Avant-Garde Cinema of the Seventies
The writing of any history of the avant-garde in the arts is an undertaking fraught with difficulties due to the esoteric nature of much experimental work. When th...
Full-Length Programs:Fights, Passion Plays, and Travel
In the post-novelty period, exhibitors played a key creative role in the motion picture field. Their claims to authorship were indeed often merit...
General Flimco and the Pushcart Peddlers
The unsteadiness of the pictures sent out by an American independent
manufacturer who makes a specialty of depicting Western scenes in the
wild woods of New J...
Hearing the Audience
We do not create the types of entertainment, we merely present them.
People see . . . a reflection of their own average thoughts and attitudes.
If the reflection is much lower or ...
Hollywood's great and golden era was the two decades between the advent of synchronous sound motion-picture production in 1927 and the peak years for movie theater atten...
Independents, Packaging, and Inflationary Pressure in 1980s Hollywood
The seventy-fifth anniversary edition of Variety, dated 14 January 1981, split its financial page between two different stories: ...
Introduction: A Decade of Change
If, as Joan Didion has written, the deal is the true art form of
Hollywood, the masters of this art are the tax shelter specialists.
MARIE BRENNER, JOURNALIST, 1977
Introduction: The Uncertainty of Sound
The serious problem of injecting sound into the now silent drama is in
the offing. What producers will do in this regard, of course, is an
Motion Picture Exhibition in 1970s America
On the surface, the exhibition side of the movie industry seemed stable during the 1970s. While the major Hollywood studios struggled to redefine themselves...
Orders of Magnitude II: Costs, Agents, Stars
When you don't get participation, your front money naturally accelerates
.... The best participation is if you can get gross from every boxoffice
Outside the Mainstream
Sound opened new possibilities for bringing previously unheard voices and languages to Hollywood. The precursor was definitely radio, which was broadcasting regional songs (for ...
The conversion to sound and the ordeal of the Depression left the star system firmly in the grip of the producers. As Alexander Walker put it, "the star system in the 1930s gradually too...
Sound and Music
The Historical Primacy of Dialogue Sound
The coming of synchronous sound to the motion pictures in 1927 with THE JAZZ SINGER introduced a new aesthetic based on the relationship of the...
Technological Innovation and Aesthetic Response
I like to compare this revolution [in cinematography] offast lenses
plus pushed developmnent to painting.... Impressionism also came out
of a technolog...
The Film Industry
in the Late 1950s
By 1955 the film industry's attempt to overcome the challenge of television and reestablish its dominance in audio-visual entertainment had clearly failed. Many exc...
The Industry at the Damn of the Decade
As the 1980s began, the Hollywood industry was poised for five straight years of record box-office returns. Industry grosses climbed steadily, from $2.8 billion ...
The Transition to Story Films: 1903 1904
The American film industry was entering a new phase of rapid expansion by mid-to-late 1903, and a key factor in this revival was the popularity of story films....
The Well-Tempered Sound Track, 1930-1931
In 1930 regular customers began attending movies less frequently and spending less money. The motion picture industry cut back on production budgets, furlough...
Three Seasons: The Films of 1928-1931
If a revolution is a sudden event which throws over the past regime and substitutes a new oppositional rule, then the conversion to sound was certainly no revolut...
Toward a History of Screen Practice
Starting points always present problems for the historian, perhaps because they imply a "before" as well as an "after." For the film historian, "the invention of ci...
A New Era in Electrical Entertainment
We wonder-is this the only business in the world that needlessly
burns electric lights in broad daylight?
MAURICE KANN, 1928
There are no simple technologies. E...
Brand Names and Stars
"Whose make is it?"
-Two ladies in front of the Herald Square Theater,
quoted in the Moving Picture World, 1 November 1913, p. 486
Before the rise of the star system, films wer...
A Game of Freeze-Out
There was a time-it was the golden age-when the merchant of films or
apparatus did his business directly with the consumer; he knew hint. The
business took care of itself because...
Cinema Flourishes Within Its Existing Commercial Framework: 1904-1905
During 1904-1905, the number of exhibition venues increased rapidly and soon reached a saturation point as the industry secured re...
A Period of Commercial Crisis: 1900-1903
By 1900, producers were assuming occasional though still infrequent control over editing and the construction of multi-shot narratives. This slight shift, howe...
1910s: Film and Theater
One of many amusements in the 1900s, movies began to compete seriously with books and magazines for people's leisure time in the 1910s. By 1916, twenty-five million Amer...
1920s: Film and Theater
The new prosperity that people enjoyed in the 1920s meant that more and more people had the time and money to spend on film and theater tickets. The first "talkies...
1930s: Tv and Radio
Just as the 1930s produced some of the best American movies, it also produced some of the best radio programs, making the decade the golden age of both cinema and radio. More than ...
1940s: Film and Theater
Hollywood's golden age had reached a peak by 1940. The eight largest studios (Warner Brothers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM], RKO Radio, Twentieth Century Fox, United Artist...
1950s: Film and Theater
The biggest problem facing the movie industry in the 1950s was the TV. As sales of TV sets increased, more and more Americans stayed at home—and away from cinemas. This ...
1950s: Tv and Radio
Television was introduced to Americans in 1939 and began to gain a foothold after World War II (1939–45). In the 1950s, the sale of TV sets and the boom in programming made ...
1960s: Film and Theater
Moviemaking remained in a slump at the start of the 1960s. Moviemakers struggled to come up with successful strategies to combat the rising popularity of television, which kept...
1970s: Film and Theater
In the 1970s, the film industry continued to thrive by doing what television could not: telling stories that were more complicated, violent, frightening, or sexy than what coul...
1990s: Film and Theater
In the 1990s, special effects continued to dominate the film world. Special effects were used heavily to create the spectacular action that was demanded of every movie studio&#...