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1. Hollywood between 1800-1922 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The beginning of Hollywood The name …”Hollywood” US movie development The movie of S. Porter-“the father of the Story Film” Expended film exhibition 1.5.1 The master storyteller of film-D.G.Griffith 1.5.2 The growing film industry 1.5.3 The Edison “Trust” 1.5.4 IMP (The Independent Movie Pictures) Company The new Hollywood Stars…
2. Hollywood between 1922-1948 2.1 The Hollywood sign 2.2 The birth of the Talkies 2.3 Movie genres 2.3.1 Gangsters, Musical Films, and Horror Films 2.3.2 The vehicles Studio System and Star 2.3.3 The American Documentry 2.3.4 Animation Film 2.4 The beginning of the Academy Awards 2.5 The Golden Age of Hollywood 2.6 Hollywood during the War Years 3. Hollywood between 1948-1992 3.1 TV Era 3.1.1 New Tehnologies: Home Entertaiment – Video – Cable TV – and sound 3.2 Blacklists and bankruptcy 3.2.1 Film with a “Social Conscience” 3.2.2 Censorship Challenges: Otto Preminger 3.3 Hollywood revitalisation 4. Hollywood after 1992 4.1 Entertainment center 4.2 New millenium 4.3 The Decade of Money, Mega-Spending and Special Effects 4.3.1 The Digital Age and Home Viewing 4.3.2 A newcomer studio: DreamWorks
I have always been fascinated by the Hollywood’s world, a world of mixture between reality and glittering fantasy, of beauty, glamour, art, a world in which any dream can come to reality. The word Hollywood conjures the outstanding images of Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, Cahuega Boulevard, La Brea Avenue, of nightclubs, movie palaces, special effects, extraordinay people – stars of the gaudiest illumination, Hollywood, being often referred to as a “state of mind”. Hollywood is a segment of Los Angeles, California, USA. Here, almost a century ago, the American Dream burst bigger than anything, giving birth to to a new world, the movie industry. Of course, movies were then, and still are, made in different locations, some nearby, and some far away. But nowhere and nothing frees our fantasies and stirs our hopes and fears, like that unparalled word: “ Hollywood”. Actually, Hollywood is a town like any other, fighting against crime, poverty, Hollywood’s real location being in the mind of movie lovers. Today Hollywood is the symbol of the Dream Factory and the world’s first movie industry, the center of all kinds of media production, from film, to the internet and television. I tried to present the history of the Hollywood’s movie industry, following gradually its evolution, beginning with the first human evidence in this area in 1800, the first movie companies in Hollywood, to nowadays situation.
Hollywood is a district in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., situated westnortheast of Downtown. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and stars, the word "Hollywood" is often used as a synonim for the American film and television industry. Today much of the movie industry has dispersed into surrounding areas such as Burbank and the Westside, but significant ancillary industries (such as editing, effects, props, post-production, and lighting companies) remain in Hollywood.
Many historic Hollywood theaters are used as venues and concert stages to premiere major theatrical releases, and host the Academy Awards. It is a popular destination for nightlife and tourism, and home to the Walk of Fame. Although it is not the typical practice of the City of Los Angeles to establish specific boundaries for districts or neighborhoods, Hollywood is a recent exception. On February 16, 2005, Assembly Members Goldberg and Koretz introduced a bill to require the State to keep specific records on Hollywood as though it were independent. For this to be done, the boundaries were defined. This bill was unanimously supported by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the LA City Council. Assembly Bill 588 was approved by the Governor on August 28, 2006, and now the district of Hollywood has official borders. The border is shown at the right, and can be loosely described as the area east of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, south of Mulholland Dr., Laurel Canyon, Cahuenga Blvd. and Barham Blvd., and the cities of Burbank and Glendale, north of Melrose Avenue, and west of the Golden State Freeway and Hyperion Avenue. Note that this includes all of Griffith Park and Los Feliz—two areas that were hitherto generally considered separate from Hollywood by most Angelinos. The population of the district (including Los Feliz) as of the 2000 census was 208,237 . The commercial, cultural, and transportation center of Hollywood is the area where La Brea Avenue, Highland Avenue, Cahuenga Boulevard, and Vine Street intersect Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. The population of the district is estimated to be about 300,000. As a portion of the City of Los Angeles, Hollywood does not have its own municipal government, but does have an appointed official that serves as "honorary mayor" for ceremonial purposes only. Currently, the "mayor" is Johnny Grant. Since this is a non-elected, honorary position, Grant has held this position for decades.
5 . the original Mexican landowners. George simply set the camels loose. wound up in the hands of a family who built a tar refinery. cowboys and the occasional bandit.1 The beginning of Hollywood There was a time when the only stars in Hollywood were found in the night skies. the natives vanished with hardly a trace. straight out of central casting. arching over quiet farms and adobes. Hollywood between 1800-1922 1. After the first Spanish city of Los Angeles was established. When the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican War of 1847. Workers of the tar beds unearthed the bones and teeth of prehistoric saber-toothed cats. Until the mid-1800. it was home of pioneers. to Los Angeles County. with the help of some slippery laws. is one of the few reminders of their founding presence. citrus groves and… stray camels. Mexican landowners were replaced by farmers from the East. During the 19th century. In 1853. Somehow it seems fitting that frontier Hollywood should evoke surreal images like this one: hundreds of camels roaming free in the Hollywood Hills right through 1900. When the Mexican War broke out. a Spanish priest noted Indian villages with their brush huts scattered in the canyons. woolly mammoths and dinosaurs. one adobe hut stood on the site that became Hollywood. an agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops. grain to subtropical bananas and pineapples. George arrived in the Cahuenga Valley with a drove of camels imported from Turkey. including the new owners of Rancho La Brea (now Hollywood). The family eventually gave the remarkable fossil beds. Before Hollywood became an entertainment mecca. "Cahuenga". It also had its share of flamboyant settlers. By 1870.1. the vast reaches and resources of California belonged to Mexico. meaning "little hills" in their language. known as the La Brea Tar Pits. pioneers. Mexico controlled California until the Mexican War of 1947. Writing in his diary of 1769. The first recorded human residents of 'Hollywood' were the Indians. in the area now known as Hollywood. lost their sprawling estates to farmers from the East. Rancho La Brea. After the war. including one named “Greek George". Adobes were replaced with wood frame houses with porches and windmills. Hollywood was basically a frontier town complete with Westward Ho.
He thought it would be a perfect site for a community that would reflect his conservative beliefs.1. and his wife. a sober. the first official appearance of the name Hollywood. On the train. Daeida was so elated with the name that she "borrowed" it for her ranch in the Cahuenga Valley. Daeida. Harvey Wilcox soon drew up a grid map for a town.”Hollywood”! name „Hollywood’’ has its origin in a Easter summer. Daeida raised money to build two churches. The 6 . In the middle of a sun-drenched nowhere. and began selling lots. Harvey Henderson Wilcox of Kansas. With his wife as a constant advisor. Hollywood. coming from imported English holly then growing in the area are incorrect. In 1886. The name in fact was coined by Daeida Wilcox (1861–1914) who travelled by train to her old home in the east. Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue.2The name. in the Cahuenga Valley at. Mrs. but the bushes did not last. when she returned home she prevailed on her husband to name their property Hollywood. which he filed with the county recorder's office on February 1. moved to Los Angeles from Topeka in 1883. Wilcox bought 160 acres (0.. and he built his house smack in the middle of a fig orchard. home to a Cahuenga Valley ranch. one of the most famous towns in the world got its name. Godfearing man and woman settled in to create a like-minded community. 1887. who made a fortune in real estate even though he had lost the use of his legs due to typhoid fever.6 km²) of land in the countryside to the west of the city at the foothills. a school and a library. Wilcox met a woman who described her summer home in Ohio named after a settlement of Dutch immigrants from Zwolle called "Hollywood”. what is now. Accounts of the name. With that simple exchange. They imported some English holly because of the name Hollywood.. he carved out Prospect Avenue (later Hollywood Boulevard) for the main street. lining it and the other wide dirt avenues with pepper trees.
sewage and municipal services. bicycles and velocipedes were prohibited on sidewalks. Hollywood became part of Los Angeles. Hollywood Hotel. Annexation to the City of Los Angeles would assure the burgeoning community of adequate water. Hollywood became a city of the sixth class with geographic boundaries extending from Normandie on the east. But Hollywood remained basically a sleepy town. Hollywood’s population had grown too rapidly for the then existing water and municipal facilities. was an overwhelming victory for annexation. Elaborate rail lines crisscrossed the Cahuenga Valley. The streets were not getting the attention in proportion to the tax being levied by the county. along with a population of 500 people. 7 . Shortly after the turn of the century. The election for city hood was held on November 14. Real estate developers were tempting Easterners to Hollywood with promises of sun. a hotel and two markets. with a population of 100. to Fairfax on the west. Los Angeles. A single-track streetcar line ran down the middle of Prospect Avenue from Los Angeles. 1903 with voting lasting until 5:00 PM. After all the ballots were counted. The election. a new trolley car track running from Los Angeles to Hollywood up Prospect Avenue was opened. Herds of more than 2000 hogs or sheep were banned if unattended by a "competent man". churches and extravagant residences popped up. Hollywood also had a post office. wide boulevards and palatial homes. a newspaper. and from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains on the north to DeLongpre and Fountain avenues on the south. 1905 1907 The intersection of Hollywood and Highland. schools. the vote was eighty-eight for incorporation and seventyseven against. In 1904. lay seven miles (11 km) east through the citrus groves.. City hood for Hollywood only lasted six years." It cut travel time to and from Los Angeles drastically. The system was called "the Hollywood boulevard.000 people at the time. In August. cattle and mules were no to be driven through Hollywood streets in herds of more than 200. a lack of school facilities and a growing sentiment for prohibition. 1903. but service was infrequent and the trip took two hours. a petition was submitted to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors requesting the incorporation of the City of Hollywood. and horses. Liquor was prohibited except as a medical prescription. the residents of the Cahuenga Valley were faced with three pressing problems. with no inkling of what was so soon to come. held in 1910. Hollywood's first laws paint a telling portrait of the culture in those early days. Hardly the live-it-up tinsel town it would become in two short decades. Hotels..By 1900.
