In the early twentieth century the high-rise transformed American cities, and the motion picture transformed American culture. By now each phenomenon——building type and cinematic art——is inextricably interwoven into our experience, our mentality. Yet a century ago skyscrapers and movies were still to be marveled at, as both technological innovations and social change agents. Merrill Schleier's Skyscraper Cinema: Architecture and Gender in American Film is an encompassing study of how the two art forms converged in the young decades of the last century and grew up together in its middle years. To be sure, the convergence is more a matter of temporal coincidence than disciplinary intent, and Schleier does not push the connection too hard. "When I refer to skyscraper films, I am not seeking to invent another category, such as the western or musical," she writes. "I consider American skyscraper films...

You do not currently have access to this content.