Filipino Film Melodrama of the Late 1950s: Two Case Studies of Accommodation of Hollywood Genre Models


This paper takes two Filipino melodramas of the late 1950s – Sino’ng Maysala? and Mga Ligaw na Bulaklak – as case studies to highlight the Filipino response of accommodation of Hollywood genre films. Analysis reveals that the two films adopted many of the formalistic and thematic conventions of the Hollywood model. However, it cannot be claimed that these features completely and solely came from Hollywood. Even before filmmaking technology came to the country, the Philippines had had a long melodrama tradition in its Hispanic-influenced theater and literature. Further, the ideological values that melodrama extols (patriarchy and the bourgeois family) can also be seen as survivals from the country’s historical, colonial experiences that preceded the introduction of Hollywood films.