American Vitagraph Company (1896). Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Griffith in 1908 (who became one of the pioneers of silent film). American Mutoscope Company. their first motion picture machine was the Mutoscope . with its headquarters in West Orange. Instead of using film. sue-ing. The Edison Company . Harry Marvin and Elias Koopman. The Selig Polyscope Company (originally called the Mutuscope & Film Company). Porter was one of the resident Kinetoscope operators and directors at the Edison Company Studios in the early 1900s. That and lawsuits brought by Thomas Edison against film bootleggers spurred an almost-overnight exodus from New York.The first "film people" arrived in Hollywood in 1907. taking on fluid narrative forms. he experimented with longer films. Smith. This was followed by a projector . its first fictional film was The Burglar on the Roof. Word of Hollywood's film-friendly climate spread like wildfire. formed by British-born Americans J. the company specialized in slapstick comedies and travel films The 1. Edison was actually 8 .4 The Films of Edwin S. Edison intensely fought for control of 'his' movie industry by harrassing. filmed and released in 1897. was founded in 1896. and were re-named the Biograph Company in 1909 . and was dramatically edited with inter-cutting between the exterior and interior of a burning house. In the first decade of the 20th century.a peephole. who worked in different film genres. or buying patents from anyone he thought was threatening his company. founded in 1895 in New York by William K. Herman Caster. the film capital. flip-card device similar in size to a Kinetoscope. and was responsible for directing the first American documentary or realistic narrative film. Porter . What may now seem a rather rudimentary product created a sensation: viewers were mesmerized by these pictures that moved. The six-minute narrative film combined re-enacted scenes and documentary footage. in Chicago by William Selig. were in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Hollywood. that was demonstrated in New York City in 1896. "movies" were like an irrepressible toddler. Porter (1869-1941). was also using film cameras to record news events. was born.began producing films for the Kinetoscope in 1891. Inventor and former projectionist Edwin S.3 US movie development key years in the development of the cinema in the U. At Edison's Company. a spinning set of photographs mounted on a drum inside the cabinet gave the impression of motion. and being edited for the first time. L.the Biograph. Initially. The Life of an American Fireman (1903). who in 1898 had patented an improved Beadnell projector with a steadier and brighter image. afterwards.the "Father of the Story Film" "Moving pictures" were increasing in length. Dickson.S.1.
uncomfortable with Porter's editing techniques. The film was the one-reel.it was based on a real-life train heist and was a loose adaptation of a popular stage production. the first real movie theatres. and a camera mounted on a moving train. scary. including his use of close-ups to tell an entertaining story. motion pictures ("flickers") were no longer innovative experiments. a bandit shot his gun directly into the audience.) Griffith. He was expected to direct/produce two one-reel films each week . melodramas. full-screen closeup (placed at either the beginning or at the end of the film at the discretion of the exhibitor). With the combination of film editing and the telling of narrative stories. a camera pan with the escaping bandits. and storefronts were often converted into nickelodeons. The film also included exterior scenes. 14-scene. showing The Great Train Robbery. The demand for more and more films increased the volume of films being produced and raised profits for their producers. An unsuccessful young stage actor and writer. Porter also developed the process of film editing .set many milestones at the time.D. "the master storyteller of film. Urban. immigrant audiences loved the cheap form of entertainment and were the predominent cinema-goers.a prodigious rate." He was known as the first cinematic auteur or storyteller. other kinds of 'magic lantern' slide shows.hence the name nickelodeon. 1. Caught by Wireless (1908) Inspired by the experience. illustrated lectures.a crucial film technique that would further the cinematic art. W. Porter's and Thomas Edison's Rescued From the Eagle's Nest (1907) (the earliest-known surviving work with Griffith as an actor in his first starring role) and other one-reelers. 1. and one could spend an evening at the cinema for a cheap entry fee. sing-along songs. Standing-room only shows lasted between ten minutes and an hour. working-class. Griffith joined The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in New York City as a director in 1908. In an effective. he had appeared in Edwin S. skits.5 Expanded Film Exhibition the early 1900s.5. The first nickelodeon. approximately 10-minute long The Great Train Robbery (1903) . a small storefront theater or dance hall converted to view films. foreign-born. silent films. or novelty pieces were usually accompanied with piano playing. The normal admission charge was a nickel (sometimes a dime) . comedies. filmed stage productions or records of live events. His visual film. Kinetoscope parlors.1 The master storyteller of film. They usually remained open from early morning to midnight. penny arcades. was opened in Pittsburgh by Harry Davis in June of 1905. lecture halls.W. or vaudeville-type acts. One-reel shorts. and not particularly artistic by today's standards .Griffith The greatest American pioneer/auteur in film was Kentucky-born David Wark (D. Porter produced one of the most important and influential films of the time to reveal the possibility of fictional stories on film. Most early films were not much more than short. actors that moved toward (and away from) the camera. They soon became an escapist entertainment medium for the workingclass masses. such as Her First Adventure (1908). chases on horseback. Griffith's first 9 In .
changing camera angles. or describe how a thing 'looks'. dissolves. exhibitors. he experimented with early lighting and camera techniques (closeups. They realized that further profits could be derived from new systems of distribution. varied shot depths including establishing shots. fade-outs. Some of the biggest names in the film business got their start as proprietors. In the one-reel The Lonely Villa (1909) with Mary Pickford. a Biograph melodrama. It is the ever-present. realistic. Griffith raised the bar immeasurably in 1915 with The Birth of a Nation. was The Adventures of Dolly (1908). melodramas. "The human race will think more rapidly. D.the Warner brothers.2 The Growing Film Industry: Businessmen soon became interested in the burgeoning movie industry. that bought shorts and then rented them to exhibitors at lower rates. fades. films (and the necessary projection machinery and equipment) were sold.and two-reelers (15-30 minutes in length) over a period of four years for Biograph. backlighting. completely. released by Biograph. including Fighting Blood (1911) and Under Burning Skies (1912). and nothing ever devised by the mind of man can show it like moving pictures. will change the world. low-key light sources. Mayer. Griffith employed his most sophisticated use to date of the cinematic technique of "cross-cutting" to build up tension within scenes. mobile ways with composed shots. D. . He made over 400 one. His early films were mostly westerns. followed by The Red Man and Child (1908). Contributing to the modern language of cinema. actual now that 'gets' the great American public. split-screens.and would later bring them to artistic perfection in order to shape the film's narrative. comedies. cinema owner William Fox was one of the first (in 1904) to form a distribution company (a regional rental exchange). which was the first motion picture piece of art. its very length was important: Birth of a Nation made movies acceptable to a middle class that felt more at ease with a new medium that now provided the familiarity of theater-length shows. increased use of locations. The Warner brothers 10 . intercutting. more comprehensively than it ever did . more intelligently.contracted film. and children. the first of his films to be reviewed by Variety. Weighing in at 190 minutes. He went on to direct over 60 short films the following year. soft-focus. investors. although his name never appeared in the credits. Sam Goldwyn (originally named Goldfish) . women. Louis B. irises. far shots and medium shots. historical epics. he used the camera and film in new. Movies. In many of these short films. lens filters. Marcus Loew. parallel editing.5. cross-cutting (showing two simultaneous actions that build toward a tense climax). such as A Corner in Wheat (1909)." 1. not rented. naturalistic. convincingly. and experimental/artificial lighting and shading/tinting. . We don't 'talk' about things happening. He also trained and created his own company or stock of 'players' . At first.including such newcomers (and future stars) . traveling shots and camera movement. flashbacks. we actually show it — vividly. Indeed. romances. to exhibitors. Jesse Lasky. said Griffith at the time. or distributors in nickelodeons: Adolph Zukor. As film production increased. more functional.W. and by expanding the film audience to the middle-class. frequent closeups to observe details. and adventure tales.) and systematized their use . In Old California (1910). Carl Laemmle.W. William Fox. Griffith directed the first film made in Hollywood. it signaled the enormous possibilities of the feature film. etc.
Laemmle entered into film production as the Yankee Film Company. obtaining their own film materials. Sam. the Cascade. production. specifically in New York and on the East Coast. and legally monopolized the growing American film industry. and preventing film stock from getting into the hands of non-members. They threatened sanctions to prevent exhibitors from showing non-Trust films or from renting non-Trust projectors. they pooled their resources. Lubin. 1. Their main goal. and then in 1904 founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company (the precursor to Warner Bros. From 1909 on. stealthy. Selig Polyscope Company . limiting censorship by cooperating with regulatory bodies. . By 1909. The burgeoning monopolistic trust limited the length of films to one or two reels. Star Films or Pictures. and Adolph Zukor (Famous Players.the Independent Moving Picture (IMP) Company the Universal Film Manufacturing Company (the precursor to Universal Films in 1912) after being forced out of distribution by the Edison Trust. Soon. the MPPC formed the General Film Company to further manage the distribution of its members' films.5. was accomplished by raising admission prices. and making films on the sly.5. with agents and detectives to enforce its rules. and stamp out non-licensed independents. Others who fought the MPPC included Harry E. Essanay Studios. The newly-formed cartel. Kleine Company. 1. in New Castle. they moved to California and opened up a rival film-making industry. and established a standard price of half a cent per foot for film prints that were to be rented (rather than sold) on a weekly basis. formed a partnership or consortium to become cooperative rather than competitive(Motion Picture Patents Company or MPPC). Pennsylvania in 1903. Pathe Pictures. the MPPC was fought by the unlicensed independents (dubbed "pirates" or "outlaws"). to stifle upand-coming independent film makers. Kalem Company. the MPPC was created to legally control distribution. and exhibition of films. soon renamed the Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) Company in New York. In 1910. and Jack) opened their first theatre. The flexible. now a maverick film distributor with his own company founded in 1909 . IMP's first film was Hiawatha (1909).(Harry. Pictures) to distribute films. and adventurous independents avoided coercive MPPC restrictions by using unlicensed equipment. led by the Edison Film Manufacturing Company. William Fox (founder of the Fox Film Corporation). One who had journeyed West was movie mogul Carl Laemmle. mostly a group of nine leading East Coast-centered companies: Biograph. the precursor to Paramount).4 IMP (the Independent Moving Pictures) Company: From the very beginning. Aitken (Majestic Films). led by the feisty renegade Carl Laemmle. refused to give screen credits to players.3 The Edison 'Trust' In 1908. 11 or . charged royalties/fees on exhibitors using their movie equipment ($2/week). Albert.
