Modern Acting: Obscured by the Method’s “American” Style

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Screen Industries and Performance book series (PSSIP)


Chapter 4 considers cultural developments that led Method acting to be mistakenly seen as the only emotion-based, internal approach to performance. It explores tensions created by the influence that British traditions have had on American film and theatre, and the attack on British and Anglo-American actors mounted by members of the Actors Studio starting in the late 1940s. The chapter shows that Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando, whose performances in the late 1940s and early 1950s seemed to offer a new “American” style, were not Method actors; Clift studied with Alfred Lunt, and Marlon Brando worked with Stella Adler. The chapter also explores ways in which Elia Kazan’s and Marilyn Monroe’s connection to the Actors Studio contributed to Method acting’s visibility in American popular culture.


American Acting Script Analysis American Theatre American Film Method Style 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theatre and FilmBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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