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The American Film Industry in the 1930's

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Blake Robert

on 19 April 2011

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Transcript of The American Film Industry in the 1930's

A Very Brief History of the American Film Industry
in the 1930's

By: Blake Robert
English 11 Bibliography:

http://www.uwgb.edu/teachingushistory/images/pdfs/2003_lectures/mjagkij_essay_1.pdf, The Film Industry in the United States: A Brief Historical Overview; Nina Mjagki, Ball State University

http://www.filmsite.org/30sintro.html, The History of Film: The 1930s, Tim Dirks - Filming was invented in the United States
by Eadweard Muybridge
- Cinema in the United States has hence always
been at the top of the world, grossing more
money than any other country since the 1920's. - 1927 was the cusp of a new era of film with sound, brought on by the film "The Jazz Singer" by Warner Bros.
- Films with sound presented a new revolutionnary mode of cheap entertainment, while the golden age of Hollywood started and went well into the 1950's. - The downside to films with sound was that many of the performers of increasingly less popular silent films were left without jobs.
- Come 1929 with its large-scale economic collapse, theatre felt a titanic decrease in popularity, and many actors fled to the relatively new and cheap sound films. - With the 1930's, came a small era marked by a sharp decline in the quality of motion pictures, lasting until around the early 1940's.
- This was caused by the widely abhored bureaucratic system of the film industry. There were two main problems of the existing modus operandi:
1. People involved in films were bounded by contracts to the studios.
2. Theatres were owned by the studios, so they had unprecedented control over which movies were shown or not, creating the opportunity for monopolic enterprise.
The solution to these two problems? - Bam, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
by Disney, 1937
- A veritable masterpiece and the first film to be produced independently.
- The film received aclaim from everywhere, and this helped spark an outrage regarding the studio system, as it demonstrated that, without the constraint of studios, great films could be produced. This led to a long legal battle that stretched out into WWII, and resulted in the demise of the studio system, along with all its drawbacks. However, studios surely enough, went down fighting. In 1939, an absolutely absurd amount of chef d'oeuvres were released. Including, but not limited to: The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind (which grossed about $3 billion, adjusting for inflation), and King Kong. Gone with the Wind involved a significant amount
of racial controversy later on, as it takes place in a southern state during the American Civil War. (just imagine) This goes to show that stories like To Kill a Mockingbird are not so rare in cinema, but unfortunately, ones with positive racial outlooks are, or at least were.
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