Moana Maui

The Polynesian Origin Myths Behind Disney’s Moana

Like Disney’s Moana? Learn about the Polynesian origin myths Disney consulted to create the demigod character Maui, played by Dwane “The Rock” Johnson.
Jack Barry, Charles Van Doren and Vivienne Nearing

How Academics Fell In and Out of Love with TV Quiz Shows

In the 1950s, the world went quiz-show crazy. But something was rotten inside Hollywood—the shows were packed with ringers.
Rita Hayworth

The Making of Rita Hayworth

To become a Hollywood star and icon, Rita Hayworth had to transcend not just her waistline or her hairline, but her own ethnicity.
James Comey

The FBI Goes to the Movies

In its hunt for communists in Hollywood, the FBI criticized the 1946 classic It's A Wonderful Life as subversive propaganda.
13 Reasons Why

Can Fiction Really Spark Suicide?

The Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why is so powerful—and so controversial—it's sparked a national debate about teenage suicide.
An outdoor film festival in Guadalajara, Mexico

Mexican-Americans Have Always Battled Movie Stereotypes

Stereotyping and discrimination in Hollywood has elicited different responses from Mexican-Americans and Mexicans in Mexico.
brass sundial

Sundials, Sentiments, and S-Town

The immensely popular podcast S-Town features some memorable sundial inscriptions. But where did the slightly morbid tradition come from?
drive-in theater

Why Drive-Ins Were More Than Movie Theaters

Drive-ins embodied the suburbanization of middle class families -- and created an entirely new way of watching the movies.
Dear White People

Humor and Race in Dear White People and White Chicks

Black producers and entertainers use the concept of physically appropriating another race to discuss racism in "Dear White People" and "White Chicks."
Gwyneth Paltrow at Toronto International Film Festival, 2012

The Glamorous Tradition of Hollywood Lifestyle Advice

For more than a century, Hollywood has been offering Americans lifestyle advice on how to live better, and the public has been gobbling it up.