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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.
is one of the few reminders of their founding presence. Until the mid-1800. It also had its share of flamboyant settlers. Workers of the tar beds unearthed the bones and teeth of prehistoric saber-toothed cats. In 1853. including one named “Greek George". including the new owners of Rancho La Brea (now Hollywood). straight out of central casting. "Cahuenga". meaning "little hills" in their language. the natives vanished with hardly a trace. a Spanish priest noted Indian villages with their brush huts scattered in the canyons. By 1870. When the Mexican War broke out. to Los Angeles County. Before Hollywood became an entertainment mecca. citrus groves and… stray camels. Hollywood was basically a frontier town complete with Westward Ho. woolly mammoths and dinosaurs. known as the La Brea Tar Pits. George arrived in the Cahuenga Valley with a drove of camels imported from Turkey. pioneers. Adobes were replaced with wood frame houses with porches and windmills. During the 19th century. After the first Spanish city of Los Angeles was established. Mexico controlled California until the Mexican War of 1947. in the area now known as Hollywood. 5 . wound up in the hands of a family who built a tar refinery. lost their sprawling estates to farmers from the East. The first recorded human residents of 'Hollywood' were the Indians. Rancho La Brea. When the United States defeated Mexico in the Mexican War of 1847. 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. the original Mexican landowners. one adobe hut stood on the site that became Hollywood. Mexican landowners were replaced by farmers from the East. an agricultural community flourished in the area with thriving crops. Hollywood between 1800-1922 1. with the help of some slippery laws. The family eventually gave the remarkable fossil beds.1. the vast reaches and resources of California belonged to Mexico.1 The beginning of Hollywood There was a time when the only stars in Hollywood were found in the night skies. George simply set the camels loose. cowboys and the occasional bandit. After the war. it was home of pioneers. arching over quiet farms and adobes. Writing in his diary of 1769. grain to subtropical bananas and pineapples.
home to a Cahuenga Valley ranch. and his wife. Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue. in the Cahuenga Valley at.2The name. and he built his house smack in the middle of a fig orchard. Wilcox bought 160 acres (0. a school and a library. Harvey Henderson Wilcox of Kansas.1. In 1886.. Harvey Wilcox soon drew up a grid map for a town. what is now. the first official appearance of the name Hollywood. Accounts of the name. Daeida was so elated with the name that she "borrowed" it for her ranch in the Cahuenga Valley. Godfearing man and woman settled in to create a like-minded community. which he filed with the county recorder's office on February 1. Mrs.”Hollywood”! name „Hollywood’’ has its origin in a Easter summer. 1887. when she returned home she prevailed on her husband to name their property Hollywood.. The 6 . The name in fact was coined by Daeida Wilcox (1861–1914) who travelled by train to her old home in the east. In the middle of a sun-drenched nowhere. With his wife as a constant advisor. Daeida. On the train. moved to Los Angeles from Topeka in 1883. he carved out Prospect Avenue (later Hollywood Boulevard) for the main street. one of the most famous towns in the world got its name. but the bushes did not last. Hollywood. lining it and the other wide dirt avenues with pepper trees. With that simple exchange. who made a fortune in real estate even though he had lost the use of his legs due to typhoid fever. Wilcox met a woman who described her summer home in Ohio named after a settlement of Dutch immigrants from Zwolle called "Hollywood”. Daeida raised money to build two churches. and began selling lots. coming from imported English holly then growing in the area are incorrect.6 km²) of land in the countryside to the west of the city at the foothills. a sober. They imported some English holly because of the name Hollywood. He thought it would be a perfect site for a community that would reflect his conservative beliefs.
a newspaper. After all the ballots were counted. But Hollywood remained basically a sleepy town. Liquor was prohibited except as a medical prescription. Real estate developers were tempting Easterners to Hollywood with promises of sun.000 people at the time. City hood for Hollywood only lasted six years. with no inkling of what was so soon to come. the residents of the Cahuenga Valley were faced with three pressing problems. Elaborate rail lines crisscrossed the Cahuenga Valley. to Fairfax on the west. a hotel and two markets. Hotels.. a lack of school facilities and a growing sentiment for prohibition. Hollywood Hotel. the vote was eighty-eight for incorporation and seventyseven against. Hollywood's first laws paint a telling portrait of the culture in those early days. Hollywood also had a post office. lay seven miles (11 km) east through the citrus groves. 1905 1907 The intersection of Hollywood and Highland. Hollywood’s population had grown too rapidly for the then existing water and municipal facilities. The streets were not getting the attention in proportion to the tax being levied by the county. Annexation to the City of Los Angeles would assure the burgeoning community of adequate water. 1903 with voting lasting until 5:00 PM. and horses. In 1904." It cut travel time to and from Los Angeles drastically. In August. held in 1910.By 1900. was an overwhelming victory for annexation. churches and extravagant residences popped up. bicycles and velocipedes were prohibited on sidewalks. wide boulevards and palatial homes. The system was called "the Hollywood boulevard. but service was infrequent and the trip took two hours. 1903. 7 . Shortly after the turn of the century. schools. sewage and municipal services. Los Angeles. Hollywood became a city of the sixth class with geographic boundaries extending from Normandie on the east. with a population of 100.. and from the top of the Santa Monica Mountains on the north to DeLongpre and Fountain avenues on the south. The election for city hood was held on November 14. a petition was submitted to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors requesting the incorporation of the City of Hollywood. The election. along with a population of 500 people. A single-track streetcar line ran down the middle of Prospect Avenue from Los Angeles. Hardly the live-it-up tinsel town it would become in two short decades. a new trolley car track running from Los Angeles to Hollywood up Prospect Avenue was opened. Hollywood became part of Los Angeles. cattle and mules were no to be driven through Hollywood streets in herds of more than 200. Herds of more than 2000 hogs or sheep were banned if unattended by a "competent man".
Porter . he experimented with longer films. flip-card device similar in size to a Kinetoscope. "movies" were like an irrepressible toddler. formed by British-born Americans J. Porter (1869-1941). their first motion picture machine was the Mutoscope . Herman Caster.a peephole. Edison was actually 8 . in Chicago by William Selig. Instead of using film.4 The Films of Edwin S.S. That and lawsuits brought by Thomas Edison against film bootleggers spurred an almost-overnight exodus from New York. who worked in different film genres. The Selig Polyscope Company (originally called the Mutuscope & Film Company). taking on fluid narrative forms. were in the late 1800s and early 1900s. American Vitagraph Company (1896). L. and being edited for the first time. The six-minute narrative film combined re-enacted scenes and documentary footage. Word of Hollywood's film-friendly climate spread like wildfire. Stuart Blackton and Albert E.the "Father of the Story Film" "Moving pictures" were increasing in length. Edison intensely fought for control of 'his' movie industry by harrassing. the company specialized in slapstick comedies and travel films The 1. What may now seem a rather rudimentary product created a sensation: viewers were mesmerized by these pictures that moved. who in 1898 had patented an improved Beadnell projector with a steadier and brighter image. with its headquarters in West Orange.the Biograph. and were re-named the Biograph Company in 1909 . This was followed by a projector . Hollywood. founded in 1895 in New York by William K. its first fictional film was The Burglar on the Roof. Dickson. was born. a spinning set of photographs mounted on a drum inside the cabinet gave the impression of motion. sue-ing. The Life of an American Fireman (1903). Initially. or buying patents from anyone he thought was threatening his company. was also using film cameras to record news events. that was demonstrated in New York City in 1896.1. afterwards. was founded in 1896. filmed and released in 1897. the film capital. Porter was one of the resident Kinetoscope operators and directors at the Edison Company Studios in the early 1900s. Smith. and was dramatically edited with inter-cutting between the exterior and interior of a burning house.3 US movie development key years in the development of the cinema in the U. and was responsible for directing the first American documentary or realistic narrative film. Griffith in 1908 (who became one of the pioneers of silent film). Harry Marvin and Elias Koopman. The Edison Company . American Mutoscope Company.The first "film people" arrived in Hollywood in 1907. At Edison's Company. In the first decade of the 20th century.began producing films for the Kinetoscope in 1891. Inventor and former projectionist Edwin S.
