Meaning of MOTION PICTURE, HISTORY OF in English

history of the medium from the 19th century to the present. Additional reading General histories Arthur Knight, The Liveliest Art: A Panoramic History of the Movies, rev. ed. (1979), an influential history; Paul Rotha, with Richard Griffith, The Film till Now, new ed. (1967), a substantial history, though now dimmed by age and a lack of critical perspective; Pierre Leprohon, Histoire du cinma, 2 vol. (196163), a useful reference work of names, dates, titles, and events; Gerald Mast, A Short History of the Movies, 4th ed. (1986); David A. Cook, A History of Narrative Film (1981), a wide-ranging historical survey of international film; Eric Rhode, A History of the Cinema from Its Origins to 1970 (1976, reprinted 1985), an international critical history providing detailed though opinionated coverage; Kenneth Macgowan, Behind the Screen: The History and Techniques of the Motion Picture (1965), a dated but still valuable history by an industry insider; and Ephraim Katz, The Film Encyclopedia (1979), an informative reference source. Historical studies of specific periods Early developments are studied in Terry Ramsaye, A Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Picture, 2 vol. (1926, reissued in 1 vol., 1986), a romantic account covering the period to 1925, with emphasis on American film between 1890 and 1915; Michael Chanan, The Dream That Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain (1980), an extraordinary study of the cultural/ideological site of cinema at the moment of its birth; Kevin Brownlow, Hollywood, the Pioneers (1979), a systematic treatment of the subject through the 1920s, copiously illustrated by John Kobal; John Fell (ed.), Film Before Griffith (1983); and Lary May, Screening Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry (1980, reprinted 1983).Further developments are presented in Georges Sadoul, Histoire gnrale du cinma, 6 vol. in varied editions (197375), a detailed study of the epoch of silent film; Kevin Brownlow, The Parade's Gone By (1968), a well-illustrated study of American silent films and stars, based on interviews with survivors; John Kobal, Hollywood: The Years of Innocence (1985), a pictorial work on the period; Graham Petrie, Hollywood Destinies: European Directors in America, 19221931 (1985); and Benjamin B. Hampton, A History of the Movies (1931, reissued as History of the American Film Industry from Its Beginnings to 1931, 1970). An excellent, well-researched account of the coming of sound is found in Alexander Walker, The Shattered Silents: How the Talkies Came to Stay (1978, reissued 1986); see also Evan William Cameron (ed.), Sound and the Cinema: The Coming of Sound to American Film (1980), an anthology of scholarly essays and reminiscences; Leonard Quart and Albert Auster, American Films and Society Since 1945 (1984), a brief, penetrating study; and William Luhr (ed.), World Cinema Since 1945 (1987). Historical and critical studies of national film movements British filmmaking is the subject of Roy Armes, A Critical History of the British Cinema (1978); Rachael Low, The History of the British Film, 7 vol. (194879), a detailed study of the silent film; Ernest Betts, The Film Business: A History of British Cinema, 18961972 (1973), a standard, compact history; Alexander Walker, Hollywood UK: The British Film Industry in the Sixties (1974; also published as Hollywood, England, reprinted 1986); and George Perry, The Great British Picture Show, rev. ed. (1985), a popular concise history. For France, see Richard Abel, French Cinema: The First Wave, 19151929 (1984), a definitive scholarly study of avant-garde and commercial cinema of the era, superbly illustrated; James Monaco, The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette (1976, reprinted 1980), an excellent critical study; Georges Sadoul, French Film (1953, reissued 1972); and Roy Armes, French Cinema (1985). For Germany, see Siegfried Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (1947, reissued with additions, 1974), a psychological, sociological, and political analysis; David Stewart Hull, Film in the Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 19331945 (1969, reissued 1973), an exploration of the cinema's role in Nazi propaganda; David Welch, Propaganda and the German Cinema, 19331945 (1983); Julian Petley, Capital and Culture: German Cinema, 193345 (1979), a discussion of the economic and social structure of the Nazi film industry; Lotte H. Eisner, The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt (1969, reissued 1973; originally published in French, 1965; new enlarged French ed., 1981), a study of the influence of the arts of painting, drama, and the novel on the cinema; and Eric Rentschler, West German Film in the Course of Time: Reflections on the Twenty Years Since Oberhausen (1984), a scholarly account of the New German Cinema and its historical-economic contexts.Italian filmmaking is the subject of Pierre Leprohon, The Italian Cinema (1972; originally published in French, 1966); James Hay, Popular Film Culture in Fascist Italy: The Passing of the Rex (1987); Mira