as romantic comedy. This sub-genre has become so popular that it has actually come to occupy a place as a separate genre in itself. For example "An Affair to Remember" would be called a romantic movie while "You've Got Mail" would be described as romantic comedy.

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Essay on Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified According to Assignment

Comedy is one of the most dominant staple of cinema production. There is no large cinema industry in the world which hasn't produced its fair share of comedies. Comedies have ruled the cinema along with romance and action-adventure movies. "Most discussions on comedy begin by acknowledging a basic distinction between what might be called its comic units-gags, jokes, funny moments and the like- and the narrative and non-narrative context in which they occur. This distinction is important both because it links to issues of film history, and because it raises questions about definition and hence about the criteria governing comedy as a genre." (Neale p. 66) Comedy has a broad definition. It can be either completely verbal or completely physical or a combination of both. Jerry Lewis' comedies for example fell in the latter category while more refined works like "Some like it hot" fall into the former one.

There are comedies where narrative is more important and jokes as a comic relief. These comedies have a story line which may be non-comical. In others however narrative is only an excuse as jokes and gags are more important. Horton (1991) explains:

"comedies are interlocking sequences of jokes and gags that place narrative in the foreground in which case comedy leans in varying degrees towards some dimension of the non-comic (realism, romance, fantasy), or use that narrative as only a loose excuse for holding together moments of comic business (as in a Marx Brothers' films)." (p. 7)

In comedies, a great deal of attention is paid to jokes and gags. They occupy a pivotal place because they are placed at the exact moment when laughter is to be generated. The audience can either develop an instant connection with the character and the film or they can simply lose interest. Thus gags and jokes have to be placed strategically.


Though not entirely new, action adventures have still been relatively new genre that dominated Hollywood in 1980s with movies like Aliens series and Rambo films. With 1990s came ever more action adventure in the form of Die Hard, Terminator and Total Recall. This genre was simply unheard of before 1970s because even though some action was always present in movies, no film was totally based on an adventure and hence a new genre came to light with such films. There are some common features of action adventure movies as Neale points out:

"a number of common characteristics common to these genres and films: a propensity for spectacular physical action, a narrative structure involving fights, chases and explosions, and in addition to the deployment of state of the art special effects, an emphasis in performance on athletic feats and stunts. The hyperbolic nature of this emphasis has often been accompanied by an emphasis on the hyperbolic bodies and physical skills of the stars involved: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified.  (2009, July 7).  Retrieved September 20, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified."  7 July 2009.  Web.  20 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Movie Classifications Movies Are Classified."  July 7, 2009.  Accessed September 20, 2020.