W. Porter also developed the process of film editing . The film was the one-reel. full-screen closeup (placed at either the beginning or at the end of the film at the discretion of the exhibitor).5. approximately 10-minute long The Great Train Robbery (1903) . The normal admission charge was a nickel (sometimes a dime) . working-class. or vaudeville-type acts. His visual film. sing-along songs. comedies. In an effective. 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. With the combination of film editing and the telling of narrative stories. W. skits.hence the name nickelodeon. Kinetoscope parlors. 14-scene. actors that moved toward (and away from) the camera. foreign-born. a bandit shot his gun directly into the audience. "the master storyteller of film. The first nickelodeon. he had appeared in Edwin S.uncomfortable with Porter's editing techniques. such as Her First Adventure (1908).set many milestones at the time. and storefronts were often converted into nickelodeons. silent films. filmed stage productions or records of live events. penny arcades. the first real movie theatres. Urban. illustrated lectures.a prodigious rate. scary. 1. An unsuccessful young stage actor and writer. and one could spend an evening at the cinema for a cheap entry fee. The film also included exterior scenes.Griffith The greatest American pioneer/auteur in film was Kentucky-born David Wark (D. Griffith's first 9 In ." He was known as the first cinematic auteur or storyteller. immigrant audiences loved the cheap form of entertainment and were the predominent cinema-goers. motion pictures ("flickers") were no longer innovative experiments. They usually remained open from early morning to midnight. One-reel shorts. including his use of close-ups to tell an entertaining story. or novelty pieces were usually accompanied with piano playing. and a camera mounted on a moving train. 1. The demand for more and more films increased the volume of films being produced and raised profits for their producers. showing The Great Train Robbery. lecture halls. Griffith joined The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company in New York City as a director in 1908. Standing-room only shows lasted between ten minutes and an hour. other kinds of 'magic lantern' slide shows. a camera pan with the escaping bandits.a crucial film technique that would further the cinematic art. a small storefront theater or dance hall converted to view films. Porter produced one of the most important and influential films of the time to reveal the possibility of fictional stories on film. was opened in Pittsburgh by Harry Davis in June of 1905.5 Expanded Film Exhibition the early 1900s.D. chases on horseback. He was expected to direct/produce two one-reel films each week .1 The master storyteller of film.it was based on a real-life train heist and was a loose adaptation of a popular stage production. They soon became an escapist entertainment medium for the workingclass masses. Caught by Wireless (1908) Inspired by the experience. melodramas. and not particularly artistic by today's standards . Most early films were not much more than short.) Griffith.
and two-reelers (15-30 minutes in length) over a period of four years for Biograph. Sam Goldwyn (originally named Goldfish) . which was the first motion picture piece of art. Carl Laemmle. we actually show it — vividly. completely. followed by The Red Man and Child (1908). convincingly. The Warner brothers 10 . released by Biograph. realistic. He also trained and created his own company or stock of 'players' . including Fighting Blood (1911) and Under Burning Skies (1912). He went on to direct over 60 short films the following year. will change the world.W. 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. such as A Corner in Wheat (1909). more comprehensively than it ever did .W. although his name never appeared in the credits. Contributing to the modern language of cinema. fades. backlighting. that bought shorts and then rented them to exhibitors at lower rates. D. said Griffith at the time. he used the camera and film in new. and adventure tales. In the one-reel The Lonely Villa (1909) with Mary Pickford. cross-cutting (showing two simultaneous actions that build toward a tense climax). frequent closeups to observe details. and nothing ever devised by the mind of man can show it like moving pictures. . to exhibitors.and would later bring them to artistic perfection in order to shape the film's narrative. films (and the necessary projection machinery and equipment) were sold. etc. As film production increased. or describe how a thing 'looks'. flashbacks. "The human race will think more rapidly. melodramas.5. naturalistic. or distributors in nickelodeons: Adolph Zukor. investors. Griffith raised the bar immeasurably in 1915 with The Birth of a Nation. lens filters. Movies. more functional. D. It is the ever-present. At first.the Warner brothers. soft-focus. Weighing in at 190 minutes. it signaled the enormous possibilities of the feature film. His early films were mostly westerns.including such newcomers (and future stars) . historical epics. He made over 400 one. Griffith directed the first film made in Hollywood. They realized that further profits could be derived from new systems of distribution. romances. the first of his films to be reviewed by Variety. a Biograph melodrama. William Fox. more intelligently. comedies. was The Adventures of Dolly (1908). cinema owner William Fox was one of the first (in 1904) to form a distribution company (a regional rental exchange). Jesse Lasky.2 The Growing Film Industry: Businessmen soon became interested in the burgeoning movie industry. actual now that 'gets' the great American public. far shots and medium shots. Indeed. We don't 'talk' about things happening. not rented." 1.) and systematized their use . irises.contracted film. he experimented with early lighting and camera techniques (closeups. Louis B. fade-outs. intercutting. and by expanding the film audience to the middle-class. varied shot depths including establishing shots. increased use of locations. . dissolves. traveling shots and camera movement. and experimental/artificial lighting and shading/tinting. Marcus Loew. low-key light sources. mobile ways with composed shots. changing camera angles. In many of these short films. Mayer. exhibitors. split-screens. Griffith employed his most sophisticated use to date of the cinematic technique of "cross-cutting" to build up tension within scenes. and children. Some of the biggest names in the film business got their start as proprietors. parallel editing. In Old California (1910). women.
the MPPC was fought by the unlicensed independents (dubbed "pirates" or "outlaws").4 IMP (the Independent Moving Pictures) Company: From the very beginning. charged royalties/fees on exhibitors using their movie equipment ($2/week). Lubin. Sam. The newly-formed cartel. Albert. the MPPC formed the General Film Company to further manage the distribution of its members' films. and Jack) opened their first theatre. One who had journeyed West was movie mogul Carl Laemmle. They threatened sanctions to prevent exhibitors from showing non-Trust films or from renting non-Trust projectors. production. 11 or . obtaining their own film materials. IMP's first film was Hiawatha (1909). refused to give screen credits to players. they moved to California and opened up a rival film-making industry.3 The Edison 'Trust' In 1908.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. Pictures) to distribute films.(Harry. Kleine Company. By 1909. the Cascade. and preventing film stock from getting into the hands of non-members.5. was accomplished by raising admission prices. the MPPC was created to legally control distribution. led by the feisty renegade Carl Laemmle. In 1910. soon renamed the Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) Company in New York. From 1909 on. specifically in New York and on the East Coast. stealthy. Laemmle entered into film production as the Yankee Film Company. to stifle upand-coming independent film makers.5. now a maverick film distributor with his own company founded in 1909 . Soon. William Fox (founder of the Fox Film Corporation). and adventurous independents avoided coercive MPPC restrictions by using unlicensed equipment. 1. and making films on the sly. they pooled their resources. Star Films or Pictures. Aitken (Majestic Films). with agents and detectives to enforce its rules. Others who fought the MPPC included Harry E. 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. Essanay Studios. Kalem Company. mostly a group of nine leading East Coast-centered companies: Biograph. formed a partnership or consortium to become cooperative rather than competitive(Motion Picture Patents Company or MPPC). limiting censorship by cooperating with regulatory bodies. 1. and stamp out non-licensed independents. led by the Edison Film Manufacturing Company. and then in 1904 founded the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company (the precursor to Warner Bros. The flexible. Selig Polyscope Company . . and legally monopolized the growing American film industry. in New Castle. Pathe Pictures. The burgeoning monopolistic trust limited the length of films to one or two reels. and Adolph Zukor (Famous Players. and exhibition of films. Pennsylvania in 1903. the precursor to Paramount). Their main goal.
director Erich von Stroheim's first film Blind Husbands (1919). dialogue titles (first used in 1910) came into popular use. from the merger of many independent companies. and credits started to appear in films. Cahuenga. Acres of land south of what-isnow. The needs of this new industry created changes in the communitycausing a between older and residents. and the film star system were coming quickly. the development of the star system. IMP's first feature-length film . The film business turned Hollywood on its ear.was the melodrama Traffic in Souls (1913) (aka While New York Sleeps).. and its first talkie Melody of Love (1928) with Walter Pidgeon.the first American feature-length sex film . The company was also successful with films that were adaptations of classic literature. the take-over of cinema by businessmen and entrepreneurs.hence. with directors conveniently recasting the horses and cows in their many westerns.the precursor to Universal Pictures in 1915. although its record earnings were $450. The population boomed. It was the most expensive feature film of its time at $5. such as one of the earliest versions of Dr. the studio system. By 1911. IMP became Universal Film Manufacturing Co.Hollywood were subdivided and as housing for the numbers of workers that making required. Jekyll and Mr. It wasn't long before nearly all the 12 . 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. or Universal Films . Rupert Julian's Phantom of the Opera (1925) with Lon Chaney. Film replaced farm and frontier. and at Vine. as opposed to the standard-length one-reel films produced by the MPPC. And they realized that audiences desired to learn the names of uncredited film performers .. In 1912.000. Hyde (1915) with King Baggot. multi-reel feature films. 1.700. Hollywood was in the midst of what has been justly labeled an overnight transformation.6 The new Hollywood 1913. or Lois Weber's moralistic message picture Where Are My Children? (1916) about birth control. The growth of Hollywood. Real banks and business were booked on weekends for film hold-ups.IMP was innovative in their making of longer. Movie studios literally operated out of barns. Movie studios were literally sharing space in Hollywood barns with bemused livestock. and the streets were roped off for car crashes.
