This is a clear and engrossing account of how popular films in America just after the close of the Second World War played out America's mood at that crucial time. It is also a revisionist challenge to received scholarly understanding of this mood, which has tended to be seen as characterized by an abiding pessimism most clearly manifested in the films noir of the period. Chopra-Gant makes here an important contribution to film genre, which proposes that the 'noir and Zeitgeist' reading is based on the retrospective promotion of selected movies. He turns to the top box office successes of the period, including "Best Years of our Lives", "The Jolson Story" and "Two Years Before the Mast", finding that these films emphasise rather the triumph of American beliefs in democracy, classlessness and individualism. They deploy positive, performative masculinities and the pleasures of male friendships and celebrate the traditional American family, while recognising the problems of 'momism' and absent fathers.