Liehm, Passion and Defiance: Film in Italy from 1942 to the Present (1984), an informative though sometimes eccentric critical study; Roy Armes, Patterns of Realism (1971, reprinted 1986), a standard study of the Neorealist cinema; and Peter Bondanella, Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present (1983), a definitive scholarly analysis. Films from the Soviet Union and eastern European countries are the subject of Jay Leyda, Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film, 3rd ed. (1983), a broad, authoritative study of developments beginning with tsarist times; Mira Liehm and Antonn J. Liehm, The Most Important Art: Eastern European Film After 1945 (1977), a survey of Soviet, Polish, Czechoslovak, Hungarian, Yugoslav, East German, Rumanian, and Bulgarian cinema, illustrated with many rare stills; Ronald Holloway, The Bulgarian Cinema (1986), a well-illustrated study; Peter Hames, The Czechoslovak New Wave (1985); Graham Petrie, History Must Answer to Man: The Contemporary Hungarian Cinema (1978); and Daniel J. Goulding, Liberated Cinema: The Yugoslav Experience (1985), a critical history of the postwar period. For other European countries, see Peter Cowie, Swedish Cinema (1966) and Swedish Cinema from Ingeborg Holm to Fanny and Alexander (1985); and Peter Besas, Behind the Spanish Lens: Spanish Cinema Under Fascism and Democracy (1985).For a survey of Australian movies, see Graham Shirley and Brian Adams, Australian Cinema, the First Eighty Years (1983), a standard scholarly history, covering developments to 1975; and Brian McFarlane, Australian Cinema 19701985 (1986), a valuable account of Australia's unprecedented film explosion. Filmmaking in Asian and African countries is discussed in Nol Burch, To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema, revised and edited by Annette Michelson (1979), a classical study of the film form and its misinterpretations in the West; Tadao Sato, Currents in Japanese Cinema, trans. from Japanese (1982), original essays with a filmography to 1981; Audie Bock, Japanese Film Directors (1978, reprinted 1985), a scrupulously researched critical study of 10 directors spanning the history of the industry; Joseph L. Anderson and Donald Richie, The Japanese Film: Art and Industry, expanded ed. (1982); Jay Leyda, Dianying: An Account of Films and the Film Audience in China (1972); Erik Barnouw and S. Krishnaswamy, Indian Film, 2nd ed. (1980), an authoritative study; T.M. Ramachandran (ed.), 70 Years of Indian Cinema, 19131983 (1985), a well-illustrated, extended history; and Roy Armes, Third World Film Making and the West (1987), a historical overview that also includes discussions of Latin-American cinema.Book-length works on Latin America, Cuba, and Mexico include Jorge A. Schnitman, Film Industries in Latin America: Dependency and Development (1984), an economic analysis from the silent era through the 1980s; Randal Johnson and Robert Stam (eds.), Brazilian Cinema (1982), a definitive English-language history; Michael Chanan, The Cuban Image: Cinema and Cultural Politics in Cuba (1985); and Carl J. Mora, Mexican Cinema: Reflections of a Society, 18961980 (1982), a scholarly critical history. The cinema of the United States is the subject of Robert Sklar, Movie-Made America: A Social History of American Movies (1975); Lewis Jacobs, The Rise of the American Film, a Critical History, expanded ed. (1968, reissued 1974), a detailed study with emphasis on trends and audience preference; David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, and Janet Staiger, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Mode of Production to 1960 (1985); Douglas Gomery, The Hollywood Studio System (1985); Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 19291968 (1968, reprinted 1985), a classic definition of the auteur theory and its critical application to American films and filmmakers; and Tino Balio (ed.), The American Film Industry, rev. ed. (1985), an anthology of historical scholarship and primary documents from the origins to the 1980s. Genre studies Thomas Schatz, Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System (1981), examines prevalent styles and forms. Nonfiction films are discussed in Richard Meran Barsam, Nonfiction Film: A Critical History (1973), which focuses on British and American documentaries; Richard Meran Barsam (ed.), Nonfiction Film: Theory and Criticism (1976); and Erik Barnouw, Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film, rev. ed. (1983). War themes are explored in Craig W. Campbell, Reel America and World War I: A Comprehensive Filmography and History of Motion Pictures in the United States, 19141920 (1985); and Jeanine Basinger, The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre (1986).Studies of the western, crime movies, and film noir include George N. Fenin and William K. Everson, The Western, from Silents to the Seventies (1973, reprinted 1977); Jim Kitses, Horizons West: Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, Sam Peckinpah: Studies of Authorship Within the Western (1969); Jon Tuska, The Filming of the West (1976); Lawrence Alloway, Violent