with directors conveniently recasting the horses and cows in their many westerns. Hollywood was in the midst of what has been justly labeled an overnight transformation. or Universal Films .was the melodrama Traffic in Souls (1913) (aka While New York Sleeps). The film business turned Hollywood on its ear. It was the most expensive feature film of its time at $5... or Lois Weber's moralistic message picture Where Are My Children? (1916) about birth control. and its first talkie Melody of Love (1928) with Walter Pidgeon.IMP was innovative in their making of longer. and credits started to appear in films. from the merger of many independent companies. Film replaced farm and frontier. The company was also successful with films that were adaptations of classic literature. Movie studios were literally sharing space in Hollywood barns with bemused livestock.Hollywood were subdivided and as housing for the numbers of workers that making required. as opposed to the standard-length one-reel films produced by the MPPC.000. and the streets were roped off for car crashes. multi-reel feature films. Hyde (1915) with King Baggot.hence. Movie studios literally operated out of barns. Cahuenga. and the film star system were coming quickly. The growth of Hollywood. Acres of land south of what-isnow. Real banks and business were booked on weekends for film hold-ups. the take-over of cinema by businessmen and entrepreneurs. Jekyll and Mr. In 1912. Rupert Julian's Phantom of the Opera (1925) with Lon Chaney. By 1911. It wasn't long before nearly all the 12 . although its record earnings were $450. IMP became Universal Film Manufacturing Co. thriving radical clash newer agricultural Boulevard developed enormous movie- By High-rise commercial buildings began to spring up along Hollywood Boulevardthree competing real-estate interests caused concentrations of development at Highland. the studio system. such as one of the earliest versions of Dr. The needs of this new industry created changes in the communitycausing a between older and residents. And they realized that audiences desired to learn the names of uncredited film performers . director Erich von Stroheim's first film Blind Husbands (1919). The population boomed. dialogue titles (first used in 1910) came into popular use. and at Vine. the development of the star system.the precursor to Universal Pictures in 1915.700.6 The new Hollywood 1913. IMP's first feature-length film . 1.the first American feature-length sex film .
as now. catering to the demands of the burgeoning film industry. Grauman's was unveiled in 1922 on Hollywood Boulevard. as much as anything. Nation was made during World War I. Barbara Eden. from all over the globe. Grauman out did his exotic extravaganza with his new Chinese Theatre. left American moviemaking as the leader of the pack. A mélange of sphinxes. Warners and Fox were the disseminators of the celluloid champagne. After the First World War. Many went bust as quickly as they surfaced. Stars as Marilyn Monroe.The Hollywood Studio Club provided refuge for the would-be starlets for decacades. Restaurants. 1916. With a frenzy gold rush on Hollywood. but then. and. Donna Reed and Kim Novak passed through its doors on their way to the spot light. temples. Out of 100. who was earning $15 elsewhere. 1. and their high mortality By 13 .. Certainly the great dream factories like MGM. clubs and movie palaces sprang up.homes along the Boulevard were replaced by commercial buildings linking the three corners.7 Stars. Small studios set up shop near Sunset and Gower.ONLY FIVE REACHED THE TOP!" Dozens of small studios were engaged in a cutthroat battle for survival. infamous clubs. Hollywood was luring hopeful tar and starlets. Hollywood's population grew at breakneck pace: from 5000 in 1910 to 36000 by 1920. glamorous addresses.. Hollywood's familiar skyline of multi-storied hotels and apartments appeared. The Hollywood landscape changed dramatically as the town struggled to keep up with the demands of a swelling population and booming industry. Banks. the star system defined the American movie. in one short decade. and high-rise skyline sprung up like wild flowers changing the landscape forever. The ornamental Spanish Colonial Revival style reflected Hollywood's self-conscious extravagance while the new Art Deco and Moderne styles fit the community's aspirations for glamour and sophistication. the film industry had created a new "gold rush" town. Movies places. It may save disappointments.. Would-be stars and would-be studios crashed and burned while a new breed of super-stars and all-powerful studios emerged. Until 1920. young girls and boys seeking for celebrity. Grauman's Egyptian Theater celebrated the rage of all things Egyptian that had begun with the recent unearthing of King's Tut's tomb. Rumors of stars making $3000 a week in Hollywood lured the average Joe and Josephine. Just a few years later. Hollywood boasted famous names like Mary Pickford and Charles Chaplin. people usually chose what they would pay to see by whose name was on the marquee. The imported pagodas and authentic rare Chinese artifacts wowed the public and guaranteed him a place in Hollywood history. while derailing the European cinema. Hollywood also boasted of the most extraordinary "movie palaces" in the country. which.000 people who started at the screen's ladder of fame -. columns and murals. the Chamber of Commerce felt obliged to take out newspaper ads warning: "Don't try to break intro the movies in Hollywood.
They were. People were thrilled simply to drive by these castles. Stars were not free to seek their own contracts during these years and very often stars would be "loaned" by one studio to another. photos of them to cut out and kiss. Tallulah Bankhead and Clara Bow called it home.'You can move to Hollywood and change your life. hoping that they would be picked by directors on Hollywood Boulevard and earn big bucks. American royalty.rate led to the nickname. Films produced were of mediocre standard. The party raged for 32 years. That spot was thereby nicknamed "Gower Gulch". Actors lived in fantasy homes in Hollywood (and later Beverly Hills). John O'hara. Hundreds of "movie cowboys" and assorted extras would linger on that corner. There were magazines and books devoted to them. Soon Americans had heard of the 'Hollywood mythology' . Addresses like the Garden Court or The Chateau Elysee took on the glamour of stars like Gable and Lombard who resided there. The most infamous address in this infamous town was the Garden of Allah at 8150 Sunset. Opening night in 1921 kicked off with a decadent 18-hour party that had troubadours playing madrigals from the middle of the pool. truly. If those walls could talk. orgies. and 20 major Hollywood studios were churning out fare for their insatiable appetites.' Many people believed this and moved from their hometown to Hollywood. divorces. 40 million Americans were going to the movies each week. hoping beyond hope they might catch sight of a Theda Bara or a Tom Mix. many went home disappointed and broke. Of course. By 1920. The stars held gala bashes to die for — Harvey Wilcox's dream of a nice temperate village in the fig grove had given way to a pretty good replica of Gomorrah — and wore clothes that were more swell than a bee's knees. feverish for a casting call. fights. they would tell of robberies. but the fame that came with being an actor was the driving force that kept the stars working. and is still referred to that nickname by Los Angelinos today. "Poverty Row. 14 . suicides and drunken revelries. murders.
The sign is a frequent target of pranks and vandalism.2 m) high white letters. California. The sign is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.2. In the course of that event.Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Hollywood between 1922-1948 2. The Hollywoodland Real Estate Group unleashed one of history's brashest and longest-lived promotions. In 15 . a Sign was born . but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled. It was created as an advertisement in 1923. and has undergone periodic restoration over the years. spelling out the name of the area in 50-foot (15. which also manages the Walk of Fame.1 The Hollywood Sign 1923.
The magical world of movies did not embrace this graduate of the world-famous Thater Guild. waiting for a phone call that never came. According to the summer 2006 edition of "The Beachwood Voice. the 1928 Ford Model A was destroyed.The original "Hollywoodland" sign in the 1920s The sign from the Hollywood Hills The sign originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND. Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler. Each letter of the sign was 30 feet (9 m) wide and 50 feet (15 m) high. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development "Hollywoodland" and advertised it as a "superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills.and is still going strong. Peg was a young girl longing to create herself an astonishing career." They contracted the Crescent Sign Company to erect thirteen letters on the hillside. offering to remove the last four letters and to repair the rest. The sign company owner. the owner of the Los Angeles Times. Some sources say its expected life was to be about a year and a half the Sign has survived eight decades . glamour. Because the city dictated that all subsequent illumination would be at the cost of the Chamber. She did some auditions. Thomas Fisk Goff (1890-1984) designed the sign. and stumbled off the cliff behind the "H". as she saw the sign as a symbol of the industry that had rejected her. H. The sign was officially dedicated on July 13. In 1949." during the early 1940s. Albert Kothe (the sign's official caretaker) caused an accident that destroyed the letter "H". and was studded with some 4000 light bulbs.J. but spent most of the brutally hot summer of '32 just hanging around her uncle's house. At the beginning The Hollywood Sigh simbolized the the dreams and the hopes of the young actors from all over the world. 1923. as seen in many historical pictures. which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine. It was not intended to be permanent." and its purpose was to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter "H". As a sign of revolt Peg climbed 50 feet up a workman's ladder to the top of the "H" and plunged five stories into the dark night below. it opted not to replace 16 . lost control of the vehicle. While Kothe was not injured. the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in. each facing south. dreaming to fame. In September of 1932. Kothe was driving his car up to the top of Mount Lee drunk. money. that a land syndicate he was involved in make a similar sign to advertise their land. as was the "H".
took drugs. Bliss sold the sign to artist Bill Mack. In 1922. 2. They drove around in expensive.the light bulbs. and the elegant shops and restaurants left with them. guaranteed to last for many years (see Donors section below). Nine donors gave $27. Eventually the first "O" splintered and broke off resembling a lowercase "u". and were openly promiscuous (casual about having many sexual partners). Mary Pickford. Screen stars built strange and elaborate mansions along Sunset Boulevard. the neighborhood changed again. as workers stripped the letters back to their metal base and repainted them white. mega-studios resembled corporate kingdoms.2 Dream Factory 1922 marked the beginning of a new era in Hollywood. Refurbishment. donated by Bay Cal Commercial Painting[. Although much of the studio work remained in Hollywood. Hollywood itself has been anything but static and after a few decades as the capital of film glamour. 2. Temptingly. before a live television audience of 60 million people.2 The Birth of the Talkies 17 . imported cars.3 to 11. The 1949 effort gave it new life. Douglas Fairbanks and D. and the third "O" fell down completely leaving the severely dilapidated sign reading "HuLLYWO D". for instance. Only two years earlier. In 1978. the Chamber set out to replace the intensely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure. These new letters were each 45 feet (13.700 apiece to sponsor replacement letters made of Australian steel. with serfs busily building sets and cutting footage.W.Griffith created United Artists to put film making in the hands of the talent. The stars themselves were the nearest thing in America to royalty. Hollywood was the Dream Factory. Charlie Chaplin. November 14. Stars soon made Beverly Hills and Silver Lake into America's most glamorous postal addresses. the original 1923 sign was put up for sale on eBay by producer/entrepreneur Dan Bliss. four of the most creative big-wigs. Eventually. ruled by and all-powerful monarch. many stars moved to Beverly Hills. 1978. the film capital of California had moved from Santa Barbara to Hollywood. public opinion turned against them. began again in November 2005. Also in 2005.8 m) wide. The new version of the sign was unveiled on Hollywood's 75th anniversary. Hollywood became known as the place in America where anything was possible.7 m) high and ranged from 31 to 39 feet (9. A shakeout created the Mega-Studios that would eventually control the industry. By the mid-20s. here was an aristocracy anyone could join. but the wooden and sheet metal sign continued to deteriorate in the open air of the Hollywood Hills.
