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Film History

In: Historical Events

Submitted By kmkasper
Words 796
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1. What do you think were some of the major changes that came to the film industry in the 1950s and 1960s? What forced these changes? During the 1950’s and 60’s there were so many changes that occurred which transformed the film industry forever. After World War II, soldiers came home and began to have families. People began moving to the suburbs, away from urban centers. The baby boomers began to be born and a whole new generation was formed. Studio control of when and where movies were viewed began to slip away from the moguls. The whole American movie audience after the war had changed. People liked to see a more common man, and they also began to like darker films. Television was also at first a major issue that the moguls were battling. They thought that no one would want to sit at home and watch such a tiny screen. However, they were proved wrong. The movies had also always been driven by the stars, and now it seemed independence was becoming popular. Censorship began to become lenient and many more movies with sex began to sell. Hollywood was completely changing as the founding generation was beginning to fade away.

2. The Hollywood studio system worked tireless to support the American war effort during World War II. Exactly what did they do? During World War II moguls and movies stars worked hard to support the American war effort. They could be seen waving the American flag on movie screens and raising money. Many stars even decided to fight for their country. Hollywood contributed much entertainment for the people back home and they produced propaganda. They would make training films and even documentaries. The movies were extremely important to the war effort. The movies had a way of changing the minds of people. They could literally shape and control the views of Americans. Even overseas the soldiers brought the stars with them. The movies offered happiness during a time of sadness, and they brought comfort and consistency during a time of uncertainty. During the war, the only kind of entertainment was the movies; Americans went to movies every night of the week! The movies offered an escape during rough times. They entertained people as well as informed them.

3. What is "film noir" and what were it's primary characteristics? The war had changed the way people thought and many were ready for a darker, more mysterious type of movie. During the 1940’s after World War II, film noir defined darker movies with darker visions. Usually crime and murder are the basic elements of film noirs, many times the heroines were not to be trusted. Usually the film was shot in low-key lighting and sometimes with dark shadowing. Movies like Maltese Falcon and Double Indemnity are both well known for being film noir movies. Before these darker movies, people had been used to seeing comedies and musicals. However, after the war, people wanted to see darker movies.

4. "The history of the movies is the history of America". In what ways is this a valid statement? Feel free to use examples from the programs to support your written answer. The history of the movies really is a history of America. The movies are an enormous part of American history. They changed the entertainment business forever and provided people with an escape. The movies are often based on events going on while the movies were being made, or even past events. For example, during the war, many movies about war were made. These movies can really give you a sense of what people were going through during those times and what exactly what was happening. You can see what people’s attitudes were at that time as well as many events that occurred. Who we are is reflected in these amazing movies, which these early moguls were creating.

5. What techniques and devices did the studio heads do to fight the feared impact of television keeping movie audience away from theaters in the 1950s? The studio heads were originally convinced that people wouldn’t want to sit in front of a little screen in their own home. They were convinced that bigger was always better. Of course they were terribly wrong and began to find ways to combat television. Studios began to use three synchronized projectors to create Cinerama. Other new wide screen visions like the Vitascope and Cinemascope followed. They also added stereo-sound and color. Even with the new large widescreens, stereo-sound, color and 3-D techniques, the moguls slowly realized that television wasn’t going anywhere and that they could actually use it to their advantage to advertise their movies stars. They also profited by leasing or selling forgotten movies to the television companies.

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