America: The Movies, 19461964 (1971); Carlos Clarens, Crime Movies: From Griffith to The Godfather and Beyond (1980), a historical cross-genre survey; Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward (eds.), Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style (1979), a critical reference work; Foster Hirsch, The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir (1981, reprinted 1983), an in-depth study; and Jon Tuska, Dark Cinema: American Film Noir in Cultural Perspective (1984). Experimental cinema is the subject of Sheldon Renan, An Introduction to the American Underground Film (1967). The social-issue movie is explored in Peter Roffman and Jim Purdy, The Hollywood Social Problem Film: Madness, Despair, and Politics from the Depression to the Fifties (1981). For feminist studies of Hollywood films, see Mary Ann Doane, The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s (1987); and E. Ann Kaplan, Women and Film: Both Sides of the Camera (1983), which also covers independent films.Two surveys of specific genres are Kalton C. Lahue, Continued Next Week: A History of the Moving Picture Serial (1964) and World of Laughter: The Motion Picture Comedy Short, 19101930 (1966, reprinted 1972). Other works on comedy include Walter Kerr, The Silent Clowns (1975); and Gerald Mast, The Comic Mind: Comedy and the Movies, 2nd ed. (1979), a thematic study of silent and sound comedies and the relationship between intellectual content and comic form. Musicals are discussed in John Kobal, A History of Movie Musicals: Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance, rev. ed. (1983), an extremely well-represented international survey; Ted Sennett, Hollywood Musicals (1981, reprinted 1985); Jane Feuer, The Hollywood Musical (1982); and Rick Altman, The American Film Musical (1987), a definitive study of the structure of the genre. For an overview of animated films, see Leonard Maltin, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons (1980); Donald Crafton, Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 18981928 (1982), a scholarly discussion of pre-Disney works; and Christopher Finch, The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms (1973, reprinted 1983), a richly illustrated study. David A. Cook The pre-World War II sound era Introduction of sound The idea of combining motion pictures and sound had been around since the invention of the cinema itself: Edison had commissioned the Kinetograph to provide visual images for his phonograph, and Dickson had actually synchronized the two machines in a device briefly marketed in the 1890s as the Kinetophone. Lon Gaumont's Chronophone in France and Cecil Hepworth's Vivaphone system in England employed a similar technology, and each was used to produce hundreds of synchronized shorts between 1902 and 1912. In Germany, producer-director Oskar Messter began to release all of his films with recorded musical scores as early as 1908. By the time the feature had become the dominant film form in the West, producers regularly commissioned orchestral scores to accompany prestigious productions, and virtually all films were accompanied by cue sheets suggesting appropriate musical selections for performance during exhibition. Actual recorded sound required amplification for sustained periods of use, however, which became possible only after Lee De Forest's perfection in 1907 of the Audion tube, a three-element, or triode, vacuum tube that magnified sound and drove it through speakers so that it could be heard by a large audience. In 1919 De Forest developed an optical sound-on-film process patented as Phonofilm, and between 1923 and 1927 he made more than 1,000 synchronized sound shorts for release to specially wired theatres. The public was widely interested in these films, but the major Hollywood producers, to whom De Forest vainly tried to sell his system, were not: they viewed talking pictures as an expensive novelty with little potential return. By that time, Western Electric, the manufacturing subsidiary of American Telephone & Telegraph Company, had perfected a sophisticated sound-on-disc system called Vitaphone, which their representatives attempted to market to Hollywood in 1925. Like De Forest, they were rebuffed by the major studios, but Warner Bros., then a minor studio in the midst of aggressive expansion, bought both the system and the right to sublease it to other producers. Warner Bros. had no more faith in talking pictures than did the major studios but thought that the novelty could be exploited for short-term profits. The studio planned to use Vitaphone to provide synchronized orchestral accompaniment for all Warner films, thereby enhancing their marketability to second- and third-run exhibitors who could not afford to hire live orchestral accompaniment. After mounting a $3,000,000 promotion, Warners gave the system its debut on Aug. 6, 1926, in Don Juan, a lavish costume drama starring John Barrymore, directed by Alan Crosland, and with a score performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The response was enthusiastic; Warners announced that all of its films for 1927 