and sound-on-film.and two-reel films. The prestigious production was premiered in New York on August 6. mostly comedies and vaudeville acts. launched sound and talking pictures. The second Vitaphone production was The Better 'Ole (1926).but it was destined to be faulty due to inherent synchronization problems.. live actors who delivered dialogue. with the formation of the Vitaphone Company (a subsidiary created by Warner Bros. advanced Movietone system . and starred John Barrymore (nicknamed "The Great Profile") as the hand-kissing womanizer (the number of kisses in the film set a record). the art of silent film had become remarkably mature. sound effects specialists. In 1925-26. Originally. Most of the studios started to convert from silent to sound film production . Thousands of existing theaters had to be rewired for sound at great expense. gramophone discs. featuring musical comedy and recording star Al Jolson. by developing a revolutionary synchronized sound system called Vitaphone (a short-lived sound-on-disc process developed in 1925 that quickly became obsolete by 1931). among others. America technologically revolutionized the entire industry. In 1926. but without spoken dialogue. This process allowed sound to be recorded on a phonograph record that was electronically linked and synchronized with the film projector . musicians. It added a 'soundtrack' directly onto the strip of film and would By 18 . romantic swashbuckler adventure Don Juan (1926). 1926. was Warner Bros.not dialogue. Although called silents. Director Alan Crosland's expensive film failed to create the sensation that Warners had hoped for. and Western Electric).a tremendous capital investment. with Bell Telephone Laboratory researchers. There would be two competing sound or recording systems developed during the early 'talkie' period: sound-ondisc. Warner Bros.the late 1920s. they were never really silent but accompanied by sound organs. In the mid 1920s. Warners invested over $3 million in outfitting its 'picture palaces' to show Vitaphone films.the first commercially successful sound-onfilm process developed in conjunction with General Electric. William Fox of the Fox Film Corporation responded to Warners' success with its own similar and competing. The process was first used for short one. Warner Bros. and even full-scale orchestras. and went into debt because of it. intended to use the system to record only music and sound effects . The first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack (canned music and sound effects recorded on large wax discs).
The other major film studios (Paramount. in reallife. Jolson was chosen for the role (after it was turned down by Eddie Cantor) since he had already performed three songs in Warners' experimental short film April Showers (1926).with only about 350 'spontaneously spoken' words. at a budget of about $500. and then re-released in Janu The Jazz Singer: The World's First 'Talkie' The second sound feature released the following year on October 6. Little Caesar (1930) made actor Edward G. also directed by Alan Crosland for Warner Bros. Tootsie. and the film's final song Mammy. and because he was.1 Gangster and Musical Films Two new genres that flourished with the coming of sound were gangster films and musicals.. a cantor's son who had first sung in a synagogue as a child. they signed an agreement with Western Electric to analyze the competing sound systems within the next year and jointly choose a single. 1926. The Jazz Singer (1927). revolutionized motion pictures forever. and that talkie films would be the wave of the future. In May 1928. standardized sound system." after the film's first musical interlude .3 Movie genres 2. The sound era was officially inaugurated when audiences saw Russian-born American vaudeville star Al Jolson. Early sound gangster films played up violence among ethnic urban gangs. They were further astonished by his talking to his mother (Eugenie Besserer) in an extemporaneous way after singing Blue Skies. from 1920 to 1933. when the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages were outlawed in the United States.3. It was the first feature-length talkie (and first musical). The gangster genre drew on public concern with crime as well as the notoriety of famous criminal gang leaders.] Fox's Movietone system was premiered in early 1927 with the showing of director Raoul Walsh's 12-reel comedy-drama war film What Price Glory? (1926) (originally released in November. and first heard him improvise a song's introduction: "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet. Toot. Producer Sam Warner died one day before the film's premiere at Warners' Theatre in New York City. Much of the crime arose from illegal activities during the Prohibition era.000. It was also the most expensive film in the studio's history. 1927. adapted from Samson Raphaelson's successful 1925-26 musical stage play (that starred George Jessel in the Broadway role). Here was a revolutionary film that was mostly silent .a song called Dirty Hands. 2.eventually become the predominant sound technology. Jolson proved his boast by continuing to sing Toot. Loew's. [This system would soon replace the inflexible Vitaphone system because it was easier to synchronize the sound. but with six songs (in the film's partly-synchronized musical soundtrack). 19 . Dirty Face. The film was about an aspiring Jewish cantor's son who wanted to become a jazz singer rather than a cantor in the synagogue. First National and UA) realized the expensive and challenging ramifications of the sound revolution that was dawning. to avoid an inevitable patent war. Robinson a star in the role of Italian American Rico Bandello.
Another type of movie musical featured individual performers. Based on 19th-century novels. RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum). 2. But the genre gained wide popular appeal only after Warner Bros.3. Paramount. and United Artists were also important but exerted less control since they did not own theaters. British-born actor Boris Karloff created a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of the lumbering monster brought to life by an ambitious scientist. drawing on Broadway stage formats. directed by British-born filmmaker James Whale. these two works (themselves remakes of silent films) became classics that directors have continued to remake. So-called star vehicles were crafted to display the particular appeal of the studios’ most popular stars. all choreographed by American Busby Berkeley. or story lines that violated the code’s regulations The advent of sound launched 20 . scenes. Universal. Sound made more imperative the desire of many religious groups and social reformers to control motion-picture content. in particular the dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in such films as Top Hat (1935) and Swing Time (1936). Studios employed directors and performers under long-term contracts.S. filming large groups of dancers from multiple viewpoints to create unique cinematic spectacles. While state and local censorship bodies existed.3. Loew’s Incorporated (later Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). outside pressures led the movie companies to establish a Production Code in 1930.and actor James Cagney won fame portraying Irish American Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931).—functioned as producers. and they developed a star system as a means of promoting and selling films. and exhibitors. Columbia. and Footlight Parade (all 1933).2 Horror Films new energy with the coming of sound was the horror film.3 The Vehicles Studio System and Star An older genre that gained a round of mergers in the American motionpicture industry. government challenged successfully in 1948 as constituting a monopoly and thus illegal. exerting a level of control that the U. In Frankenstein (1931). reshaping the Hollywood studio system. released a series of musicals that broke with stage conventions. Musical films seemed a logical outcome of recorded sound. Five large companies—Fox (later Twentieth-Century Fox). directed by American Tod Browning. distributors. This body monitored scripts and finished films and eliminated dialogue. These included 42nd Street. 2. and Warner Bros. Gold Diggers of 1933. with numerous variations. The heavy voice of Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi gave new thrills to audiences in the vampire film Dracula (1931). and to strengthen its enforcement by adding a Production Code Administration in 1934.
and then distributed them in mid-May of 1929 for films opening between August-1927 and late July-1928. and other Hollywood directors joined the armed forces and made war-related documentaries. (In the 1990s the use of computer graphics in creating animated images became more frequent. For the Department of Agriculture. The March of Time. Steamboat Willie (1928). former journalist Pare Lorentz made two films dealing with Depression-era farming and environmental issues. a documentary in popularity with the coming of sound. He began making feature-length animated films in color with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). the first film released in the three-color Technicolor process. Through most of its history. 21 . to recognize and reward excellence within the film industry. The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937). 2. one frame at a time. with important works produced both by independent filmmakers and by the federal government. Disney also pioneered the use of color animation. see Computer Animation. involvement. seven films that sought to explain the war’s background and the reasons for U.4 The American Documentary film movement developed in the United States during the 1930s.3. John Ford. During World War II Frank Capra. drug use. the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded in 1927 with Douglas Fairbanks as president. this form of filmmaking has involved recording a series of drawings or manipulating inanimate objects. crime. and Huston’s The Battle of San Pietro (1945) depicted the grim consequences of warfare in the Italian campaign. 2.5 Animated Film As in Britain. 2.) Walt Disney made the first animated cartoon with synchronized sound. The code remained in effect until the mid-1960s.S. Capra supervised the Why We Fight series (19421945). producing the short Flowers and Trees (1932). In 1935 Time magazine launched a monthly documentary film series. which was the third film to feature the popular Mickey Mouse character. The AMPAS organization established the Academy Awards in the late 1920s and first announced them in February 1929.4 The Beginning of the Academy Awards Fion gained The non-profit organization. When projected.concerning the depiction of sex. John Huston. and other behavior. William Wyler. the sequence of frames takes on the illusion of motion.3. that ran until 1951.
By 1930 radio programming had evolved from its primitive crystal set beginnings. directors. with many silent film stars not making the transition to sound (e. By 1933. Vilmy Banky. especially in decreased movie theatre attendance. As ever. and William Faulkner (1897–1962) made the journey west to work in pictures. The Jazz Singer (1927). historical biopics. and there was a sense that anything could be bought. Wellman's Wings (1927) for Best Production and Sunrise (1927) for Best Unique and Artistic Picture (a category that was immediately dropped). There were two "Best Picture" winners: the financially successful anti-war film. The Coconut Grove on Wilshire Boulevard. The founder of KNX once managed to broadcast a murder trial after his reporters were thrown out of the courtroom. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940). Hollywood became a playground for celebrities eager to get themselves noticed. and technicians arrived from Europe to work for the studios.A. musicals. 2. and Norma Talmadge). Dorothy Parker (1893– 1967).6 Hollywood During the War Years The 22 . and the further development of film genres (gangster films. separate awards (not known as Oscar quite yet) were given for Best Production (now termed Best Picture). westerns and horror to name a few). Private lives became public property. lighthearted screwball comedies.In the first year of the Academy Awards' presentations. the economic effects of the Depression were being strongly felt. social-realism films. Famous writers like F. Although it wasn't the broadcasting capital.g. William A. was one of the first rooms on the West Coast to broadcast a live orchestra via radio. John Gilbert. KHJ and KFI hit the waves. Talented actors. declared ineligible for the Best Picture award. playground to the glitterati. was given a special award for revolutionizing the industry.5 The Golden Age of Hollywood 1930s decade (and most of the 1940s as well) has been nostalgically labeled "The Golden Age of Hollywood" (although most of the output of the decade was black-and-white). a new 'sound' was on the rise." Meanwhile. newspaper-reporting films. It was the era in which the silent period ended.. KNX. to be conspicuous you would have to drive a flesh-pink Mercedes-Benz with a sun porch on the roof and three pretty girls sunbathing. In 1932 Hollywood's first three station. As crimewriter Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) put it: "In L. Hollywood's radio pioneers were relentless in their promotional zeal. Wings (1927). 2. featured exciting aerial combat sequences and starred Clara Bow and a young actor named Gary Cooper. These films were the only silent films ever to win the Academy Award for 'Best Picture'. coming at the end of a cycle of films about WWI. The 30s was also the decade of the sound and color revolutions and the advance of the 'talkies'. people outdid one another with brash displays of wealth.