from all over the globe. glamorous addresses.000 people who started at the screen's ladder of fame -. It may save disappointments.ONLY FIVE REACHED THE TOP!" Dozens of small studios were engaged in a cutthroat battle for survival. Hollywood boasted famous names like Mary Pickford and Charles Chaplin. as much as anything. Many went bust as quickly as they surfaced. while derailing the European cinema. Small studios set up shop near Sunset and Gower. which. Warners and Fox were the disseminators of the celluloid champagne. catering to the demands of the burgeoning film industry.7 Stars. Certainly the great dream factories like MGM. Grauman out did his exotic extravaganza with his new Chinese Theatre. Banks. 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.. Just a few years later. 1916. Would-be stars and would-be studios crashed and burned while a new breed of super-stars and all-powerful studios emerged. clubs and movie palaces sprang up. and.. columns and murals. Hollywood's familiar skyline of multi-storied hotels and apartments appeared. 1. the film industry had created a new "gold rush" town. Stars as Marilyn Monroe.. Hollywood also boasted of the most extraordinary "movie palaces" in the country. With a frenzy gold rush on Hollywood.homes along the Boulevard were replaced by commercial buildings linking the three corners. Out of 100. Grauman's Egyptian Theater celebrated the rage of all things Egyptian that had begun with the recent unearthing of King's Tut's tomb. Donna Reed and Kim Novak passed through its doors on their way to the spot light. Grauman's was unveiled in 1922 on Hollywood Boulevard. After the First World War. and their high mortality By 13 . Until 1920. The Hollywood landscape changed dramatically as the town struggled to keep up with the demands of a swelling population and booming industry. people usually chose what they would pay to see by whose name was on the marquee. Hollywood's population grew at breakneck pace: from 5000 in 1910 to 36000 by 1920. Hollywood was luring hopeful tar and starlets. and high-rise skyline sprung up like wild flowers changing the landscape forever. as now. infamous clubs. who was earning $15 elsewhere.The Hollywood Studio Club provided refuge for the would-be starlets for decacades. Barbara Eden. the star system defined the American movie. temples. young girls and boys seeking for celebrity. in one short decade. Movies places. A mélange of sphinxes. left American moviemaking as the leader of the pack. Rumors of stars making $3000 a week in Hollywood lured the average Joe and Josephine. Nation was made during World War I. but then. Restaurants. The imported pagodas and authentic rare Chinese artifacts wowed the public and guaranteed him a place in Hollywood history. the Chamber of Commerce felt obliged to take out newspaper ads warning: "Don't try to break intro the movies in Hollywood.
Stars were not free to seek their own contracts during these years and very often stars would be "loaned" by one studio to another. Hundreds of "movie cowboys" and assorted extras would linger on that corner. The most infamous address in this infamous town was the Garden of Allah at 8150 Sunset. Addresses like the Garden Court or The Chateau Elysee took on the glamour of stars like Gable and Lombard who resided there. divorces. John O'hara. 40 million Americans were going to the movies each week. "Poverty Row. 14 .rate led to the nickname. Tallulah Bankhead and Clara Bow called it home. Films produced were of mediocre standard. and 20 major Hollywood studios were churning out fare for their insatiable appetites. they would tell of robberies. People were thrilled simply to drive by these castles. and is still referred to that nickname by Los Angelinos today. By 1920. Opening night in 1921 kicked off with a decadent 18-hour party that had troubadours playing madrigals from the middle of the pool. murders. The party raged for 32 years. Soon Americans had heard of the 'Hollywood mythology' . many went home disappointed and broke. hoping that they would be picked by directors on Hollywood Boulevard and earn big bucks. If those walls could talk. That spot was thereby nicknamed "Gower Gulch". photos of them to cut out and kiss. orgies. Actors lived in fantasy homes in Hollywood (and later Beverly Hills). There were magazines and books devoted to them.'You can move to Hollywood and change your life. Of course. 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. but the fame that came with being an actor was the driving force that kept the stars working. fights. suicides and drunken revelries. feverish for a casting call. truly. hoping beyond hope they might catch sight of a Theda Bara or a Tom Mix.' Many people believed this and moved from their hometown to Hollywood. They were. American royalty.
2 m) high white letters. and has undergone periodic restoration over the years. Hollywood between 1922-1948 2. but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled. The Hollywoodland Real Estate Group unleashed one of history's brashest and longest-lived promotions. California.2. The sign is now a registered trademark and cannot be used without the permission of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. In 15 . spelling out the name of the area in 50-foot (15.Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. a Sign was born . It was created as an advertisement in 1923. The sign is a frequent target of pranks and vandalism. In the course of that event. which also manages the Walk of Fame.1 The Hollywood Sign 1923.
lost control of the vehicle. as she saw the sign as a symbol of the industry that had rejected her. The sign was officially dedicated on July 13. but spent most of the brutally hot summer of '32 just hanging around her uncle's house. In September of 1932. It was not intended to be permanent. as was the "H". Kothe was driving his car up to the top of Mount Lee drunk. Some sources say its expected life was to be about a year and a half the Sign has survived eight decades . that a land syndicate he was involved in make a similar sign to advertise their land.The original "Hollywoodland" sign in the 1920s The sign from the Hollywood Hills The sign originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND. waiting for a phone call that never came. While Kothe was not injured. Peg was a young girl longing to create herself an astonishing career. In 1949. H." during the early 1940s. glamour.J." They contracted the Crescent Sign Company to erect thirteen letters on the hillside. the 1928 Ford Model A was destroyed. The magical world of movies did not embrace this graduate of the world-famous Thater Guild. Thomas Fisk Goff (1890-1984) designed the sign. 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. She did some auditions. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler. the owner of the Los Angeles Times. 1923. money. each facing south." and its purpose was to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. and was studded with some 4000 light bulbs. actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter "H". as seen in many historical pictures. and stumbled off the cliff behind the "H". Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights. Albert Kothe (the sign's official caretaker) caused an accident that destroyed the letter "H".and is still going strong. dreaming to fame. it opted not to replace 16 . At the beginning The Hollywood Sigh simbolized the the dreams and the hopes of the young actors from all over the world. According to the summer 2006 edition of "The Beachwood Voice. 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. Each letter of the sign was 30 feet (9 m) wide and 50 feet (15 m) high. The sign company owner. Because the city dictated that all subsequent illumination would be at the cost of the Chamber. offering to remove the last four letters and to repair the rest. the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in. which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine.
and the elegant shops and restaurants left with them.2 The Birth of the Talkies 17 . but the wooden and sheet metal sign continued to deteriorate in the open air of the Hollywood Hills.700 apiece to sponsor replacement letters made of Australian steel. here was an aristocracy anyone could join. the Chamber set out to replace the intensely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure. many stars moved to Beverly Hills. Temptingly. Hollywood became known as the place in America where anything was possible. In 1922. By the mid-20s. four of the most creative big-wigs.the light bulbs.3 to 11. as workers stripped the letters back to their metal base and repainted them white. The stars themselves were the nearest thing in America to royalty. imported cars. donated by Bay Cal Commercial Painting[. Although much of the studio work remained in Hollywood.7 m) high and ranged from 31 to 39 feet (9. the neighborhood changed again. Hollywood was the Dream Factory. The new version of the sign was unveiled on Hollywood's 75th anniversary. Bliss sold the sign to artist Bill Mack. A shakeout created the Mega-Studios that would eventually control the industry. began again in November 2005. Eventually. Nine donors gave $27. 1978. Charlie Chaplin. the original 1923 sign was put up for sale on eBay by producer/entrepreneur Dan Bliss. Mary Pickford. Screen stars built strange and elaborate mansions along Sunset Boulevard. mega-studios resembled corporate kingdoms. with serfs busily building sets and cutting footage. 2.Griffith created United Artists to put film making in the hands of the talent. They drove around in expensive. before a live television audience of 60 million people.W. 2. Only two years earlier. ruled by and all-powerful monarch. for instance. Stars soon made Beverly Hills and Silver Lake into America's most glamorous postal addresses. Also in 2005. Refurbishment. In 1978. Douglas Fairbanks and D. took drugs. and the third "O" fell down completely leaving the severely dilapidated sign reading "HuLLYWO D".8 m) wide. the film capital of California had moved from Santa Barbara to Hollywood. Hollywood itself has been anything but static and after a few decades as the capital of film glamour. Eventually the first "O" splintered and broke off resembling a lowercase "u". The 1949 effort gave it new life. November 14. and were openly promiscuous (casual about having many sexual partners).2 Dream Factory 1922 marked the beginning of a new era in Hollywood. These new letters were each 45 feet (13. public opinion turned against them. guaranteed to last for many years (see Donors section below).
Originally. The first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack (canned music and sound effects recorded on large wax discs). advanced Movietone system . Director Alan Crosland's expensive film failed to create the sensation that Warners had hoped for. and even full-scale orchestras. and Western Electric). with the formation of the Vitaphone Company (a subsidiary created by Warner Bros. Warner Bros. romantic swashbuckler adventure Don Juan (1926). There would be two competing sound or recording systems developed during the early 'talkie' period: sound-ondisc. William Fox of the Fox Film Corporation responded to Warners' success with its own similar and competing. It added a 'soundtrack' directly onto the strip of film and would By 18 . they were never really silent but accompanied by sound organs. mostly comedies and vaudeville acts. live actors who delivered dialogue. but without spoken dialogue.. Warners invested over $3 million in outfitting its 'picture palaces' to show Vitaphone films. with Bell Telephone Laboratory researchers.the first commercially successful sound-onfilm process developed in conjunction with General Electric.but it was destined to be faulty due to inherent synchronization problems. among others. and sound-on-film. Warner Bros. Most of the studios started to convert from silent to sound film production . 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). 1926. America technologically revolutionized the entire industry. and went into debt because of it. musicians.not dialogue. In the mid 1920s. This process allowed sound to be recorded on a phonograph record that was electronically linked and synchronized with the film projector . In 1925-26. the art of silent film had become remarkably mature. gramophone discs. featuring musical comedy and recording star Al Jolson.a tremendous capital investment. sound effects specialists. launched sound and talking pictures.the late 1920s. and starred John Barrymore (nicknamed "The Great Profile") as the hand-kissing womanizer (the number of kisses in the film set a record). Although called silents. was Warner Bros. Thousands of existing theaters had to be rewired for sound at great expense. In 1926. The process was first used for short one.and two-reel films. intended to use the system to record only music and sound effects . The prestigious production was premiered in New York on August 6. The second Vitaphone production was The Better 'Ole (1926).