would be released with synchronized musical accompaniment and then turned immediately to the production of its second Vitaphone feature. The Jazz Singer (1927), also directed by Crosland, included popular songs and incidental dialogue in addition to the orchestral score; its phenomenal success virtually ensured the industry's conversion to sound. Sensing that Warners' gamble on sound might pay off, MGM, First National, Paramount, and others had asked the MPPDA to investigate competing sound systems in early 1927. There were several sound-on-film systems that were technologically superior to Vitaphone, but the rights to most of them were owned by William Fox, president of Fox Film Corporation. Fox, like the Warners, had seen sound as a way of cornering the market among smaller exhibitors. In the summer of 1926 he therefore acquired the rights to the Case-Sponable sound-on-film system (the similarity of which to De Forest's Phonofilm was the subject of subsequent patent litigation) and formed the Fox-Case Corporation to make shorts under the trade name Fox Movietone. Six months later he secretly bought the American rights to the German Tri-Ergon process, whose flywheel mechanism was essential to the continuous reproduction of optical sound. To cover himself completely Fox negotiated a reciprocal pact between Fox-Case and Vitaphone in which each licensed the other to use its sound systems, equipment, and personnel. The sound-on-film system eventually prevailed over sound-on-disc because it enabled image and sound to be recorded simultaneously in the same (photographic) medium, ensuring their precise and automatic synchronization. Despite Warners' obvious success with its sound films, film industry leaders were not eager to lease sound equipment from a direct competitor. They banded together, and Warner Bros. was forced to give up its rights to the Vitaphone system in exchange for a share in any new royalties earned. The major film companies then wasted no time. By May 1928 virtually every studio in Hollywood, major and minor, was licensed by Western Electric's newly created marketing subsidiary, Electrical Research Products, Incorporated (ERPI), to use Western Electric equipment with the Movietone sound-on-film recording system. ERPI's monopoly did not please the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which had tried to market a sound-on-film system that had been developed in the laboratories of its parent company, General Electric, and had been patented in 1925 as RCA Photophone. In October 1928, RCA therefore acquired the Keith-Albee-Orpheum vaudeville circuit and merged it with Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) to form RKO Radio Pictures for the express purpose of producing sound films using the Photophone system (which ultimately became the industry standard). Conversion to sound The wholesale conversion to sound of all three sectors of the American film industry took place in less than 15 months between late 1927 and 1929, and the profits of the major companies increased during that period by as much as 600 percent. Although the transition was fast, orderly, and profitable, it was also enormously expensive. The industrial system as it had evolved for the previous three decades needed to be completely overhauled; studios and theatres had to be totally reequipped and creative personnel retrained or fired. In order to fund the conversion, the film companies were forced to borrow in excess of $350,000,000, which placed them under the indirect control of the two major New York-based financial groups, the Morgan group and the Rockefeller group. Furthermore, although cooperation among the film companies through such agencies as the the MPPDA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPE) ensured a smooth transition in corporate terms, inside the newly wired theatres and studio sound stages there was confusion and disruption. The three competing systemsVitaphone, Movietone, and Photophonewere all initially incompatible, and their technologies were under such constant modification that equipment was sometimes obsolete before it was uncrated. Whatever system producers chose, exhibitors during the early transitional period were forced to maintain both sound-on-disc and sound-on-film reproduction equipment. Even as late as 1931, studios were still releasing films in both formats to accommodate theatres owned by sound-on-disc interests. It was in the area of production, however, that the greatest problems arose. The statement that the movies ceased to move when they began to talk accurately described the films made during the earliest years of the transition, largely because of technical limitations. Early microphones, for example, had a very limited range. In addition, they were large, clumsy, and difficult to move, so that they were usually concealed in a single, stationary location on the set. The actors, who had to speak directly into the microphones to register on the sound track, were therefore forced to remain practically motionless while speaking dialogue. The microphones caused further problems because they were omnidirectional within