It was then that a small group of actors decided to organize.a full decade and more after the rise of sound film production. The government seized the nation's supply of rolling stock. It included wage increases. like every other aspect of life. The 23 . documentary. Vying for recognition.early years of the 40s decade were not promising for the American film industry. regulation of talent agents. producing many war-time favorites. Nails were counted at each studio. air raid blackouts eliminated all night filming. and safety standards on the set as major provisions. there were no lavish historical epics and no expensive car chases or crashes. Even so. Distant or exotic locations were no longer and option. Tinseltown aided in the defensive mobilization. Sea shots were prohibited from Seattle to San Diego. and sets were made so that a post office could be quickly turned into an airport. The world was headed toward rearmament and warfare in the early to mid1940s. responded to the national war effort by making movies. Advances in film technology (sound recording. The US government's Office of War Information (OWI). fund-raisers for relief funds or war bonds. newsreel or short film-makers. In the Hollywood of the 1930's. with all-time highs recorded for theatre attendance. whether as combatants. Jimmy Steewart and Victor Mature quickly enlisted. educators. Studios hoarded their precious two punds of hairpins a month. as they had done during the Depression years of the 30s. During WWII. and coordinated its efforts with the film industry to record and photograph the nation's war-time activities. Films took on a more realistic rather than escapist tone. and the resultant loss of foreign markets. special effects. Following the end of the war. now that the technical challenges of the early 30s sound era were far behind. during the darkest days of the Depression. in 1933. Hollywood film production rebounded and reached its profitable peak of efficiency during the years 1943 to 1946 . residuals. Lavish sets were a casualty of materials shortages. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th the entertainment industry became a full-time war industry. They formed a self-governing guild that today we know as Screen Actors Guild. or morale-boosters. cinematography and use of color) meant that films were more watchable and 'modern'. actors could expect little more than $15 a day working under the harshest conditions. and the movie industry. propagandists. formed in 1942. while wartime restrictions and shortages dramatically changed the way movies were made. especially following the late 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. entertainers. and train shots were nixed. Hollywood's most profitable year in the decade was 1946. actors were ordered to take a 50% pay cut because of falling profits at the box office. served as an important propaganda agency during World War II. Studio trucks transported troops instead of movie sets. Stars like Clarck Gable. lighting. space psychodramas and the Age of Film Noir replaced the grand and costly extravaganzas of years past. Out of necessity. the guild finally received its first union-shop contract in 1937. pension and health plans. However. and having stars (and film industry employees) enlist or report for duty. World War II impacted every aspect of film production in Hollywood.
Marlene Dietrich cut take. Hollywood's most famous names volunteered their time and services in the name of the war effort. 100. music became the craze to the ears of the nation. 800 stayed with Mom on a week night 1. Wallich's popularity with his record store spurred him to partner with Johnny Mercer two years later to form Capitol Records.000 soldiers a month devoured 4. By pioneering marketing strategies coupled with album design. They slept in parks and theater lobbies. All 6000 radio and screen entertainers volunteered. John Loder and John Garfield.200 on weekends. The similar-sounding Hollywood Canteen catered to 2000 servicemen who would jam the club each night for free food. The busyboys: Fred MacMurray. On average. Like never before. 1. to profit form this upcoming trend. washed dished and sang. In 1940. until "Mom" Lehr's Hollywood Guild and Canteen began offering them a bed and three meals a day.000 loaves of bread. Olivia de Havilland and Greer Garson played hostess. drink and top Big Bands.500 pounds of coffee. Glenn Wallichs built his famous Wallichs' Music. Illinois. Hollywood could shape the world through radio and the record industry. Hollywood between 1948-1992 3. the company went on to become one of the top three in the industry. and Hollywood pulled together to feed.000 pieces of cake. Betty Grable. shelter and entertain them. 3. Basil Rarhbone. Returning soldiers outnumbered civilians in downtown Hollywood ten to one. and 150. that it sold more records than any store west of Chicago. War drew Hollywood together as a close-knit family.1 TV Era 24 . Returning soldiers swelled the city's population. erasing the distinction between stars and regular people.With the downsizing of the movie industry. The record store became so popular with students from both Hollywood and Fairfax high schools.
Cable TV. with Cecil B. 1947. Hollywood.1 New Technologies:Home Entertainment . Hollywood became overrun with 'adult' theaters. and sound stages went back. Film scrambled for a rash of new gimmicks: wide screens. Hollywood was the victim of a mass exodus of residents to suburbs in the Valley. It is a recording studio not open to the public. box office receipts were down 45% from wartime heights.1. In 1952. DeMille opening the program. the first Hollywood movie production was made for TV.Video. continued to migrate to different parts of the Los Angeles area. The culprit: television. and porn shows. and Sound 25 . and a series of rulings on obscenity changed what could be shown at a movie theater. although the district's outward appearance changed. however. CBS built CBS Television City on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard on the former site of Gilmore Stadium. and sex on the screen brought other 'adult' culture with it: massage parlors.In 1948. stereo sound. 3D. On January 22." The famous Capitol Records building on Vine Street just north of Hollywood Boulevard was built in 1956. primarily to Burbank. the emcee for Hollywood's first TV show was film star Bob Hope. made the transition to TV. From '46 to '51. the Chamber of Commerce came to the ailing Sign's rescue.. with characteristic resilience. Much of the movie industry remained in Hollywood. 3. And in the 1950s. Studios cut payrolls. The mid-60s celebrated free speech. CBS's slogan for the shows taped there was "From Television City in Hollywood. Hollywood was there to corner the market. more sound stages were producing television than movies. Symbolically. In December of that year. Television companies snatched up old studios and back lots. but its unique circular design looks like a stack of old 45rpm vinyl records. began operating in Hollywood. music recording studios and offices began moving into Hollywood. CBS's expansion into the Fairfax District pushed the unofficial boundary of Hollywood further south than it had been. removing the letters that spelled "LAND" and repairing the rest. back lots sprouted weeds. In 1949. Technicolor. The Public Prosecutor. They were opting for malls and multiplex cinemas over Mann's and the Boulevard. When TV started filming programs. the first commercial TV station west of the Mississippi River. KTLA.. By the end of the 50s.000 to more than 12 million. the number of TV sets in American homes went from 10. Other businesses. 'adult' bookstores.
a new technology dubbed Dolby Digital was introduced to movie-goers in Batman Returns (1992).2 Blacklists and bankruptcy 26 . and 1/2 inch videocassettes (in the VHS format) in the 80s encouraged broader distribution of films.. the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Universal v. The first movie to be shown in a THX-certified auditorium was Return of the Jedi (1983). surround-sound and other special effects) were introduced in the 70s and 80s. Columbia Pictures. HBO and Showtime both functioned as producer/distributors in their own right by directly financing films and entertainment specials for their own paytelevision cable stations. Multi-track Dolby stereo sound. was created in 1983 as a joint venture of CBS Inc. and advertised as a special feature for films such as Amadeus (1984) and Aliens (1986). The pre-recorded video of Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959) brought sales of over a million copies when it was released in 1986.Cable TV networks.] The spread of access to cable television (and satellite broadcasts) threatened traditional one-screen theatres and film attendance. and Time-Life's premium cable service Home Box Office (HBO) (founded in 1972).: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) surpassed 15 million! Tri-Star Pictures Motion Picture Company. On the other hand. the THX sound system (named after George Lucas' first feature film). and then DTS Digital Sound made its debut in Jurassic Park (1993). one of Hollywood's major producer/distributors. Sony Betamax (1984) that home video-taping for personal use was not a copyright infringement. merged with Warner Communications. And then to illustrate the burgeoning video industry over the next few years. multi-plex movie theatres with multiple screens spread across the country during the 80s.T. direct broadcast satellites. noise reduction. and Dolby SR ("spectral recording") (all designed to produce higher quality sound. [In 1989. while the number of drive-in theatres drastically declined. Sales and revenues from pre-sold theatrical features for videocassette reproduction and cable TV distribution contributed increased percentages for studios' earnings . becoming the major media giant Time-Warner. 1988 sales of E.] 3. Time Inc. [In 1992.sometimes outpacing box-office profits. [In an influential decision. and the release of their films for the home entertainment-video market became a profitable rental-sales business.] Many studios entered the business of producing films for commercial TV networks.
Honorees receive a star based on career and lifetime achievements in motion pictures. when McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist had taken a firm hold. it didn't take a Weatherman to show what the elements had done. as well as their charitable and civic contributions. the Cultural Heritage Board gave the Sign landmark status. Best Picture-nominated western High Noon (1952). actors and directors were blacklisted. 400 Hollywood writers. Paranoia and persecution prevailed. things began to change.Hollywood movie industry’s high profile made it vulnerable in the cold post-war climate of anti-liberal hysteria.a seedy. By 1970. wannabe heavy-metal rockers. claiming that "Commies" had infiltrated Hollywood and were producing subversive films. True glamour has always awaited tourists a few miles in Beverly Hills. McCarthy and his henchmen rounded up 19 prominent Hollywood writers. a case study in urban decay and neglect . and/or music. Many other studios went bankrupt after the difficult years of blacklisting and television dominance. independent producer/director Stanley Kramer was producing the classic. Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy tore Hollywood apart. run-down area populated by a virtual freak-show of young runaways. By the early 50s. but it was still in need of tender loving care.the downtown shopping district centered around Hollywood Boulevard . television. directors and actors.well. the Hays Commission. Antitrust lawsuits broke up the studios' control of film distribution. For years. Paranoia and betrayal was a common image seen in fifties America. To make matters worse. But movies weren't the only game around. Hollywood was a major disappointment. Many people felt the stars had too much power. a self-regulatory body of the film industry. Many stars found themselves blacklisted (put on a list of people not to be hired) on moral grounds. another by waiting tables in Arizona. and harried crowds of bewildered tourists wandering the dirty sidewalks while trying to find some hint of former glamour left in the famous city.1 Films With a 'Social Conscience' the early 1950s. Ten of these victims were sent to jail. was set up in the late 1940s to control the moral content of Hollywood movies. One star survived by selling flowers. frenzied traffic. After 1939. 3. but the actual Hollywood area . radio. Paramount was the only major studio left in town. The Sign -. a veiled anti-McCarthy allegorical film about a marshal (Gary Cooper) in a showdown against evil threats to the The In 27 . In 1973.2.had degenerated from a cozy small town into a bad dream of urban blight. homeless transients. live theatre. Hollywood experienced the flight of film power centers in the turbulent 60s. The Hollywood Walk of Fame was created in 1958 and the first star was placed in 1960 as a tribute to artists working in the entertainment industry.
