Classical Hollywood film sprung up in the 1920s and lasted until the mid to late 1960s. This type of cinema, now know as the “Golden Age of Hollywood,” had a very specific style. It used flashbacks, continuity editing as well as “narratives structured around the goals of individual characters” (Belton 44), also known as a deadline device. Stars of that era were chosen specifically to play the individual main characters and they had more traits than less involved characters, such as launching the main actions of the story. Verisimilitude, the appearance of being true or real, was an attribute aspired to be reached through the use of props, settings and décor. In addition, music and lighting were used to stimulate an emotional connection and/or response to the story. The film Casablanca is one of the greatest examples of the classical Hollywood era because it embodies everything the style entails, but especially the mise-en-scene, sound and lighting used throughout the film.
During the course of this essay it is my intention to discuss the differences between Classical Hollywood and post-Classical Hollywood. Although these terms refer to theoretical movements of which they are not definitive it is my goal to show that they are applicable in a broad way to a cinema tradition that dominated Hollywood production between 1916 and 1960 and which also pervaded Western Mainstream Cinema (Classical Hollywood or Classic Narrative Cinema) and to the movement and changes that came about following this time period (Post-Classical or New Hollywood). I intend to do this by first analysing and defining aspects of Classical Hollywood and having done that,
In the early 1900’s, as films stated centering their focus on profit, large scale studios came onto the film scene. The studios that were discussed in the chapter were: Universal, United Artists, Paramount, Warner Bros, MGM, Fox, Columbia, and RKO. These studios employed some of the biggest names in the film world at the time. Many of these studios are still in business today, and have given prominent actors and directors their shot at fame. Universal was the first studio to move to the west coast. They produced popular films such as The
Rarely has a film impacted an audience and held the test of time as the film Gone with the Wind. I have always been curious if director, Victor Fleming and producer, David O. Selznick and screenplay writer, Sidney Howard knew what they were creating a masterpiece and how this film would have such an enormous impact on audiences for years to come. Interestingly enough there were some who thought the film should not be made, as Irving Thalberg said to Louis B. Meyer in 1936, “Forget it Louis, no Civil War picture ever made a nickel” (Ten Films that Shook the World).
This paper was prepared for Introduction to Film History, Module 1 Homework Assignment, taught by Professor Stephanie Sandifer.
The release of Gordon Hollingshead and Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer in 1927 marked the new age of synchronised sound in cinema. The feature film was a huge success at the box office and it ushered in the era David Bordwell describes as ‘Classical Hollywood Cinema’; Bordwell and two other film theorists (Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson) conducted a formalist analysis of 100 randomly selected Hollywood films from the years 1917 to 1960 in order to fully define this movement. Their results yielded that most Hollywood made films during that era were centred on, or followed, specific blueprints that formed the finished product. Through this analysis of Hollywood films the theorists were able to establish stylised conventions and modes of
During this time the film studios grew in power, new stars and directors were discovered and the eight major studios produced more than 7500 feature films. “These films were released by the studios to audiences eager to be entertained. More than 80 million people attended at least one film per week. This period enjoyed the greatest collection of talent gathered in one place.” (Motion Pictures, The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2001)
In this book, King examines the Hollywood “Renaissance” from the late 1960s to the late 1970s as well as some of the industrial factors that shape the current dominance of the corporate blockbuster. King begins by stating that there are two distinct periods when addressing “New Hollywood” including the Hollywood Renaissance and the New Hollywood. Geoff King analyses new Hollywood dynamically and accessibly in his text and discusses diverse films, film makers and film companies apart from concentrating on the interactions between the film texts, social contexts, and their producers by using examples across Hollywood and its genres. He further discusses how positions of studios within media conglomerate, and the relationship between production for big and small screens as well as the influence of television, advertising and franchising on the New Hollywood have been transformed the form of the films (King 137-140).
Looking back at Casablanca in 1941, it is shocking to know that Humphrey Bogarts famous words “hears looking at you kid” was improvised on the spot. While this type of improvising is common today, it was taboo compared the structured and generic Golden Age of film (“Sorry Russell”). The studio system of the 1930s to 1960s dramatically changed the methods of film production, the types of movies made, and eventually caused its own demise.
The Supreme Court ruled against the Hollywood’s monopoly of the film industry of the United States, directing that the production and distribution of movies be separated from movie exhibition practices. The ruling marked the death of studio era and led to numerous changes in film industry decades later. The paramount decision pushed the Twentieth century fox, Big Five studios, MGM, Paramount, RKO and Warner Bros companies to sell some of their theatre chains. The ruling went ahead to outlaw the price discriminatory and purchasing arrangements, fixing of admissions prices, block booking and
Analyzing the studio system simplistically we see basic capitalism. In the 1920’s movies became more popular, so fulfilling the rules of basic supply and demand, studios were formed to profit from the insatiable public desire to see more films (in
My entire life I have been fascinated with film and commercials. As a kid, I would stop what I was doing to watch a commercial. This has not changed through the years. My goal in life is to work in the film industry and work with video. This may have developed from my brother’s short term love for the video arts. Like most little brothers I followed in his footsteps through a lot of things and most of them would not stick. As I grew older I developed my own different ideals and likes. But, video just stuck with me. Even if film production doesn’t work out I have always had a childlike excitement for fighting fires. Being the person to save the day is something that everybody wants to do, but not everyone peruses this dangerous career.
Every so often a movie is released with such tense anticipation and glamorous visual art that the public is drawn to this dramatic rendition of life in the theatre. For even just two hours or so, you are put into a different lifestyle. Action, drama or comedy it may be. We are thrust into a different way of thinking. We are forced to learn the characters thoughts and feelings. The hard work and artistic skill that goes into these magnificent films is not an easy thing to mimic. Out of the thousands of movies released worldwide each year only a handful are truly worthy of the label film art. Most of the great movies are either produced by a multi million dollar
There are many factors that lead to how the film industry is today. Over the years there have been many technological innovations and a developed narrative structure. Hollywood has played a major role in shaping American culture through the years and continues to do so. American cinema began as an art of storytelling. In the 1940’s it gave Americans an escape from their lives to better, more exciting lives. People would flood theaters to see Hollywood movies. During this time hundreds of films were coming out of Hollywood and influence was coming from everyone, creating styles and perfecting techniques.
The film industry has continuously changed since its inception due to rapid technology advancements. Camera technology has been a key factor that has influenced the growth of filmmaking. The first motion picture in the world was produced in the early 1880s, and the first public screening occurred ten years later. It didn’t take long for the quality of films to improve as new filmmaking equipment emerged. Ever since the first movie was produced, the film industry has been continuously changing in response to emerging filmmaking technology. Introduction of digital photography and digital data storage along with the development of internet significantly influenced the film industry (Barsam, 2015). These technologies contributed