They were further astonished by his talking to his mother (Eugenie Besserer) in an extemporaneous way after singing Blue Skies. 2. Loew's.with only about 350 'spontaneously spoken' words. to avoid an inevitable patent war. 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. The sound era was officially inaugurated when audiences saw Russian-born American vaudeville star Al Jolson. adapted from Samson Raphaelson's successful 1925-26 musical stage play (that starred George Jessel in the Broadway role). [This system would soon replace the inflexible Vitaphone system because it was easier to synchronize the sound. The gangster genre drew on public concern with crime as well as the notoriety of famous criminal gang leaders. 1926. also directed by Alan Crosland for Warner Bros. Producer Sam Warner died one day before the film's premiere at Warners' Theatre in New York City. Little Caesar (1930) made actor Edward G.a song called Dirty Hands. standardized sound system. The Jazz Singer (1927). and that talkie films would be the wave of the future. and the film's final song Mammy.1 Gangster and Musical Films Two new genres that flourished with the coming of sound were gangster films and musicals. Jolson proved his boast by continuing to sing Toot." after the film's first musical interlude .] 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. It was the first feature-length talkie (and first musical). Much of the crime arose from illegal activities during the Prohibition era.eventually become the predominant sound technology. In May 1928. 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. from 1920 to 1933. revolutionized motion pictures forever. The other major film studios (Paramount.3. 19 . at a budget of about $500. Here was a revolutionary film that was mostly silent . 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). It was also the most expensive film in the studio's history. 1927. but with six songs (in the film's partly-synchronized musical soundtrack). Early sound gangster films played up violence among ethnic urban gangs. in reallife.3 Movie genres 2. Toot. Dirty Face.000. and because he was. First National and UA) realized the expensive and challenging ramifications of the sound revolution that was dawning. and first heard him improvise a song's introduction: "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet.. Robinson a star in the role of Italian American Rico Bandello. Tootsie. when the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages were outlawed in the United States. The film was about an aspiring Jewish cantor's son who wanted to become a jazz singer rather than a cantor in the synagogue.
Five large companies—Fox (later Twentieth-Century Fox). released a series of musicals that broke with stage conventions. This body monitored scripts and finished films and eliminated dialogue. RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum).3 The Vehicles Studio System and Star An older genre that gained a round of mergers in the American motionpicture industry.3. scenes. in particular the dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in such films as Top Hat (1935) and Swing Time (1936). and to strengthen its enforcement by adding a Production Code Administration in 1934. While state and local censorship bodies existed. exerting a level of control that the U. These included 42nd Street. Musical films seemed a logical outcome of recorded sound. directed by American Tod Browning. Paramount. these two works (themselves remakes of silent films) became classics that directors have continued to remake. 2. all choreographed by American Busby Berkeley. and Warner Bros. or story lines that violated the code’s regulations The advent of sound launched 20 . filming large groups of dancers from multiple viewpoints to create unique cinematic spectacles. Studios employed directors and performers under long-term contracts. Another type of movie musical featured individual performers. Universal. and United Artists were also important but exerted less control since they did not own theaters. Sound made more imperative the desire of many religious groups and social reformers to control motion-picture content. and they developed a star system as a means of promoting and selling films. Loew’s Incorporated (later Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). The heavy voice of Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi gave new thrills to audiences in the vampire film Dracula (1931). But the genre gained wide popular appeal only after Warner Bros. Columbia. In Frankenstein (1931). Based on 19th-century novels. outside pressures led the movie companies to establish a Production Code in 1930.3. 2. Gold Diggers of 1933. and Footlight Parade (all 1933). with numerous variations.—functioned as producers.S. drawing on Broadway stage formats. government challenged successfully in 1948 as constituting a monopoly and thus illegal.2 Horror Films new energy with the coming of sound was the horror film. distributors. So-called star vehicles were crafted to display the particular appeal of the studios’ most popular stars. reshaping the Hollywood studio system. and exhibitors.and actor James Cagney won fame portraying Irish American Tom Powers in The Public Enemy (1931). directed by British-born filmmaker James Whale. British-born actor Boris Karloff created a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of the lumbering monster brought to life by an ambitious scientist.
The AMPAS organization established the Academy Awards in the late 1920s and first announced them in February 1929. The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937). Through most of its history. When projected. one frame at a time. the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded in 1927 with Douglas Fairbanks as president. In 1935 Time magazine launched a monthly documentary film series. John Ford.4 The American Documentary film movement developed in the United States during the 1930s. Disney also pioneered the use of color animation.5 Animated Film As in Britain. which was the third film to feature the popular Mickey Mouse character. 2.3. seven films that sought to explain the war’s background and the reasons for U. Steamboat Willie (1928). see Computer Animation. The March of Time.S. to recognize and reward excellence within the film industry. and other behavior.) Walt Disney made the first animated cartoon with synchronized sound. and then distributed them in mid-May of 1929 for films opening between August-1927 and late July-1928. that ran until 1951. He began making feature-length animated films in color with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). (In the 1990s the use of computer graphics in creating animated images became more frequent. The code remained in effect until the mid-1960s. producing the short Flowers and Trees (1932). the first film released in the three-color Technicolor process. this form of filmmaking has involved recording a series of drawings or manipulating inanimate objects. with important works produced both by independent filmmakers and by the federal government. 2. John Huston. 2. 21 . crime. involvement. For the Department of Agriculture. and other Hollywood directors joined the armed forces and made war-related documentaries. former journalist Pare Lorentz made two films dealing with Depression-era farming and environmental issues. a documentary in popularity with the coming of sound. Capra supervised the Why We Fight series (19421945). and Huston’s The Battle of San Pietro (1945) depicted the grim consequences of warfare in the Italian campaign. During World War II Frank Capra.4 The Beginning of the Academy Awards Fion gained The non-profit organization. drug use. William Wyler. the sequence of frames takes on the illusion of motion.3.concerning the depiction of sex.
a new 'sound' was on the rise. KHJ and KFI hit the waves. Hollywood became a playground for celebrities eager to get themselves noticed. especially in decreased movie theatre attendance. As crimewriter Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) put it: "In L. directors. The Jazz Singer (1927). Dorothy Parker (1893– 1967). and technicians arrived from Europe to work for the studios. Famous writers like F. Talented actors. Wings (1927). with many silent film stars not making the transition to sound (e. featured exciting aerial combat sequences and starred Clara Bow and a young actor named Gary Cooper. social-realism films. Although it wasn't the broadcasting capital.In the first year of the Academy Awards' presentations. declared ineligible for the Best Picture award.A. historical biopics. KNX. By 1930 radio programming had evolved from its primitive crystal set beginnings. John Gilbert. 2. newspaper-reporting films. lighthearted screwball comedies. coming at the end of a cycle of films about WWI. and the further development of film genres (gangster films. and Norma Talmadge). The Coconut Grove on Wilshire Boulevard. was given a special award for revolutionizing the industry. separate awards (not known as Oscar quite yet) were given for Best Production (now termed Best Picture). 2. 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. Hollywood's radio pioneers were relentless in their promotional zeal.6 Hollywood During the War Years The 22 .g." Meanwhile.. There were two "Best Picture" winners: the financially successful anti-war film. people outdid one another with brash displays of wealth. As ever. westerns and horror to name a few). and there was a sense that anything could be bought. musicals. was one of the first rooms on the West Coast to broadcast a live orchestra via radio. and William Faulkner (1897–1962) made the journey west to work in pictures. The founder of KNX once managed to broadcast a murder trial after his reporters were thrown out of the courtroom. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940). The 30s was also the decade of the sound and color revolutions and the advance of the 'talkies'. By 1933. Wellman's Wings (1927) for Best Production and Sunrise (1927) for Best Unique and Artistic Picture (a category that was immediately dropped).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). the economic effects of the Depression were being strongly felt. These films were the only silent films ever to win the Academy Award for 'Best Picture'. playground to the glitterati. It was the era in which the silent period ended. Vilmy Banky. William A. In 1932 Hollywood's first three station. Private lives became public property.
