3) In Playing the Race Card, Williams frequently mentions that effective melodramas offer a combination of pathos and action. Earlier this year in class it was mentioned that comedies often do not win Oscars over dramas and thrilling action films. Do you think that the lack of pathos and action in comedies plays a significant role in their failure to win frequent Oscars?
Pathos and action give audiences' the idea that the hero will be "too late" or "in the nick of time" to save the day (Williams 30). These two concepts can also be in comedies; however, comedies use the perils of the hero to cause humorous moments. Rather than create sympathy towards the hero when he or she is just too late to save the lady in distress, a comedy will make it a humorous event out of it. This causes a break in the flow of the film, taking away from what could potentially be a melodramatic moment. Movies, such as Titanic and Birth of a Nation, and books, such as Marx's Manifesto, continuously put down the hero or heroes until the very last moment of the film, when they can potentially save the day or fail trying. Comedies lack of success at the Oscars is not because of their inability to incorporate pathos and action into their films. A comedy could even be a melodrama. It is the humor in the films that causes them to be viewed less seriously and less critically than other genres of film.