a dramatization of the John Scopes 'Monkey Trial' regarding evolution and creationism. with Fredric March as the middle-aged title character Willy Loman. noted for the screen debut of Marlon Brando as a disabled veteran Death of a Salesman (1951). grim. the first black actor to star in mainstream Hollywood films in non-stereotyped roles. Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957) (with Andy Griffith and Lee Remick in their screen debuts) examined how easily the media could manipulate and dupe the public. Another definitive film noir was Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953) . and Tony Curtis) who escaped from a prison chained together. (1960). advertising.it was an example of a sub-genre of criminal/gangster-syndicate films. Phil Karlson's The Brothers Rico (1957). about youth rebellion in the guise of black-jacketed bikers led by the iconic Johnny (Marlon Brando) The Defiant Ones (1958). And Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1954) satirized 50s morals. Cobb was denied the role. the film's award-winning script was co-written by blacklisted writer-actor Nedrick Young. and the growing power of television. a boxing expose-drama with Kirk Douglas Home of the Brave (1949). Fred Astaire) in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Inc. sex. along with Joseph H. a doomsday account (based on Nevil Shute's novel) of survivors (Ava Gardner. about a black and white prisoner (Sidney Poitier. and race relations (and inter-racial marriage) with Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). a screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Hitchcock's sombre and noirish The Wrong Man (1956) examined the plight of Henry Fonda as a family man unjustly accused of armed robbery. Other powerful films from Kramer with a social conscience and a serious 'message' about sensitive subjects were: • • • • Champion (1949). racist secret. pitting courtroom figures (Fredric March and Spencer Tracy) against each other • • • • Later. 28 . a ground-breaking film about racial prejudice in the Army during WWII The Men (1950). and Burt Balaban and Stuart Rosenberg's CinemaScope Murder. the film brought Kramer his first Best Director nomination the thought-provoking. although Mildred Dunnock recreated her stage role as Willy's wife Linda The Wild One (1954). Lewis' The Big Combo (1955).community. Anthony Perkins. anti-nuclear film On the Beach (1959). modern-day western/drama about a one-armed stranger (Spencer Tracy) confronting a town's awful. with Gregory Peck as a stalwart submarine commander Inherit the Wind (1960) . Kramer also tackled the atrocities of Nazi war crimes with Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). blacklisted Broadway play actor Lee J. Director John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) was a suspenseful.
a dated sex comedy about seduction and chastity that was also condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency.2 Censorship Challenges: Otto Preminger the mid 1930s. a drama about power politics and homosexuality (and Charles Laughton's last film). films exhibited a seal and number. Director Henry Cornelius' I Am A Camera (1955). was instrumental in breaking the back of the Production Code and bringing in a new era of frank Hollywood movie-making. and kidnapping. UA Studios resigned from the MPPDA and submitted the film to state censorship boards instead. along with Preminger's challenges and other lessening of restrictions on film-makers in 1956. sir?") as the presiding Judge Weaver. the pre-cursor to the Broadway musical hit Cabaret. abortion. showing that they were in compliance with the Motion Picture Production Code Administration (better known as the Breen Office because of the PCA's head Joseph Breen). The constraints of the system were increasingly criticized by the mid1950s."Have you no decency at last. UA's stark black and white The Man With the Golden Arm (1955). As the 50s progressed. was also denied an approval seal for its subject matter of abortion. The Hays Production Code was amended in 1951 (its first major revision since 1934!) with content restrictions for the film subjects of drugs. Yet the film. was producer/director Otto Preminger's daring The Moon is Blue (1953). The film provided the first scene in a US film where a white woman (Joan Fontaine) was kissed by a black man (Harry Belafonte)." "pregnant. It featured real-life lawyer Joseph Welch (famous for asking in the Army-McCarthy hearings . the film received three Academy Award nominations (Best Actress. 29 Since . and Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine. since the Hays Code banned miscegenation. was also denied a production seal by the Motion Picture Association of America because the film dealt with the forbidden subject of drug (heroin) addiction. Best Song.] The release of director Elia Kazan's version of Tennessee Williams' steamy Southern tale Baby Doll (1956) brought condemnation by the National Legion of Decency . Preminger was able to release the controversial Advise and Consent (1962). Island in the Sun (1957) was daring for its time." "seduce. Nonetheless. under director/producer Otto Preminger's direction and starring Frank Sinatra. because filmmakers were forced to make changes in their films in order to qualify for a seal of approval.3. and Best Film Editing) and great viewer curiosity and box-office publicity due to the controversy. deliberately. The first studio-produced film from Hollywood that was released without the seal." and "mistress" in the dialogue. It offered two interracial romances between John Justin and Dorothy Dandridge. Otto Preminger's legal drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959) (with Stewart as a crafty defense lawyer) dealt with another taboo subject . but some filmmakers were willing to take risks. prostitution.2.especially for its gigantic Times Square billboard promoting the film with its star Carroll Baker curled up on a cot sucking her thumb. [By the beginning of the next decade. in part because of its offensive use of prohibited words such as "virgin. there were other indications that the production code was weakening. Darryl Zanuck's first independent production.rape.
which drew visitors and television viewers from around the globe. and being treated with hypnosis by doctor Lee J. the Trust unveiled a pristine new Hollywood Sign in 1978. Unfortunately. Fourteen countries of the Soviet bloc boycotted the event. the Hollywood Boulevard commercial and entertainment district was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places protecting important buildings and ensuring that the significance of Hollywood's past would always be a part of its future. To raise money for the Sign’s reconstruction. In 1984. It symbolically ignited a renewal throughout Hollywood that continues to gain momentum to this very day. a thick fog blanketed the event. The 1978 restoration of the Sign was more than a matter of new sheet metal and steel pipe. preservation and global respect. the newly established Hollywood Sign Trust enlisted the help of Hollywood's biggest names. The Hollywood Sign was illuminated for two weeks in honor of the Olympics.Best Supporting Actress nominee Carolyn Jones played the role of a "nympho" in The Bachelor Party (1957). With the help of these and other extremely generous sponsors. The 30 . about a patient with several distinct personalities (one a loose party girl) suffering from a rare and controversial psychiatric condition. In 1985. Despite this inauspicious commemoration.3 Hollywood revitalisation • • • Hollywood Sign was declared Los Angeles Cultural-Historical Monument #111 by the Cultural Heritage Board of the City of Los Angeles. The Olympic Games came to Los Angeles. while singing cowboy Gene Autry sponsored an 'L' and singer/songwriter Paul William funded the 'W'. In 1980. The effort to preserve the Sign made for some strange celebrity bedfellows: Glam-rocker Alice Cooper 'bought' an 'O'.000 per letter. a $90 million grant from the federal government enabled Hollywood to launch a slew of re-development projects. Cobb Susan Hayward in I Want to Live! (1958) Simone Signoret in Room at the Top (1959) Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960) 3. and four consecutive Best Actress Oscar winners portrayed "easy women" or prostitutes: • Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957). where individual Sign letter letters were ceremonially "auctioned off" at a price tag of $28. the Sign’s official monument status signaled a new era of restoration. A star-studded fund raising party was hosted by Hugh Heffner at the Playboy Mansion. The milestone was celebrated during a 1973 gala hosted by silent star Gloria Swanson. undermining what should have been a picturesque affair.
the Hollywood Boulevard commercial and entertainment district was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places protecting the neighborhood's important buildings and seeing to it that the significance of Hollywood's past would always be a part of its future. The long-awaited rebirth of Hollywood was well under way. the film business became increasingly dependent on ancillary profits from foreign sales. Hollywood was moving forward. in part. museum-grade rehabilitation of the historic El Capitan Theater. more and more films were being made overseas and on location elsewhere in the United States. The old town finally got its act together and appeared to be revitalized. was the center of the film industry in name only. In 1985. Japanese companies bought Columbia in 1989 and Universal the following year. The historic Egyptian Theater was restored to its original 1922 glory ten years later and the famed Brown Derby restaurant. 31 . for the time being. In this highly competitive world market. As the costs of movie production soared and mega-industry fixed its eye on the bottom line. Walt Disney Studios began a two-year. video and product spin-offs. The Australian multimedia titan. television.In the 80s. Roosevelt Hotel. the film industry was also "going global". By the end of the 80s. took over 20th Century Fox in 1985. and the Pantages Theater all received well-deserved makeovers during the last decades of the millennium. Hollywood. resurrecting what was once the most lavish legitimate theater in Southern California to its former grandeur. Rupert Murdoch. In 1989. by wisely reinvesting in the monuments of its glamorous past. video revenue was almost twice as much as ticket revenue.
