2. Drama as a Film Genre
• Films that are categorised under the genre drama
have several main points that can be recognized
in all of them.
• - They are serious representations of real life
and/or stories and do not include fantasy in the
• - Hence the name "drama" they show emotions
and events at their true height, and perhaps
dramatize them. They show emotions at their
best and worst.
3. What makes a Drama Film?
• The purpose of a dramatic storyline is to move
the audience emotionally. Drama films depend
mostly on the development of realistic characters
dealing with emotional issues.
• In most cases the film concentrates on normal
character(s) that is dealing with a conflict or
dilemma. Dramas often give actors a chance to
stretch into a role that other genres wouldn’t
allow them to do. This is because drama films
focus on building up characters that the audience
can engage with.
4. Conventions of Drama Films
• Portrays a characters journey and
• Exhibits real life characters, situations, settings
• Intense social interaction
• Dramatic sounds and exaggerated
5. Sub Genres
• - Social Dramas
• -Mental Illness
• -Youth Rebellion
• -Race Relations
• -Civil Rights
• -Courtroom Drama
• -War Drama
• -Sports Drama
• - Religious Drama
• -Literature Drama The Plot - Realism
• - Heightened emotions
• - A protagonist that's easy to relate to
• - Some form of journey
• - Plot's with a twist or a complex plot
• - Emotional peaks and and troth Protagonist - Going through some kind of emotional journey
• - Particularity unstable/vulnerable
• - Having to face a hard decision
• - Easy to sympathize/empathize with
• - Has a lot in common with the target audience/ easy to relate to. Other typical traits of Drama
• - Challenging the ignorance of stereotypes
• - Connecting on a complex and personal level
• - Having therapeutic qualities by showing how the protagonist has overcome difficulties. Classic Drama films - Fight Club
• - American Beauty
• - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
• - Trainspotting By Hattie Upton-Dance
6. History of the Drama Genre - 1940s
• In the early years of film there were mostly
pantomime styled melodrama in silent films.
In 1940 Films like The grapes of wrath show
the effects of the depression.
7. History of the Drama Genre - 1950s
• The 1950s, began a rise in well-known dramatic
actors. Montgomery Clift, Glenn Ford, James
Dean, Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe were
notable dramatic actors. Dramatic Films focused
on character relationships and development. All
About Eve (1950) focused on women, and their
relationship with men. Rebel Without a Cause
(1955) displayed teenage angst. Films like 12
Angry Men (1957) and Anatomy of a Murder
(1959) show the inner workings of a courtroom.
8. History of the Drama Genre - 1960s
• The 1960s brought politically driven dramas
focusing on war, such as: • Judgment at
Nuremberg (1961) • Flashback (1969) • The
Manchurian Candidate (1962). Sports dramas
became inspiration such as: • The Hustler
(1961) • Downhill Racer (1969).
9. History of the drama genre - 1970’s
• During the 1970s, modern dramatic directors made some of their first
films. Francis Ford Coppola directed The Godfather (1972).
• Martin Scorsese directed Taxi Driver (1976), Mean Streets (1973), and
musical drama New York, New York (1977).
• Sylvester Stallone created one of the most successful sports drama
franchises with Rocky (1976) and also directed the sequel Rocky II (1979).
In addition, in sports drama were films that focused on the struggle of
athletes such as:
• Brian's Song (1970),
• The Longest Yard (1974).
• War films and specifically World War II films were produced, giving the
most realistic adaptation of the war seen in films at that time. Such as:
• Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
• Patton (1970)
• Apocalypse Now (1979) which all show the trials and hardships of war and
are still considered classic war films.
10. History of the drama genre - 1980’s
• In the 1980s, dramatic film put emphasis on highly
• Do the Right Thing (1989)
• The Colour Purple (1985)
• These were full character studies of African American
culture and history. War dramas:
• Platoon (1986) - showed the horrors of Vietnam.
• Das Boot (1981) - focused on the German viewpoint of
World War II.
• Drama, with a science fiction edge was a theme when
Steven Spielberg directed E.T. (1982), and Ridley Scott
directed Blade Runner (1982), and also The Accused (1988).
11. History of the drama genre - 1990’s
• During the 1990s: Crime dramas: Goodfellas (1990)
Themes of hope: The Shawshank Redemption (1994),
Schindler's List (1993).
• Dramas also took a turn with existentialist thrillers such
as Fight Club (1999). Coming of age was dealt with in
Good Will Hunting (1997), race relationships were a
theme in American History X (1998).
• Comedy-drama was featured with films like Forrest
Gump (1994), Jerry Maguire (1996) and As Good as It
• Child-oriented dramas also became more popular in
12. History of the drama genre – 21st century
• In the 21st the drama genre has expanded
dramatically with an increase in demand of