During WWII. The 23 . there were no lavish historical epics and no expensive car chases or crashes. and safety standards on the set as major provisions. newsreel or short film-makers. served as an important propaganda agency during World War II. like every other aspect of life. responded to the national war effort by making movies. as they had done during the Depression years of the 30s. cinematography and use of color) meant that films were more watchable and 'modern'. Advances in film technology (sound recording. However. Stars like Clarck Gable. pension and health plans. Studios hoarded their precious two punds of hairpins a month. and train shots were nixed. Vying for recognition. educators. with all-time highs recorded for theatre attendance. actors could expect little more than $15 a day working under the harshest conditions.early years of the 40s decade were not promising for the American film industry. and the resultant loss of foreign markets. entertainers. during the darkest days of the Depression. space psychodramas and the Age of Film Noir replaced the grand and costly extravaganzas of years past. Jimmy Steewart and Victor Mature quickly enlisted. World War II impacted every aspect of film production in Hollywood. whether as combatants. special effects. residuals. now that the technical challenges of the early 30s sound era were far behind. Hollywood film production rebounded and reached its profitable peak of efficiency during the years 1943 to 1946 . Nails were counted at each studio. in 1933. Even so. lighting. Hollywood's most profitable year in the decade was 1946. and sets were made so that a post office could be quickly turned into an airport. regulation of talent agents. Tinseltown aided in the defensive mobilization. The US government's Office of War Information (OWI). Distant or exotic locations were no longer and option. The government seized the nation's supply of rolling stock. actors were ordered to take a 50% pay cut because of falling profits at the box office. In the Hollywood of the 1930's. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th the entertainment industry became a full-time war industry. Sea shots were prohibited from Seattle to San Diego. fund-raisers for relief funds or war bonds. It was then that a small group of actors decided to organize. Lavish sets were a casualty of materials shortages. They formed a self-governing guild that today we know as Screen Actors Guild. It included wage increases. or morale-boosters. The world was headed toward rearmament and warfare in the early to mid1940s. and having stars (and film industry employees) enlist or report for duty. Films took on a more realistic rather than escapist tone. producing many war-time favorites.a full decade and more after the rise of sound film production. and the movie industry. and coordinated its efforts with the film industry to record and photograph the nation's war-time activities. air raid blackouts eliminated all night filming. documentary. Out of necessity. propagandists. Studio trucks transported troops instead of movie sets. formed in 1942. the guild finally received its first union-shop contract in 1937. Following the end of the war. while wartime restrictions and shortages dramatically changed the way movies were made. especially following the late 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
They slept in parks and theater lobbies. the company went on to become one of the top three in the industry. until "Mom" Lehr's Hollywood Guild and Canteen began offering them a bed and three meals a day. In 1940. 1. Returning soldiers outnumbered civilians in downtown Hollywood ten to one. music became the craze to the ears of the nation. and 150. Hollywood between 1948-1992 3. John Loder and John Garfield. washed dished and sang. Wallich's popularity with his record store spurred him to partner with Johnny Mercer two years later to form Capitol Records. The busyboys: Fred MacMurray.500 pounds of coffee. Illinois. The record store became so popular with students from both Hollywood and Fairfax high schools. Olivia de Havilland and Greer Garson played hostess. 100. drink and top Big Bands.1 TV Era 24 . erasing the distinction between stars and regular people. 3. Glenn Wallichs built his famous Wallichs' Music. and Hollywood pulled together to feed. Returning soldiers swelled the city's population. that it sold more records than any store west of Chicago. Hollywood's most famous names volunteered their time and services in the name of the war effort. Basil Rarhbone. Hollywood could shape the world through radio and the record industry. By pioneering marketing strategies coupled with album design. Marlene Dietrich cut take. All 6000 radio and screen entertainers volunteered. The similar-sounding Hollywood Canteen catered to 2000 servicemen who would jam the club each night for free food.000 loaves of bread. shelter and entertain them. to profit form this upcoming trend. Like never before.With the downsizing of the movie industry.000 pieces of cake. 800 stayed with Mom on a week night 1. Betty Grable.000 soldiers a month devoured 4. War drew Hollywood together as a close-knit family. On average.200 on weekends.
and sound stages went back. When TV started filming programs. CBS's slogan for the shows taped there was "From Television City in Hollywood. and porn shows. with characteristic resilience. however. box office receipts were down 45% from wartime heights. On January 22. with Cecil B. Television companies snatched up old studios and back lots.1 New Technologies:Home Entertainment . In December of that year.. but its unique circular design looks like a stack of old 45rpm vinyl records.. although the district's outward appearance changed.Video. more sound stages were producing television than movies. continued to migrate to different parts of the Los Angeles area. made the transition to TV. It is a recording studio not open to the public. and a series of rulings on obscenity changed what could be shown at a movie theater. music recording studios and offices began moving into Hollywood. By the end of the 50s.In 1948. and Sound 25 . The culprit: television. Hollywood was there to corner the market. CBS's expansion into the Fairfax District pushed the unofficial boundary of Hollywood further south than it had been. In 1949. Much of the movie industry remained in Hollywood. 3. Hollywood. stereo sound. 'adult' bookstores. The mid-60s celebrated free speech.000 to more than 12 million. Studios cut payrolls. In 1952. Hollywood was the victim of a mass exodus of residents to suburbs in the Valley. 1947. primarily to Burbank. began operating in Hollywood. Hollywood became overrun with 'adult' theaters. back lots sprouted weeds. And in the 1950s. 3D. 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. Cable TV. the first Hollywood movie production was made for TV. From '46 to '51. Other businesses. Technicolor. Symbolically. DeMille opening the program.1. the first commercial TV station west of the Mississippi River. KTLA. removing the letters that spelled "LAND" and repairing the rest. They were opting for malls and multiplex cinemas over Mann's and the Boulevard. the emcee for Hollywood's first TV show was film star Bob Hope. The Public Prosecutor. Film scrambled for a rash of new gimmicks: wide screens. the Chamber of Commerce came to the ailing Sign's rescue. the number of TV sets in American homes went from 10." The famous Capitol Records building on Vine Street just north of Hollywood Boulevard was built in 1956.
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. and 1/2 inch videocassettes (in the VHS format) in the 80s encouraged broader distribution of films. On the other hand. [In 1989.] The spread of access to cable television (and satellite broadcasts) threatened traditional one-screen theatres and film attendance.sometimes outpacing box-office profits. and Dolby SR ("spectral recording") (all designed to produce higher quality sound. The pre-recorded video of Disney's Sleeping Beauty (1959) brought sales of over a million copies when it was released in 1986. multi-plex movie theatres with multiple screens spread across the country during the 80s. direct broadcast satellites.] 3. [In 1992. the THX sound system (named after George Lucas' first feature film). Columbia Pictures. Multi-track Dolby stereo sound. and advertised as a special feature for films such as Amadeus (1984) and Aliens (1986). surround-sound and other special effects) were introduced in the 70s and 80s. the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Universal v.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) surpassed 15 million! Tri-Star Pictures Motion Picture Company..] Many studios entered the business of producing films for commercial TV networks. one of Hollywood's major producer/distributors. noise reduction. while the number of drive-in theatres drastically declined. The first movie to be shown in a THX-certified auditorium was Return of the Jedi (1983).T. [In an influential decision. And then to illustrate the burgeoning video industry over the next few years.Cable TV networks. and the release of their films for the home entertainment-video market became a profitable rental-sales business. a new technology dubbed Dolby Digital was introduced to movie-goers in Batman Returns (1992). 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. was created in 1983 as a joint venture of CBS Inc. 1988 sales of E. and then DTS Digital Sound made its debut in Jurassic Park (1993).2 Blacklists and bankruptcy 26 . and Time-Life's premium cable service Home Box Office (HBO) (founded in 1972). merged with Warner Communications. Time Inc. Sony Betamax (1984) that home video-taping for personal use was not a copyright infringement.
the Cultural Heritage Board gave the Sign landmark status. Hollywood experienced the flight of film power centers in the turbulent 60s. McCarthy and his henchmen rounded up 19 prominent Hollywood writers. Many other studios went bankrupt after the difficult years of blacklisting and television dominance. The Sign -. 400 Hollywood writers. claiming that "Commies" had infiltrated Hollywood and were producing subversive films. True glamour has always awaited tourists a few miles in Beverly Hills. was set up in the late 1940s to control the moral content of Hollywood movies. television. radio. homeless transients. Antitrust lawsuits broke up the studios' control of film distribution.the downtown shopping district centered around Hollywood Boulevard . After 1939. Many stars found themselves blacklisted (put on a list of people not to be hired) on moral grounds.well. Paranoia and betrayal was a common image seen in fifties America.Hollywood movie industry’s high profile made it vulnerable in the cold post-war climate of anti-liberal hysteria. By 1970. One star survived by selling flowers. run-down area populated by a virtual freak-show of young runaways.1 Films With a 'Social Conscience' the early 1950s. Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy tore Hollywood apart. the Hays Commission. Ten of these victims were sent to jail. another by waiting tables in Arizona. Honorees receive a star based on career and lifetime achievements in motion pictures. For years. 3. actors and directors were blacklisted. Best Picture-nominated western High Noon (1952).had degenerated from a cozy small town into a bad dream of urban blight. wannabe heavy-metal rockers. and/or music. But movies weren't the only game around. a self-regulatory body of the film industry. Hollywood was a major disappointment.2. live theatre. a case study in urban decay and neglect . 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. frenzied traffic. and harried crowds of bewildered tourists wandering the dirty sidewalks while trying to find some hint of former glamour left in the famous city. a veiled anti-McCarthy allegorical film about a marshal (Gary Cooper) in a showdown against evil threats to the The In 27 . In 1973. things began to change. Paranoia and persecution prevailed. but the actual Hollywood area . when McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist had taken a firm hold. as well as their charitable and civic contributions. directors and actors. but it was still in need of tender loving care. it didn't take a Weatherman to show what the elements had done. Paramount was the only major studio left in town.a seedy. To make matters worse. independent producer/director Stanley Kramer was producing the classic. Many people felt the stars had too much power. By the early 50s.