Burt Lancaster. William Holden. Cary Grant. Marlon Brando. 18 year-old violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor appeared in Vincente Minnelli's Father of the Bride (1950). Bob Hope. Gary Cooper. Elizabeth Taylor. Randolph Scott. Spencer Tracy. Elizabeth Taylor divorced Michael Wilding and married Mike Todd . Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor 24 year old Audrey Hepburn became a star and won the Best Actress Oscar in William Wyler's captivating comedy/romance Roman Holiday (1953) when she played a princess traveling incognito in Rome . Bing Crosby. Susan Hayward. and mid-decade reunited with the director for Giant (1956). and Rock Hudson. and Suddenly. Clifton Webb. Brigitte Bardot. Jane Wyman.3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) as a sexually-deprived Maggie (the "Cat") opposite Paul Newman as husband Brick. Yul Brynner. Gregory Peck. Debbie Reynolds. 1958. just-married (to hotelier Nicholas Conrad Hilton. Danny Kaye. Frank Sinatra. Pat Boone. Glenn Ford. Doris Day.] She also co-starred opposite Montgomery Clift and experienced illicit love in director George Stevens' A Place in the Sun (1951) (adapted from Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy). Glenn Ford.] The 32 .). Abbott and Costello. Marilyn Monroe. she starred in two Tennessee Williams' adaptations.who died in a New Mexico plane crash in March. Kim Novak.Hollywood theatre 3. She then starred in Billy Wilder's romantic comedy Sabrina (1954) with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.1 Greatest Stars of the 50s: biggest box-office stars of the 1950s were: John Wayne. June Allyson. Betty Grable. in Funny Face (1957) opposite Fred Astaire. She soon married the recently-divorced Eddie Fisher (from Debbie Reynolds) in 1959 (and divorced in March. Elvis Presley. Last Summer (1959) as a lobotomy-threatened New Orleans debutante. and in the noteworthy drama The Nun's Story (1959) as tested novitiate and missionary Sister Luke in the Belgian Congo where she meets a handsome surgeon (Peter Finch). The lovely. James Stewart. 1964).and falling in love with reporter Gregory Peck. [In early 1957. Jr. the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Alan Ladd. Toward the end of the decade. Clark Gable. Grace Kelly. Humphrey Bogart. [Taylor divorced Hilton in early 1951 and married actor Michael Wilding in early 1952. Esther Williams.
this was the last of the great Ealing comedies. including such forgettable films as At War With the Army (1950). and Dennis Price as the unscrupulous murderer intent on acquiring the family fortune director Charles Crichton's light-hearted caper comedy The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) (winner of the Academy Award for Best Screenplay) again with Alec Guinness as the unsuspecting bank clerk Mr. Holland who masterminds a scheme to rob the Bank of England.2 The Golden Age of British Comedy England experienced a "Golden Age of Comedy" in the 50s following the war. intelligent and whimsical comedies. the film also featured a brief appearance by a young Audrey Hepburn director Alexander Mackendrick's satirical comedy The Man in the White Suit (1951) with Guinness as an absent-minded.3. Rank. [the film was remade by the Coen brothers in 2004 with the same title. directing and starring in The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963). Herbert Lom. and London Film ProductionsKorda) began to supply their feature films to US television networks . A plaque at the 33 .Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis The powerhouse combo-comedy team of Dean Martin (the dead-pan straight man) and Jerry Lewis (the goofy. all living in the boarding house of octogenarian Katie Johnson. melt down the gold bank bars and cast them into miniature Eiffel Towers . all starring Alec Guinness: • director Robert Hamer's black-hearted comedy about inheritance. small-time crook interested in mocking the authoritarian establishment. [Ealing Studios closed in 1955.] Almost all of the comedies portrayed a slightly rebellious. obsessed amateur inventor in the textile industry Mackendrick's droll and farcical comedy The Ladykillers (1955) with Guinness as bumbling criminal mastermind Professor Marcus planning a train robbery with a gang of thieves (Peter Sellers in an early role. many with superb character actors Alec Guinness or Peter Sellers in the starring roles. the British film companies (Ealing.but his plan is thwarted by a group of French schoolgirls. After the duo split their partnership in 1956. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) with the versatile Guinness (in his third film) playing the parts of all eight D'Ascoyne family victims. featuring Tom Hanks as the eccentric 'brain' of the larcenous outfit] • • • In 1954. Living It Up (1954)." [Balcon took over the studio in 1938 and ran the independent. craft-oriented studio until 1955. and Artists and Models (1955). Jumping Jacks (1952). 3. hyper misfit) had many box-office smashes in the 1950s from their total of sixteen films together. They were produced by Michael Balcon's Ealing Studios and called "Ealing comedies. That's My Boy (1951). The social commentary films included the following four works. with a series of celebrated.they were the first films to be made available. Lewis went solo in the 60s. Sailor Beware (1951). and Danny Green).
Hollywood after 1992 4. many films were made projecting Britain and the British character. 4. followed suit and before long thousands of B-pictures and serials like Flash Gordon became available to American TV audiences. In 1992. Its success laid the groundwork for the ongoing development of posh hotels. entertainment capital of the world. identifying three official parties responsible for its ongoing stewardship. In 1999. The City of Los Angels. The final days of 1995 also saw the formation and private funding of the Hollywood Business District by Hollywood Boulevard property owners. the District reduced crime by 50 percent during its first 180 days of operation. specifically by ensuring that any likenesses of the Sign are approved and appropriately licensed. inspired the institution of middle-class. such as Monogram and Republic. A few of the prominent actors who would reappear in later installments included Charles Hawtrey and William Hartnell. was in full swing! In the 1990s. preservation and promotion of the Hollywood Sign as the global icon of the entertainment industry.studio described what Ealing Studios had accomplished over almost two decades: "Here during a quarter of a century. meanwhile. wacky humor (with double entendres and one-liners) that finally stretched out to over 30 films in the next few decades. eateries and shopping. received a mandate to maintain and protect the restricted Griffith Park space that's home to the Sign. California Attorney General Dan Lungren laid out a road map for the Sign's future. low-brow. Under the ruling.1 Entertaiment center A new maturity came to Hollywood in the last decade of the century.] Small US producers. Carry On Sergeant (1958). The first in a long-running series of low-budget British comedies. the Hollywood Sign Trust was empowered with the protection. allowing ever more spectacular special effects. allocating Park Rangers and other resources to ensure the Sign's ongoing security. theaters. was charged with protecting the image of the Sign. Through intensive security street cleaning and marketing efforts. The re-birth of Hollywood. finally. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Toy Story became the first film to go from production to presentation in 34 . the digital revolution captivated filmmakers.
Santa Monica and Sunset. Unfortunately. beautifully designed stations . however. Hollywood marked its coming of age with the opening of the new Hollywood Entertainment Museum. 35 . During its lore-filled history the Hollywood sign was just about seen it all. wiping out the entire security system with one fell blow. In 1995. So when a bolt of lightning tore through the landmark's surveillance booth in 1999.at Vermont and Beverly. and on Hollywood Boulevard at Vine. the Sign got a new paint job courtesy of Dutch Boy Paints. boasts five immaculate. engineered and installed a cutting-edge security network comprised of a vas closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance network.digital form.6 mile underground Hollywood line. Western and Highland .A. The Red Line represents the first Hollywood rail service since L. Some think this process may signal the beginning of the end for traditional film.providing visitors with convenient transportation to Hollywood most sought after destinations. turned out to be a blessing in disguise when Hollywood-based Panasonic Corporate Systems Company (PCSC) replaced the fallen (and woefully out of date) booth with a new state of the art surveillance system. Charged with protecting arguably the most famous nine letters on earth. Phyllis Diller. Its new coat was unveiled at a ceremony MC'd by the queen of face-lifts. microwave-triggered motion detectors and a bilingual audio warning feature. where rangers can monitor all of the cameras simultaneously. Streaming video images are fed from a suite of remote cameras through fiber optic lines to the City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Security Headquarters. external alarms. which links into the citywide Metro Rail system. The destruction. as had happened on some other important nights in the Sign's history. The 4. and many press cameras couldn't even see the drapes being pulled off the Sing. which celebrates the turbulent. a thick fog set it. In 1997. PCSC engineers designed. fascinating story of this unique city and its ever-changing entertainment industry. when Metro Rail's Red Line opened its gleaming doors to the public. 1999 also saw the return of trains to Hollywood.'s fabled 'Red Cars' were scrapped in the late 50s. it seemed like just another dubious chapter in an often ill-cursed saga.
"New York has Time Square. proto-deco touches.just across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel. Standing beside event host Jay Leno.4.300 seat Kodak Theater . and for two weeks during the 1984 Olympic Games. as Los Angeles counted down to the New Millennium. since Hollywood is the global entertainment capitol of the world. the Awards inaugurated their new permanent at the 3. "Los Angeles' world symbol is our Hollywood Sign. upgraded the already-world-class system with a suite of new digital surveillance cameras. one by one." said Mayor Riordan. which is appropriate.) Oscar finally returned to home to Hollywood for the 2001 Academy Awards. which designed the Sign's new security network in 1999.Griffith's Intolerance (1916). physical . enabling millions of viewers to witness the historic lighting. opulent columns and other exotic. illuminating the 450foot-long Sign in a dance of swirling hues and cinematic lightning effects that was visible throughout Hollywood and beyond.W." ABC Network aired the event on live television. the crowning jewel of Hollywood's ongoing urban revitalization. replete with bejeweled 20-foot elephants. Complementing a 36 In . site of the original Awards in 1929. The 'set' is a fantastic recreation of ancient Babylonia (striking a signature early-Hollywood motif). the lighting of the Sign was the culmination of a citywide "Celebrate L. On March 24th. Home to 60 shops and a 640-room hotel. (The Sign had been lit only two times: for the 1974 inauguration of the rebuilt Sing. Deftly framed by the pavilion's majestic ceremonial arch. Powered by more than two million watts of electricity.2 New millennium a spellbinding display of lights and megawatt special effects. the venue is oriented around a pavilion featuring a 7/8th-scale replica of a set from D. the distant Hollywood Sign becomes the visual and symbolic crux of the composition . then-Mayor Richard Riordan "flipped the switch" at the 15 seconds before midnight. Paris has the Eiffel Tower.A. a seminal Hollywood epic. Cairo has the Pyramids. ending a 52-year absence and capping the city's resurrection as the spiritual-and now. the nine 45foot letters of the Hollywood Sign were lit. 2002. once again. The Kodak Theater is part of the new Hollywood & Highland center. 2000" event.a perfect public homage that can be enjoyed by passersby near and far.heart of the entertainment industry. Panasonic Corporate Systems Company.