their range and picked up every sound made near them on the set, especially the noisy whir of running cameras (which were motorized in 1929 to run at an even speed of 24 frames per second to ensure undistorted sound synchronization; silent cameras had been mainly hand-cranked at rates averaging 16 to 18 frames per second). To prevent the recording of camera noise, cameras and their operators were initially enclosed in soundproof glass-paneled booths that were only six feet long per side. The booths, which were facetiously called ice-boxes because they were uncomfortably hot and stuffy, literally imprisoned the camera. The filmmakers' inability to tilt or dolly the camera (although they could pan it by as much as 30 degrees on its tripod), combined with the actors' immobility, helps to account for the static nature of so many early sound films. The impact of sound recording on editing was even more regressive because sound and image had to be recorded simultaneously to be synchronous. In sound-on-disc films, scenes were initially made to play for 10 minutes at a time in order to record dialogue continuously on 16-inch discs; such scenes were impossible to edit until the technology of rerecording was perfected in the early 1930s. Sound-on-film systems also militated against editing at first because optical sound tracks run approximately 20 frames in advance of their corresponding image tracks, making it extremely difficult to cut a composite print without eliminating portions of the relevant sound. As a result, no matter which system of sound recording was used, most of the editing in early sound films was purely functional. In general, cuts could only be madeand the camera movedwhen no sound was being recorded on the set. Most of these technical problems were resolved by 1933, although equilibrium was not fully restored to the production process until after the mid-1930s. Sound-on-disc filming, for example, was abandoned in 1930, and by 1931 all the studios had removed their cameras from the ice-boxes and converted to the use of lightweight, soundproof camera housings known as blimps. Within several years, smaller, quieter, self-insulating cameras were produced, eliminating the need for external soundproofing altogether. It even became possible to move the camera again by using a wide range of boom cranes, camera supports, and steerable dollies. Microphones, too, became increasingly mobile as a variety of booms were developed for them from 1930 onward. These long radial arms suspended the microphone above the set, allowing it to follow the movements of actors and rendering the stationary microphones of the early years obsolete. Microphones also became more directional throughout the decade, and track noise suppression techniques came into use as early as 1931. The silent feature: 191027 Pre-World War I U.S. cinema Multiple-reel films had appeared in the United States as early as 1907, when Adolph Zukor distributed Path's three-reel Passion Play; but when Vitagraph produced the five-reel The Life of Moses in 1909, the Patents Company forced it to be released in serial fashion at the rate of one reel a week. The multiple-reel filmwhich came to be called a feature, in the vaudevillian sense of a headline attractionachieved general acceptance with the smashing success of Louis Mercanton's three-and-one-half-reel Les Amours de la Reine Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth, 1912), which starred Sarah Bernhardt and was imported by Adolph Zukor (who founded the independent Famous Players production company with its profits). In 1912 Enrico Guazzoni's nine-reel Italian super-spectacle Quo Vadis? was road-shown in legitimate theatres across the nation at a top admission price of one dollar, and the feature craze was on. At first, there were difficulties in distributing features, because the exchanges associated with both the Patents Company and the independents were geared toward cheaply made one-reel shorts. Owing to their more elaborate production values, features had relatively higher negative costs. This was a disadvantage to distributors, who charged a uniform price per foot. By 1914, however, several national feature-distribution alliances that correlated pricing with a film's negative cost and box-office receipts were organized. These new exchanges demonstrated the economic advantage of multiple-reel films over shorts. Exhibitors quickly learned that features could command higher admission prices and longer runs; single title packages were also cheaper and easier to advertise than programs of multiple titles. As for manufacturing, producers found that the higher expenditure for features was readily amortized by high volume sales to distributors, who in turn were eager to share in the higher admission returns from the theatres. The whole industry soon reorganized itself around the economics of the multiple-reel film, and the effects of this restructuring did much to give motion pictures their characteristic modern form. Feature films, for example, made motion pictures respectable for the middle class by providing a format that was analogous to that of the