about a black and white prisoner (Sidney Poitier. grim. blacklisted Broadway play actor Lee J. Kramer also tackled the atrocities of Nazi war crimes with Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).it was an example of a sub-genre of criminal/gangster-syndicate films. (1960). the first black actor to star in mainstream Hollywood films in non-stereotyped roles. and race relations (and inter-racial marriage) with Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). the film brought Kramer his first Best Director nomination the thought-provoking. Phil Karlson's The Brothers Rico (1957).community. sex. along with Joseph H. and Tony Curtis) who escaped from a prison chained together. noted for the screen debut of Marlon Brando as a disabled veteran Death of a Salesman (1951). about youth rebellion in the guise of black-jacketed bikers led by the iconic Johnny (Marlon Brando) The Defiant Ones (1958). anti-nuclear film On the Beach (1959). although Mildred Dunnock recreated her stage role as Willy's wife Linda The Wild One (1954). and Burt Balaban and Stuart Rosenberg's CinemaScope Murder. Hitchcock's sombre and noirish The Wrong Man (1956) examined the plight of Henry Fonda as a family man unjustly accused of armed robbery. and the growing power of television. Fred Astaire) in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. pitting courtroom figures (Fredric March and Spencer Tracy) against each other • • • • Later. with Gregory Peck as a stalwart submarine commander Inherit the Wind (1960) . modern-day western/drama about a one-armed stranger (Spencer Tracy) confronting a town's awful. 28 . a screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Anthony Perkins. Lewis' The Big Combo (1955). racist secret. Other powerful films from Kramer with a social conscience and a serious 'message' about sensitive subjects were: • • • • Champion (1949). And Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1954) satirized 50s morals. the film's award-winning script was co-written by blacklisted writer-actor Nedrick Young. 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. with Fredric March as the middle-aged title character Willy Loman. a ground-breaking film about racial prejudice in the Army during WWII The Men (1950). advertising. Inc.a dramatization of the John Scopes 'Monkey Trial' regarding evolution and creationism. a boxing expose-drama with Kirk Douglas Home of the Brave (1949). a doomsday account (based on Nevil Shute's novel) of survivors (Ava Gardner. Cobb was denied the role. Director John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) was a suspenseful. Another definitive film noir was Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953) .
but some filmmakers were willing to take risks. [By the beginning of the next decade."Have you no decency at last.] 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 . Best Song.2 Censorship Challenges: Otto Preminger the mid 1930s. 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). It offered two interracial romances between John Justin and Dorothy Dandridge. and Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine. films exhibited a seal and number. Director Henry Cornelius' I Am A Camera (1955). Otto Preminger's legal drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959) (with Stewart as a crafty defense lawyer) dealt with another taboo subject . Island in the Sun (1957) was daring for its time. and kidnapping. UA Studios resigned from the MPPDA and submitted the film to state censorship boards instead. The Hays Production Code was amended in 1951 (its first major revision since 1934!) with content restrictions for the film subjects of drugs. under director/producer Otto Preminger's direction and starring Frank Sinatra. sir?") as the presiding Judge Weaver." and "mistress" in the dialogue. the pre-cursor to the Broadway musical hit Cabaret. there were other indications that the production code was weakening. in part because of its offensive use of prohibited words such as "virgin. The first studio-produced film from Hollywood that was released without the seal. As the 50s progressed. abortion. a drama about power politics and homosexuality (and Charles Laughton's last film). and Best Film Editing) and great viewer curiosity and box-office publicity due to the controversy. the film received three Academy Award nominations (Best Actress. The film provided the first scene in a US film where a white woman (Joan Fontaine) was kissed by a black man (Harry Belafonte). Nonetheless. Yet the film. UA's stark black and white The Man With the Golden Arm (1955). It featured real-life lawyer Joseph Welch (famous for asking in the Army-McCarthy hearings . Preminger was able to release the controversial Advise and Consent (1962). The constraints of the system were increasingly criticized by the mid1950s. because filmmakers were forced to make changes in their films in order to qualify for a seal of approval. deliberately. 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. was instrumental in breaking the back of the Production Code and bringing in a new era of frank Hollywood movie-making." "seduce. 29 Since .rape. prostitution. since the Hays Code banned miscegenation. a dated sex comedy about seduction and chastity that was also condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency.2." "pregnant. along with Preminger's challenges and other lessening of restrictions on film-makers in 1956. was producer/director Otto Preminger's daring The Moon is Blue (1953). Darryl Zanuck's first independent production. was also denied an approval seal for its subject matter of abortion.3.especially for its gigantic Times Square billboard promoting the film with its star Carroll Baker curled up on a cot sucking her thumb.
Despite this inauspicious commemoration. With the help of these and other extremely generous sponsors. and four consecutive Best Actress Oscar winners portrayed "easy women" or prostitutes: • Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957). Fourteen countries of the Soviet bloc boycotted the event. The 1978 restoration of the Sign was more than a matter of new sheet metal and steel pipe.000 per letter. The Olympic Games came to Los Angeles.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 Sign’s official monument status signaled a new era of restoration. about a patient with several distinct personalities (one a loose party girl) suffering from a rare and controversial psychiatric condition. In 1985. Unfortunately. a $90 million grant from the federal government enabled Hollywood to launch a slew of re-development projects. while singing cowboy Gene Autry sponsored an 'L' and singer/songwriter Paul William funded the 'W'. preservation and global respect. It symbolically ignited a renewal throughout Hollywood that continues to gain momentum to this very day. the Trust unveiled a pristine new Hollywood Sign in 1978. 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. In 1984. where individual Sign letter letters were ceremonially "auctioned off" at a price tag of $28. To raise money for the Sign’s reconstruction. The milestone was celebrated during a 1973 gala hosted by silent star Gloria Swanson. and being treated with hypnosis by doctor Lee J. In 1980. which drew visitors and television viewers from around the globe. The 30 . undermining what should have been a picturesque affair. A star-studded fund raising party was hosted by Hugh Heffner at the Playboy Mansion.Best Supporting Actress nominee Carolyn Jones played the role of a "nympho" in The Bachelor Party (1957). Cobb Susan Hayward in I Want to Live! (1958) Simone Signoret in Room at the Top (1959) Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8 (1960) 3. 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. a thick fog blanketed the event. The effort to preserve the Sign made for some strange celebrity bedfellows: Glam-rocker Alice Cooper 'bought' an 'O'.
more and more films were being made overseas and on location elsewhere in the United States. Hollywood. In 1989. The long-awaited rebirth of Hollywood was well under way. 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. museum-grade rehabilitation of the historic El Capitan Theater. In this highly competitive world market. By the end of the 80s. the film business became increasingly dependent on ancillary profits from foreign sales. Rupert Murdoch. Japanese companies bought Columbia in 1989 and Universal the following year. The old town finally got its act together and appeared to be revitalized. Walt Disney Studios began a two-year. television. The historic Egyptian Theater was restored to its original 1922 glory ten years later and the famed Brown Derby restaurant. resurrecting what was once the most lavish legitimate theater in Southern California to its former grandeur. As the costs of movie production soared and mega-industry fixed its eye on the bottom line. took over 20th Century Fox in 1985. for the time being. video and product spin-offs. video revenue was almost twice as much as ticket revenue. Hollywood was moving forward. 31 . and the Pantages Theater all received well-deserved makeovers during the last decades of the millennium. in part.In the 80s. In 1985. Roosevelt Hotel. by wisely reinvesting in the monuments of its glamorous past. was the center of the film industry in name only. the film industry was also "going global". The Australian multimedia titan.