Mega-Spending and Special Effects the 1990s for the most part. the brand new Sign was constructed as publicity stunt promoting a Hollywood real estate development. Although the average film budget was almost $53 million by 1998. In a city where facelifts are run of the the mill. and some of the most expensive blockbusters were even more. and all was said and done. the Hollywood Sign Trust teamed up with BayCal Painting and Red Diamond Coating to provide the Sign with its first end-to-end refurbishment in a decade. this one was anything but.. a range of new cameras and features. now featuring new content and photos. 2002 had also seen the debut of the Sign's redesigned official site. cinema attendance was up . In November 2005. On October 31st the Sign celebrated its 80th birthday at a gala celebration hosted by movie musical legend Esther Williams (another remarkably preserved octogenarian).600 in the year 2000. where Williams led fans. entailing 300 gallons of Ceryllium advanced coating and weeks of climbing. rappelling down the hillside and applying the final strokes of coating a fitting tribute from Los Angeles new political star.. motion detectors and audio warning systems. due in part to the American economic recession of 1991. As indoor multiplexes multiplied from almost 23. rugged setting.a particularly challenging task give the Signs steep.mostly at multiscreen cineplex complexes throughout the country. priming and painting each of the Sign's nine 45-foot letters. many films cost over $100 million to produce. and dazzling-white as any movie stars smile. and an overall enhanced user experience.gauntlet of external alarms. Lee.25 at the start of the decade to around $5 by the close of the decade. In the early 1990s. but then picked up again by 1993 and continued to increase. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa personally completed the restoration. When the press had cleared away.3 The Decade of Money. 37 In . box-office revenues had dipped considerably. During the ensuing of 8 decades. In 1923. it had become one of the worlds most recognizable landmarks. smooth. full-color surveillance cameras now cover the entire restricted Sign area. and members of the press in a spirited rendition of the Happy Birthday Song and cut pieces of a massive cake designed to look like the Sign sprawled across MT. The Signs 'birthday party' was held during the opening ceremonies for the AFIFest. 4.. the Sign was looking better than ever as polished. scraping.Talk about your "Hollywood endings". the number of drive-ins continued to decline (from 910 in 1990 to 667 in 2000). ten streaming. to its oldest and most important 'ambassador'. The average ticket price for a film varied from about $4.. festival attendees.000 in 1990 to 35.
according to Variety. hairdresser. She also required two jets and two helicopters to guarantee her G. Demi Moore's support staff--including personal assistant. expensive price tags for new high-tech and digital special-effects and CGI (computer generated images).000 per month-for approximately three months. stale. excessive spending (for inferior products) in the Hollywood film industry. better quality and durability than videotape. For example. the Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary. Pressures on conventional studio executives to make ends meet and deliver big hit movies increased during the decade. cook. True character development. By 1992. Higher costs for film/celebrity star salaries and agency fees. Jane (1997) publicity appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997. the independently-distributed film movement was also proving that it could compete (both commercially and critically) with Hollywood's costly output. And Julia Roberts ordered the studio to have a jet standing by around the clock while she was making Mary Reilly (1996) in London. high-budget films with expensive special effects (including shoot 'em-ups. featuring sharper resolution pictures.much larger than sales of movie theater tickets. promotional campaigns. since the movie bombed and earned only a small fraction of its budget. And in 1992. and big-budget marketing contributed to the inflated.1The Digital Age and Home Viewing VCR was still a popular appliance in most households (about three quarters of them in 1991) and rentals and purchase of videotapes were big business . By 1997. trainer and three nannies-reportedly racked up more than $877. interactive extras. makeup artist. threats of actor and writer strikes. and over-produced films). spiraling production costs. broadcast TV was beginning to lose large numbers of viewers to cable channels. with incessant reports of weekly box-office returns. The 38 . and intelligent storytelling often suffered in the process. However. scripts created by committee. sales of DVD players and the shiny discs proliferated and would surpass the sale of VCRs and videotapes. Kodak introduced the Photo CD player. and graphic orchestrated violence) meant quality.] 4. beginning in 1994. In just a few years. Rather than attending special film screenings.3. was also made available on CD-ROM. members of the Academy of Motion Pictures viewed Oscar-nominated films on videotape. costly market research and testing (to develop risk-averse. and puffed-up reviews and critics' ratings.There still existed an imbalanced emphasis on the opening weekend. interesting characters.all to ill effect.000 . the first DVDs (digital video discs) had emerged in stores. credible plots. to promote her freely-adapted $50 million film The Scarlet Letter (1995). and more secure copy-protection. stereotypical chase scenes. The belief was sustained that expensive. High-Cost Stars Perks have sometimes reached epidemic proportions for some of the most demanding stars. formulaic. The signs of the burgeoning of the digital age portended revolutionary change. at a cost of more than $41. In 1990.I.
the Star Wars Trilogy 1997 re-release. The proliferation of films helped to assuage the tremendous appetite for new products demanded by cable stations. to erase the legs of amputee Gary Sinese. many of the films that were produced (some estimates say 40%) went directly to video (laserdisc or DVD) or cable with no cinematic theatrical release at all. some pioneering film-makers were experimenting with making digital-video (DV) films. or projecting films digitally. Twister (1996). the local megaplexes. such as Jar Jar Binks Established directors experimented with Denmark director Lars von Trier's Dogme 95 fresh and improvisational approach to film-making. with groundbreaking techniques using digital video. Batman and Robin (1997). Eric Rohmer's The Lady and the Duke (2001). And the window of time between a film's theatrical opening and availability for cable TV or home viewing shrunk. and Con Air (1997) Forrest Gump (1994) used digital photo trickery to insert a person into historical footage. 39 . Barbet Schroeder's Our Lady of the Assassins (2000).And with the digital revolution. digital satellite services. and Gary Winick's Tadpole (2002) Lucas' second Star Wars pre-quel: Attack of the Clones (2002) was the first major Hollywood motion picture to be filmed entirely with digital video (at 24 fps) • • • • • • • One of the emerging trends of the late 80s and 90s was that although about the same number of pictures were produced as in the "Golden Age of Hollywood" (about 450-500 in a year). video rental stores. Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (2001). pushing digital imagery and special effects.a "heaven without Christians" inhabited by clay people) with CGI Lars von Trier. Independence Day (1996).two of its nine awards were for Best Film Editing and Best Sound George Lucas' Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) included characters that were entirely digitally rendered. including: Spike Lee's Bamboozled (2000). Mike Figgis' Timecode (2000) and Hotel (2001). other DTS films included Best Picture-winning Braveheart (1995). directed the distinctive Breaking the Waves (1996) and showed how digital-video (and its hand-held cinema verite look) could be viable for dramatic feature films The English Patient (1996) was the first Oscar-winning American film with a digitally edited soundtrack . and to enhance the ping-pong game Heavenly Creatures (1994) enhanced its fantasy sequences (visions of the "4th World" called Borovnia . foreign markets. Richard Linklater's Waking Life (2001). A number of films also used special-effects CGI in more subtle. Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal (2002). innovative ways: • • • Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy (1990) was the first 35 mm feature film with a digital soundtrack Wolfgang Petersen's In the Line of Fire (1993) included retouched footage of political crowd scenes Jurassic Park (1993) was the first film with DTS sound. founder of the Dogme 95 movement. Best Sound-winning Apollo 13 (1995).
[One of the decade's many films about malevolent computers was The Net (1995) with Sandra Bullock. Jr. created tremendous advance buzz for this low-budget film that was directed by a group of students from the University of Central Florida in 8 days. Changes in The Major Studios: • Late 1990: Japanese corporation Matsushita Industrial. rather than the ingenious marketing hoax that it was. Remarkably. The cult film reaped a greater audience (and box-office receipts) from Internet exposure and astute promotion and marketing. it easily became the most profitable film (percentage-wise) of all time. acquired the entertainment conglomerate MCA/Universal for $6. It was innovatively shot on 16mm B/W and color digital video. and home computers were becoming the hot new technology .7 billion and renamed it Universal Studios. and no creatures/monsters. no large marketing budget.with vast repercussions for the film industry. and Michael Ovitz to the Disney Company (until 1996). 1995: Seagram bought MCA/Universal from Matsushita for $5. 50-picture exclusive output deal. Showtime Networks and Castle Rock Entertainment entered into a multi-year.000!]. Inc. offbeat independent film The Blair Witch Project (1999) (from small-time distributor Artisan Films) was a quasi-documentary about an October 1994 horrifying camping trip and investigation of a local legend that was experienced by no-name actors: three vanished Montgomery College student film-makers (Heather. Josh. Disney bought the ABC Network. The 'Blair Witch' website. moved to head Hollywood film studios: Ron Meyers to MCA. it had no stars. grossing $248 million. • • • 40 . Two members of the Creative Artists Agency. but budgeted at only $35. and Mike) in Maryland's Black Hill Forest (near Burkittsville). the World Wide Web was born.and the Internet. Disney became the first studio to gross $1 billion at the box office. Many believed that the story was true. Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick's low-budget.000 [a profit ratio of over 7. a popular destination for web surfers (with millions of hits). no state-of-the-art special effects.] Groundbreaking Internet Film-Marketing: Case Study . (until replaced by Frank Mancuso in 1993). 1991: MGM Studios struggled under its new chief Alan Ladd. In the early 90s. one of the world's leading talent and literary agencies. 1994: Viacom bought Paramount Pictures after a bidding war with USA Networks/QVC. Surprisingly.1 billion. Brandon Tartikoff chaired Paramount (until replaced by Sherry Lansing in 1992). roughly-made.The Blair Witch Project Foretelling new methods of Internet-based marketing. and basically looked like a home-made film with poor production values.
ex-Disney executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. The studio's first theatrical release was first-time feature director Mimi Leder's The Peacemaker (1997) starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. The Job. Amistad (1997). Small Soldiers (1998) . and Deep Impact (1998).3. was formed in October 1994 as the brainchild of director-producer Steven Spielberg. and Best Animated Feature-winning Shrek (2001). One of the new issues that all studios and other media industries had to confront was the pirating of films. and music. After their first major animated film The Prince of Egypt (1998).2 A Newcomer Studio: DreamWorks was significant that the first new Hollywood studio in many decades. they also turned out Antz (1998).Saving Private Ryan (1998). and film producer/music industry giant David Geffen. Paulie (1998). including the soundtracks to DreamWorks films and record deals with popular artists. The Road to Eldorado (2000). DreamWorks had three consecutive Best Picture winners: • • • It Sam Mendes' suburban satire American Beauty (1999) Ridley Scott's sword and sandal epic Gladiator (2000) Ron Howard's biopic A Beautiful Mind (2001) In addition to producing films. By decade's end. Their first real hit was also their first film to be nominated for Best Picture . Freaks & Geeks. Undeclared).4. and the illegal sharing/swapping of MPEG music files 41 . the claymation Chicken Run (2000). DreamWorks (SKG). This was followed by Mouse Hunt (1997). DreamWorks also produced TV shows (Spin City.
1768. ”Encarta Encyclopaedia 2007 Premium” 4. William Benton. Helen Hemingway Benton. ”The New Encyclopaedia Britannica” – volume V. Ripeanuc. Bucuresti. 1989 2. Bujor T. 15TH edition 3.Conclusion Today Hollywood has established itself as the single center of film and television industry.org – Online Encyclopaedia 42 . editureship: Stiintifica si enciclopedica. ”Secolul cinematografului”. Cristina Corciovescu.wikipedia. Bibliography 1. Doina Boeriu. http/en. a vibrant. progressive urban area that looks forward to a new era of pride and glory among stars.
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