legitimate theatre and was suitable for the adaptation of middle-class novels and plays. This new audience had more demanding standards than the older lower-class one, and producers readily increased their budgets to provide high technical quality and elaborate productions. The new viewers also had a more refined sense of comfort, which exhibitors quickly accommodated by replacing their storefronts with large, elegantly appointed new theatres in the major urban centres (one of the first was Mitchell L. Marks's 3,300-seat Strand, which opened in the Broadway district of Manhattan in 1914). Known as dream palaces because of the fantastic luxuriance of their interiors, these houses had to show features rather than a program of shorts to attract large audiences at premium prices. By 1916 there were more than 21,000 movie palaces in the United States. Their advent marked the end of the nickelodeon era and foretold the rise of the Hollywood studio system, which dominated urban exhibition from the 1920s to the 1950s. Before the new studio-based monopoly could be established, however, the patents-based monopoly of the MPPC had to expire, and this it did as a result of its own basic assumptions in about 1914. As conceived by Edison, the basic operating principle of the Trust was to control the industry through patents pooling and licensing, an idea logical enough in theory but difficult to practice in the context of a dynamically changing marketplace. Specifically, the Trust's failure to anticipate the independents' widespread and aggressive resistance to its policies cost it a fortune in patent-infringement litigation. Furthermore, the Trust badly underestimated the importance of the feature film, permitting the independents to claim this popular new product as entirely their own. Another issue that the MPPC misjudged was the power of the marketing strategy known as the star system. Borrowed from the theatre industry, this system involves the creation and management of publicity about key performers, or stars, to stimulate demand for their films. Trust company producers used this kind of publicity after 1910, when Carl Laemmle of Independent Motion Pictures (IMP) promoted Florence Lawrence into national stardom through a series of media stunts in St. Louis, Mo., but they never exploited the technique as forcefully or as imaginatively as the independents. Finally, and most decisively, in August 1912 the U.S. Justice Department brought suit against the MPPC for restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Delayed by countersuits and by World War I, the government's case was finally won and the MPPC formally dissolved in 1918, although it had been functionally inoperative since 1914. The rise and fall of the Patents Company was concurrent with the industry's move to southern California. As a result of the nickelodeon boom, exhibitors had begun to require as many as 20 to 30 new films per week, and it became necessary to put production on a systematic year-round schedule. Because most films were still shot outdoors in available light, such schedules could not be maintained in the vicinity of New York City or Chicago, where the industry had originally located itself in order to take advantage of trained theatrical labour pools. As early as 1907, production companies, such as Selig Polyscope, began to dispatch production units to warmer climates during winter. It was soon clear that what producers required was a new industrial centreone with warm weather, a temperate climate, a variety of scenery, and other qualities (such as access to acting talent) essential to their highly unconventional form of manufacturing. Various companies experimented with location shooting in Jacksonville, Fla., in San Antonio, Texas, in Santa Fe, N.M., and even in Cuba, but the ultimate site of the American film industry was a Los Angeles suburb (originally a small industrial town) called Hollywood. It is generally thought that Hollywood's distance from the MPPC's headquarters in New York City made it attractive to the independents, but Patents Company members such as Selig, Kalem, Biograph, and Essanay had also established facilities there by 1911 in response to a number of the region's attractions. These included the temperate climate required for year-round production (the U.S. Weather Bureau estimated that an average of 320 days per year were sunny and/or clear); a wide range of topography within a 50-mile radius of Hollywood, including mountains, valleys, forests, lakes, islands, seacoast, and desert; the status of Los Angeles as a professional theatrical centre; the existence of a low tax base; and the presence of cheap and plentiful labour and land. This latter factor enabled the newly arrived production companies to buy up tens of thousands of acres of prime real estate on which to locate their studios, standing sets, and backlots. By 1915 approximately 15,000 workers were employed by the motion-picture industry in Hollywood, and more than 60 percent of American production was centred there. In that same year, the trade journal Variety reported that capital investment in American motion