Kim Novak.who died in a New Mexico plane crash in March. Randolph Scott. Jr. in Funny Face (1957) opposite Fred Astaire. Marilyn Monroe. Cary Grant. James Stewart. Pat Boone. Spencer Tracy. Esther Williams. Clifton Webb. 1958. [In early 1957. Frank Sinatra. Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth Taylor divorced Michael Wilding and married Mike Todd . Elvis Presley.). Jane Wyman. Abbott and Costello. Humphrey Bogart. Toward the end of the decade. 18 year-old violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor appeared in Vincente Minnelli's Father of the Bride (1950). [Taylor divorced Hilton in early 1951 and married actor Michael Wilding in early 1952. 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 . Last Summer (1959) as a lobotomy-threatened New Orleans debutante. She soon married the recently-divorced Eddie Fisher (from Debbie Reynolds) in 1959 (and divorced in March.and falling in love with reporter Gregory Peck. The lovely. Glenn Ford. she starred in two Tennessee Williams' adaptations. June Allyson.] The 32 . Brigitte Bardot. Clark Gable. Burt Lancaster. She then starred in Billy Wilder's romantic comedy Sabrina (1954) with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. Debbie Reynolds. and mid-decade reunited with the director for Giant (1956). Glenn Ford. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) as a sexually-deprived Maggie (the "Cat") opposite Paul Newman as husband Brick. 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). Gregory Peck. William Holden. Alan Ladd.Hollywood theatre 3. Doris Day. Betty Grable. Bing Crosby. just-married (to hotelier Nicholas Conrad Hilton. Marlon Brando. and Rock Hudson. 1964).3.1 Greatest Stars of the 50s: biggest box-office stars of the 1950s were: John Wayne. and Suddenly.] 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). Susan Hayward. Gary Cooper. Yul Brynner. Grace Kelly. Bob Hope. the team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Danny Kaye.
Lewis went solo in the 60s. the British film companies (Ealing. hyper misfit) had many box-office smashes in the 1950s from their total of sixteen films together. with a series of celebrated.] Almost all of the comedies portrayed a slightly rebellious. directing and starring in The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963). intelligent and whimsical comedies. including such forgettable films as At War With the Army (1950). Sailor Beware (1951). 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. A plaque at the 33 . and Artists and Models (1955). [the film was remade by the Coen brothers in 2004 with the same title. They were produced by Michael Balcon's Ealing Studios and called "Ealing comedies. After the duo split their partnership in 1956. craft-oriented studio until 1955.they were the first films to be made available. melt down the gold bank bars and cast them into miniature Eiffel Towers . Living It Up (1954). many with superb character actors Alec Guinness or Peter Sellers in the starring roles.2 The Golden Age of British Comedy England experienced a "Golden Age of Comedy" in the 50s following the war.Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis The powerhouse combo-comedy team of Dean Martin (the dead-pan straight man) and Jerry Lewis (the goofy. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) with the versatile Guinness (in his third film) playing the parts of all eight D'Ascoyne family victims. That's My Boy (1951). small-time crook interested in mocking the authoritarian establishment. this was the last of the great Ealing comedies. 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. all living in the boarding house of octogenarian Katie Johnson. 3. 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. Jumping Jacks (1952). Holland who masterminds a scheme to rob the Bank of England. The social commentary films included the following four works. [Ealing Studios closed in 1955. and London Film ProductionsKorda) began to supply their feature films to US television networks . Herbert Lom. and Danny Green)." [Balcon took over the studio in 1938 and ran the independent.but his plan is thwarted by a group of French schoolgirls. featuring Tom Hanks as the eccentric 'brain' of the larcenous outfit] • • • In 1954. all starring Alec Guinness: • director Robert Hamer's black-hearted comedy about inheritance.3. Rank.
] Small US producers. 4. Hollywood after 1992 4. allocating Park Rangers and other resources to ensure the Sign's ongoing security. allowing ever more spectacular special effects. Carry On Sergeant (1958). finally. wacky humor (with double entendres and one-liners) that finally stretched out to over 30 films in the next few decades.studio described what Ealing Studios had accomplished over almost two decades: "Here during a quarter of a century. the Hollywood Sign Trust was empowered with the protection. entertainment capital of the world. identifying three official parties responsible for its ongoing stewardship.1 Entertaiment center A new maturity came to Hollywood in the last decade of the century. California Attorney General Dan Lungren laid out a road map for the Sign's future. meanwhile. low-brow. Toy Story became the first film to go from production to presentation in 34 . The first in a long-running series of low-budget British comedies. followed suit and before long thousands of B-pictures and serials like Flash Gordon became available to American TV audiences. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Its success laid the groundwork for the ongoing development of posh hotels. In 1992. The final days of 1995 also saw the formation and private funding of the Hollywood Business District by Hollywood Boulevard property owners. theaters. Through intensive security street cleaning and marketing efforts. such as Monogram and Republic. was charged with protecting the image of the Sign. A few of the prominent actors who would reappear in later installments included Charles Hawtrey and William Hartnell. preservation and promotion of the Hollywood Sign as the global icon of the entertainment industry. Under the ruling. The City of Los Angels. inspired the institution of middle-class. many films were made projecting Britain and the British character. In 1999. the District reduced crime by 50 percent during its first 180 days of operation. was in full swing! In the 1990s. The re-birth of Hollywood. eateries and shopping. specifically by ensuring that any likenesses of the Sign are approved and appropriately licensed. the digital revolution captivated filmmakers. received a mandate to maintain and protect the restricted Griffith Park space that's home to the Sign.
wiping out the entire security system with one fell blow. which links into the citywide Metro Rail system. it seemed like just another dubious chapter in an often ill-cursed saga. when Metro Rail's Red Line opened its gleaming doors to the public. microwave-triggered motion detectors and a bilingual audio warning feature. which celebrates the turbulent. Santa Monica and Sunset.6 mile underground Hollywood line. as had happened on some other important nights in the Sign's history. Hollywood marked its coming of age with the opening of the new Hollywood Entertainment Museum. however. 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. The 4.providing visitors with convenient transportation to Hollywood most sought after destinations. a thick fog set it.'s fabled 'Red Cars' were scrapped in the late 50s.digital form. boasts five immaculate. During its lore-filled history the Hollywood sign was just about seen it all. Charged with protecting arguably the most famous nine letters on earth.A. In 1995. the Sign got a new paint job courtesy of Dutch Boy Paints. fascinating story of this unique city and its ever-changing entertainment industry. In 1997. The destruction. PCSC engineers designed. The Red Line represents the first Hollywood rail service since L. and many press cameras couldn't even see the drapes being pulled off the Sing. Western and Highland . Unfortunately. 35 . 1999 also saw the return of trains to Hollywood. 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. So when a bolt of lightning tore through the landmark's surveillance booth in 1999. where rangers can monitor all of the cameras simultaneously.at Vermont and Beverly. external alarms. Some think this process may signal the beginning of the end for traditional film. Its new coat was unveiled at a ceremony MC'd by the queen of face-lifts. engineered and installed a cutting-edge security network comprised of a vas closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance network. and on Hollywood Boulevard at Vine. beautifully designed stations . Phyllis Diller.
replete with bejeweled 20-foot elephants. physical . the nine 45foot letters of the Hollywood Sign were lit. Paris has the Eiffel Tower.A. which designed the Sign's new security network in 1999.Griffith's Intolerance (1916). opulent columns and other exotic. then-Mayor Richard Riordan "flipped the switch" at the 15 seconds before midnight. Powered by more than two million watts of electricity. once again. Complementing a 36 In . the lighting of the Sign was the culmination of a citywide "Celebrate L. Standing beside event host Jay Leno. (The Sign had been lit only two times: for the 1974 inauguration of the rebuilt Sing.300 seat Kodak Theater . Deftly framed by the pavilion's majestic ceremonial arch. the crowning jewel of Hollywood's ongoing urban revitalization. On March 24th. one by one. 2002. Home to 60 shops and a 640-room hotel. "New York has Time Square. the Awards inaugurated their new permanent at the 3. enabling millions of viewers to witness the historic lighting. ending a 52-year absence and capping the city's resurrection as the spiritual-and now." said Mayor Riordan. Panasonic Corporate Systems Company. upgraded the already-world-class system with a suite of new digital surveillance cameras.heart of the entertainment industry.W.) Oscar finally returned to home to Hollywood for the 2001 Academy Awards. The Kodak Theater is part of the new Hollywood & Highland center. site of the original Awards in 1929. the venue is oriented around a pavilion featuring a 7/8th-scale replica of a set from D." ABC Network aired the event on live television. since Hollywood is the global entertainment capitol of the world.just across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel. proto-deco touches. and for two weeks during the 1984 Olympic Games.2 New millennium a spellbinding display of lights and megawatt special effects. a seminal Hollywood epic. "Los Angeles' world symbol is our Hollywood Sign. illuminating the 450foot-long Sign in a dance of swirling hues and cinematic lightning effects that was visible throughout Hollywood and beyond. 2000" event.4. the distant Hollywood Sign becomes the visual and symbolic crux of the composition . as Los Angeles counted down to the New Millennium. which is appropriate. Cairo has the Pyramids. The 'set' is a fantastic recreation of ancient Babylonia (striking a signature early-Hollywood motif).a perfect public homage that can be enjoyed by passersby near and far.
