The United States V. Paramount Pictures (1948)

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After World War II, the filmmaking industry experienced a dramatic change. The Paramount decision and the development of the Hollywood Blacklist created a hostile environment and a tumultuous time for the filmmaking industry. Although the effects would rattle the industry to its core, it was instrumental in shaping the filmmaking business into what we know today. United States v. Paramount Pictures (1948) was a landmark United States Supreme Court case that changed the way filmmakers, producers and theaters would operate forever. It was seen as the proverbial first nail in the coffin of the old Hollywood studio system. Under this system, film studios also owner the theaters where their pictures were shown. Therefore, specific theater chains would only show the films that were produced by the studio that owned them. Further, the studios that created the film also had the directors, writers, actors, set designers, etc. under contract. To take it even further, the studios also owned the development laboratories and distribution channels. Basically, the studios were vertically integrated and created a de facto oligopoly. The federal government had no choice but to step in. The studios unfair practices led to the suing…show more content…
In October 1947, the federal government subpoenaed a number of persons working in Hollywood to testify at hearings. Opening the hearings were appearances by Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan, who at the time was the president of the Screen Actors Guild. They both testified that the threat of Communists in the film industry was real and should be taken seriously. For an example of how this affected successful careers, we could take a look at Adrian Scott. He was a famed producer who produced four films for admitted communist Edward Dmytryk. Once Scott’s name was added to the blacklist in 1951, he was unable to be credited on screen until
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