picturesthe business of artisanal craftsmen and fairground operators only a decade beforehad exceeded $500,000,000. The most powerful companies in the new film capital were the independents, who were flush with cash from their conversion to feature production. These included the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later Paramount Pictures, c. 1927), which was formed by a merger of Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Company, Jesse L. Lasky's Feature Play Company, and the Paramount distribution exchange in 1916; Universal Pictures, founded by Carl Laemmle in 1912 by merging IMP with Powers, Rex, Nestor, Champion, and Bison; Goldwyn Picture Corporation, founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn) and Edgar Selwyn; Metro Picture Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures, founded by Louis B. Mayer in 1915 and 1917, respectively; and the Fox Film Corporation (later 20th Century-Fox, 1935), founded by William Fox in 1915. After World War I, these companies were joined by Loew's, Inc. (parent corporation of MGM, by merger of Metro, Goldwyn, and Mayer companies cited above, 1924), a national exhibition chain organized by Marcus Loew and Nicholas Schenck in 1919; First National Pictures, Inc., a circuit of independent exhibitors who established their own production facilities at Burbank, Calif., in 1922; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., founded by Harry, Albert, Samuel, and Jack Warner in 1923; and Columbia Pictures, Inc., incorporated in 1924 by Harry and Jack Cohn. These organizations became the backbone of the Hollywood studio system, and the men who controlled them shared several important traits. They were all independent exhibitors and distributors who had outwitted the Trust and earned their success by manipulating finances in the post-nickelodeon feature boom, merging production companies, organizing national distribution networks, and ultimately acquiring vast theatre chains. They saw their business as basically a retailing operation modeled on the practice of chain stores such as Woolworth's and Sears. Not incidentally, these men were all first- or second-generation Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe, most of them with little formal education, while the audience they served was 90 percent Protestant and Catholic. This circumstance would become an issue during the 1920s, when the movies became a mass medium that was part of the life of every American citizen and when Hollywood became the chief purveyor of American culture to the world. Pre-World War I European cinema Before World War I European cinema was dominated by France and Italy. At Path Frres, director-general Ferdinand Zecca perfected the course comique, a uniquely Gallic version of the chase film, which inspired Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops, while the immensely popular Max Linder created a comic persona that would deeply influence the work of Charlie Chaplin. The episodic crime film was pioneered by Victorin Jasset in the Nick Carter series, produced for the small clair Company, but it remained for Gaumont's Louis Feuillade to bring the genre to aesthetic perfection in the extremely successful serials Fantmas (191314), Les Vampires (191516), and Judex (1916). Another influential phenomenon to appear from prewar France was the film d'art movement. It began with L'Assassinat du duc de Guise (1908), directed by Charles Le Bargy and Andr Calmettes of the Comdie Franaise for the Socit Film d'Art, which was formed for the express purpose of transferring prestigious stage plays starring famous performers to the screen. L'Assassinat's success inspired other companies to make similar films, which came to be known as films d'art. These films were long on intellectual pedigree and short on narrative sophistication. The directors simply filmed theatrical productions in toto, without adaptation. Their brief popularity nevertheless created a context for the lengthy treatment of serious material in motion pictures and was directly instrumental in the rise of the feature. No country, however, was more responsible for the popularity of the feature than Italy. The Italian cinema's lavishly produced costume spectacles brought it international prominence in the years before the war. The prototypes of the genre, by virtue of their epic material and lengths, were the Cines company's six-reel Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (The Last Days of Pompei), directed by Luigi Maggi in 1908, and its 10-reel remake, directed by Ernesto Pasquali in 1913; but it was Cines' nine-reel Quo vadis? (1912), with its huge three-dimensional sets of ancient Rome and 5,000 extras, that established the standard for the super-spectacle and briefly conquered the world market for Italian motion pictures. Its successor, the Italia company's 12-reel Cabiria (1914), was even more extravagant in its historical reconstruction of the Second Punic War, from the burning of the Roman fleet at Syracuse to Hannibal crossing the Alps and the sack of Carthage. The Italian superspectacle stimulated public demand for features