full-color surveillance cameras now cover the entire restricted Sign area. a range of new cameras and features. to its oldest and most important 'ambassador'. During the ensuing of 8 decades. The average ticket price for a film varied from about $4. cinema attendance was up . now featuring new content and photos. many films cost over $100 million to produce. where Williams led fans. it had become one of the worlds most recognizable landmarks. The Signs 'birthday party' was held during the opening ceremonies for the AFIFest. Although the average film budget was almost $53 million by 1998. In a city where facelifts are run of the the mill. rugged setting. and some of the most expensive blockbusters were even more. priming and painting each of the Sign's nine 45-foot letters. scraping. Lee. motion detectors and audio warning systems. 37 In . In 1923. 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. Mega-Spending and Special Effects the 1990s for the most part. On October 31st the Sign celebrated its 80th birthday at a gala celebration hosted by movie musical legend Esther Williams (another remarkably preserved octogenarian). and an overall enhanced user experience.. this one was anything but. and all was said and done. the number of drive-ins continued to decline (from 910 in 1990 to 667 in 2000). As indoor multiplexes multiplied from almost 23. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa personally completed the restoration. but then picked up again by 1993 and continued to increase. and dazzling-white as any movie stars smile.000 in 1990 to 35. festival attendees. ten streaming. box-office revenues had dipped considerably. When the press had cleared away.3 The Decade of Money.gauntlet of external alarms..mostly at multiscreen cineplex complexes throughout the country. the brand new Sign was constructed as publicity stunt promoting a Hollywood real estate development.600 in the year 2000. rappelling down the hillside and applying the final strokes of coating a fitting tribute from Los Angeles new political star. 2002 had also seen the debut of the Sign's redesigned official site. 4. the Sign was looking better than ever as polished.a particularly challenging task give the Signs steep. due in part to the American economic recession of 1991. entailing 300 gallons of Ceryllium advanced coating and weeks of climbing.25 at the start of the decade to around $5 by the close of the decade.Talk about your "Hollywood endings". In November 2005... smooth. In the early 1990s. 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.
The belief was sustained that expensive. spiraling production costs. the Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary. and intelligent storytelling often suffered in the process. High-Cost Stars Perks have sometimes reached epidemic proportions for some of the most demanding stars. And in 1992. interactive extras. and over-produced films). and graphic orchestrated violence) meant quality. In 1990. And Julia Roberts ordered the studio to have a jet standing by around the clock while she was making Mary Reilly (1996) in London. better quality and durability than videotape. scripts created by committee. excessive spending (for inferior products) in the Hollywood film industry. was also made available on CD-ROM. stereotypical chase scenes. stale. Kodak introduced the Photo CD player. promotional campaigns. at a cost of more than $41.much larger than sales of movie theater tickets. formulaic. trainer and three nannies-reportedly racked up more than $877.000 per month-for approximately three months. sales of DVD players and the shiny discs proliferated and would surpass the sale of VCRs and videotapes. Pressures on conventional studio executives to make ends meet and deliver big hit movies increased during the decade. featuring sharper resolution pictures. to promote her freely-adapted $50 million film The Scarlet Letter (1995). interesting characters. Rather than attending special film screenings. and puffed-up reviews and critics' ratings.] 4. By 1992. members of the Academy of Motion Pictures viewed Oscar-nominated films on videotape. credible plots.all to ill effect. and big-budget marketing contributed to the inflated. The signs of the burgeoning of the digital age portended revolutionary change. By 1997.000 . costly market research and testing (to develop risk-averse. high-budget films with expensive special effects (including shoot 'em-ups. hairdresser.There still existed an imbalanced emphasis on the opening weekend.I. For example. Demi Moore's support staff--including personal assistant. Jane (1997) publicity appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997. and more secure copy-protection.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 . the independently-distributed film movement was also proving that it could compete (both commercially and critically) with Hollywood's costly output. In just a few years. beginning in 1994. However. since the movie bombed and earned only a small fraction of its budget. threats of actor and writer strikes. The 38 . cook. True character development.3. She also required two jets and two helicopters to guarantee her G. makeup artist. the first DVDs (digital video discs) had emerged in stores. with incessant reports of weekly box-office returns. according to Variety. broadcast TV was beginning to lose large numbers of viewers to cable channels. Higher costs for film/celebrity star salaries and agency fees. expensive price tags for new high-tech and digital special-effects and CGI (computer generated images).
39 . digital satellite services. the local megaplexes. video rental stores.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. founder of the Dogme 95 movement. 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 . 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. Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal (2002). other DTS films included Best Picture-winning Braveheart (1995). Independence Day (1996). such as Jar Jar Binks Established directors experimented with Denmark director Lars von Trier's Dogme 95 fresh and improvisational approach to film-making. to erase the legs of amputee Gary Sinese.a "heaven without Christians" inhabited by clay people) with CGI Lars von Trier. and to enhance the ping-pong game Heavenly Creatures (1994) enhanced its fantasy sequences (visions of the "4th World" called Borovnia . 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). the Star Wars Trilogy 1997 re-release. 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. A number of films also used special-effects CGI in more subtle. pushing digital imagery and special effects. Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity: Three Portraits (2001). foreign markets. Barbet Schroeder's Our Lady of the Assassins (2000).And with the digital revolution. Batman and Robin (1997). and Con Air (1997) Forrest Gump (1994) used digital photo trickery to insert a person into historical footage. Twister (1996). Best Sound-winning Apollo 13 (1995). including: Spike Lee's Bamboozled (2000). Mike Figgis' Timecode (2000) and Hotel (2001). 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. with groundbreaking techniques using digital video. Richard Linklater's Waking Life (2001). The proliferation of films helped to assuage the tremendous appetite for new products demanded by cable stations. some pioneering film-makers were experimenting with making digital-video (DV) films. or projecting films digitally.
Changes in The Major Studios: • Late 1990: Japanese corporation Matsushita Industrial. Remarkably.] Groundbreaking Internet Film-Marketing: Case Study . a popular destination for web surfers (with millions of hits). (until replaced by Frank Mancuso in 1993). and home computers were becoming the hot new technology . Josh. the World Wide Web was born. Brandon Tartikoff chaired Paramount (until replaced by Sherry Lansing in 1992). 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. 1995: Seagram bought MCA/Universal from Matsushita for $5.000!]. and Mike) in Maryland's Black Hill Forest (near Burkittsville). and no creatures/monsters. 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. In the early 90s. and Michael Ovitz to the Disney Company (until 1996). Many believed that the story was true. 1991: MGM Studios struggled under its new chief Alan Ladd. 50-picture exclusive output deal. grossing $248 million.1 billion. Two members of the Creative Artists Agency. [One of the decade's many films about malevolent computers was The Net (1995) with Sandra Bullock. The 'Blair Witch' website. it had no stars. but budgeted at only $35. it easily became the most profitable film (percentage-wise) of all time. no large marketing budget. Showtime Networks and Castle Rock Entertainment entered into a multi-year.000 [a profit ratio of over 7. one of the world's leading talent and literary agencies. Inc. Jr. moved to head Hollywood film studios: Ron Meyers to MCA.and the Internet.7 billion and renamed it Universal Studios. Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick's low-budget. acquired the entertainment conglomerate MCA/Universal for $6. no state-of-the-art special effects. roughly-made. rather than the ingenious marketing hoax that it was. Disney became the first studio to gross $1 billion at the box office. and basically looked like a home-made film with poor production values.with vast repercussions for the film industry. 1994: Viacom bought Paramount Pictures after a bidding war with USA Networks/QVC. The cult film reaped a greater audience (and box-office receipts) from Internet exposure and astute promotion and marketing. It was innovatively shot on 16mm B/W and color digital video. • • • 40 .The Blair Witch Project Foretelling new methods of Internet-based marketing. Disney bought the ABC Network. Surprisingly.
The Road to Eldorado (2000). ex-Disney executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Their first real hit was also their first film to be nominated for Best Picture . 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. Amistad (1997). One of the new issues that all studios and other media industries had to confront was the pirating of films.3. and music. and film producer/music industry giant David Geffen. Paulie (1998). The studio's first theatrical release was first-time feature director Mimi Leder's The Peacemaker (1997) starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. and Best Animated Feature-winning Shrek (2001). they also turned out Antz (1998). Undeclared). DreamWorks also produced TV shows (Spin City. The Job.4. was formed in October 1994 as the brainchild of director-producer Steven Spielberg.Saving Private Ryan (1998). including the soundtracks to DreamWorks films and record deals with popular artists. Small Soldiers (1998) . the claymation Chicken Run (2000). This was followed by Mouse Hunt (1997). DreamWorks (SKG). By decade's end. Freaks & Geeks. and Deep Impact (1998). and the illegal sharing/swapping of MPEG music files 41 .2 A Newcomer Studio: DreamWorks was significant that the first new Hollywood studio in many decades. After their first major animated film The Prince of Egypt (1998).
progressive urban area that looks forward to a new era of pride and glory among stars.Conclusion Today Hollywood has established itself as the single center of film and television industry. ”Encarta Encyclopaedia 2007 Premium” 4. ”Secolul cinematografului”. Ripeanuc. Bujor T. 1768.org – Online Encyclopaedia 42 . Helen Hemingway Benton. a vibrant. 15TH edition 3. http/en. editureship: Stiintifica si enciclopedica. William Benton. 1989 2. ”The New Encyclopaedia Britannica” – volume V. Bucuresti. Doina Boeriu.wikipedia. Bibliography 1. Cristina Corciovescu.
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