and influenced such important directors as Cecil B. deMille, Ernst Lubitsch, and especially D.W. Griffith. The war years and post-World War II trends Decline of the Hollywood studios During the U.S. involvement in World War II, the Hollywood film industry cooperated closely with the government to support its war-aims information campaign. Following the declaration of war on Japan, the government created a Bureau of Motion Picture Affairs to coordinate the production of entertainment features with patriotic, morale-boosting themes and messages about the American way of life, the nature of the enemy and the allies, civilian responsibility on the home front, and the fighting forces themselves. Initially unsophisticated vehicles for xenophobia and jingoism with titles like The Devil with Hitler and Blondie for Victory (both 1942), Hollywood's wartime films became increasingly serious as the war dragged on (Lang's Hangmen Also Die, Renoir's This Land Is Mine, Tay Garnett's Bataan, all 1943; Delmer Daves's Destination Tokyo, 1944; Hitchcock's Lifeboat, 1944; Milestone's The Purple Heart, 1944; A Walk in the Sun, 1946). In addition to commercial features, several Hollywood directors produced documentaries for government and military agencies. Among the best-known of these films, which were designed to explain the war to both servicemen and civilians, are Frank Capra's seven-part series Why We Fight (194244), William Wyler's The Memphis Belle (1944), John Ford's The Battle of Midway (1942), and John Huston's The Battle of San Pietro (1944). The last three were shot on location and were made especially effective by their immediacy. When World War II ended, the American film industry seemed to be in an ideal position. Full-scale mobilization had ended the Depression domestically, and victory had opened vast, unchallenged markets in the war-torn economies of western Europe and Japan. Furthermore, from 1942 through 1945, Hollywood had experienced the most stable and lucrative three years in its history, and in 1946, when two-thirds of the American population went to the movies at least once a week, the studios earned record-breaking profits. The euphoria ended quickly, however, as inflation and labour unrest boosted domestic production costs and as important foreign markets, including Britain and Italy, were temporarily lost to protectionist quotas. The industry was more severely weakened in 1948, when a federal antitrust suit against the five major and three minor studios ended in the Paramount decrees, which forced the studios to divest themselves of their theatre chains and mandated competition in the exhibition sector for the first time in 30 years. Finally, the advent of network television broadcasting in the 1940s provided Hollywood with its first real competition for American leisure time by offering consumers movies in the home. The American film industry's various problems and the nation's general postwar disillusionment generated several new film types in the late 1940s. Although the studios continued to produce traditional genre films, such as westerns and musicals, their financial difficulties encouraged them to make realistic, small-scale dramas rather than fantastic, lavish epics. Instead of depending on spectacle and special effects to create excitement, the new lower-budget films tried to develop thought-provoking or perverse stories reflecting the psychological and social problems besetting returning war veterans and and others adapting to postwar life. Some of the American cinema's grimmest and most naturalistic films were produced during this period, including those of the so-called social consciousness cycle, which attempted to deal realistically with such endemic problems as racism (Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement, 1947; Alfred Werker's Lost Boundaries, 1949), alcoholism (Stuart Heisler's Smash-Up, 1947), and mental illness (Anatole Litvak's The Snake Pit, 1948); the semidocumentary melodrama, which reconstructed true criminal cases and were often shot on location (Kazan's Boomerang, 1947; Henry Hathaway's Kiss of Death, 1947); and the film noir, whose dark, fatalistic interpretations of contemporary American reality are unique in the industry's history (Tay Garnett's The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1946; Welles's The Lady from Shanghai, 1948; Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past, 1947; Abraham Polonsky's Force of Evil, 1948). Film content was next influenced strongly by the fear of Communism that pervaded the United States during the late 1940s and early 50s. Anti-Communist witch-hunts began in Hollywood in 1947 when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) decided to investigate Communist influence in motion pictures. More than 100 witnesses, including many of Hollywood's most talented and popular artists, were called before the committee to answer questions about their own and their associates' alleged Communist affiliations. On Nov. 24, 1947, a group of eight screenwriters and two directors, later known as the Hollywood Ten

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