HOLLYWOOD



Golden Age of Hollywood

 






 

 

 

 

 


Classical Hollywood cinema

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


(Redirected from Golden Age of Hollywood)
 

Classical Hollywood cinema or the classical Hollywood narrative, are terms used in film history which designates both a visual and sound style for making motion pictures and a mode of production used in the American film industry between roughly the 1910s and the 1960s.

Classical style is fundamentally built on the principle of continuity editing or "invisible" style. That is, the camera and the sound recording should never call attention to themselves (as they might in a modernist or postmodernist work).



Lila Lee, Colleen Moore, Lois Wilson, Claire Windsor
 

The Golden Age

During the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, which lasted from the end of the silent era in American cinema in the late 1920s to the early 1960s, movies were issued from the Hollywood studios like the cars rolling off Henry Ford's assembly lines; the start of the Golden Age was arguably when The Jazz Singer was released in 1927 and increased box-office profits for films as sound was introduced to feature films. Most Hollywood pictures adhered closely to a formula—Western, slapstick comedy, musical, animated cartoon, biopic (biographical picture)—and the same creative teams often worked on films made by the same studio.

After The Jazz Singer was released in 1927, Warner Brothers gained huge success and was able to acquire their own string of movie theaters, after purchasing Stanley Theaters and First National Productions in 1928; MGM had also owned a string of theaters since forming in 1924, know through Loews Theaters, and the Fox film Corporation owned the Fox Theatre strings as well. Also, RKO, another company that owned theaters, had formed in 1928 from a merger between Keith-Orpheum Theaters and the Radio Corporation of America.

RKO formed in response to the monopoly Western Electric's ERPI had over sound in films as well, and began to use sound in films through their own method known as Photophone. Paramount, who already acquired Balaban and Katz in 1926, would answer to the success of Warner Bros. and RKO, and buy a number of theaters in the late 1920s as well, before making their final purchase in 1929, through acquiring all the individual theaters belonging to the Cooperative Box Office, located in Detroit, and dominate the Detroit theaters. For instance, Cedric Gibbons and Herbert Stothart always worked on MGM films, Alfred Newman worked at Twentieth Century Fox for twenty years, Cecil B. De Mille's films were almost all made at Paramount, director Henry King's films were mostly made for Twentieth-Century Fox, etc.

One could usually guess which studio made which film, largely because of the actors who appeared in it; MGM, for example, claimed it had contracted "more stars than there are in heaven." Each studio had its own style and characteristic touches which made it possible to know this - a trait that does not exist today. Yet each movie was a little different, and, unlike the craftsmen who made cars, many of the people who made movies were artists. For example, To Have and Have Not (1944) is famous not only for the first pairing of actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall but also for being written by two future winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature: Ernest Hemingway, author of the novel on which the script was nominally based, and William Faulkner, who worked on the screen adaptation.

Movie-making was still a business, however, and motion picture companies made money by operating under the studio system. The major studios kept thousands of people on salary—actors, producers, directors, writers, stunt men, craftspersons, and technicians. And they owned hundreds of theaters in cities and towns across the nation, theaters that showed their films and that were always in need of fresh material. In 1930, MPDDA President Will Hays also founded the Hays (Production) Code, which followed censorship guidelines and went into effect after government threats of censorship expanded by 1930. However the code was never enforced until 1934, after the new Catholic Church organization The Legion of Decency - appalled by Mae West's very successful sexual appearances in She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel - threatened a boycott of motion pictures if it didn't go into effect, and those that didn't obtain a seal of approval from the Production Code Administration had to pay a $25,000.00 fine and could not profit in the theaters, as the MPDDA owned every theater in the country through the Big Five studios.

Throughout the 1930s, as well as most of the golden age, MGM dominated the film screen and had the top stars in Hollywood, and was also credited for creating the Hollywood star system altogether;
 
MGM stars included "King of Hollywood" Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Gary Cooper, Mary Pickford, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly, Gene Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Gloria Stuart, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, John Wayne, Barbara Stanwyck, John Barrymore, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Audrey Hepburn, Buster Keaton, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Lillian Gish, Rita Hayworth, Norma Shearer  and Jayne Mansfield.


Another great achievement of US cinema during this era came through Walt Disney's animation. In 1937, Disney created the most successful film of its time, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Also, in 1939, MGM would create what is still the most successful film, adjusted for box office inflation, Gone with the Wind. Throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood, theaters were also controlled by the Big Five studios: MGM, Paramount, RKO, Warner Bros, and Twentieth Century Fox.

Many film historians have remarked upon the many great works of cinema that emerged from this period of highly regimented film-making. One reason this was possible is that, with so many movies being made, not every one had to be a big hit. A studio could gamble on a medium-budget feature with a good script and relatively unknown actors: Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles and often regarded as the greatest film of all time, fits that description. In other cases, strong-willed directors like Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra battled the studios in order to achieve their artistic visions.

The apogee of the studio system may have been the year 1939, which saw the release of such classics as The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Only Angels Have Wings, Ninotchka, and Midnight. Among the other films from the Golden Age period that are now considered to be classics: Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, It Happened One Night, King Kong, Citizen Kane, Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, Duck Soup, Bringing Up Baby, North by Northwest, Dinner at Eight, Rebel Without a Cause, Double Indemnity, Mutiny on the Bounty, City Lights, Red River, Rear Window, Singin' in the Rain, My Man Godfrey and Top Hat.




Jobyna Ralston, Laura La Plante, Mary Brian, Sue Carol
 

Style

The style of Classical Hollywood cinema, as elaborated by David Bordwell, has been heavily influenced by the ideas of the Renaissance and its resurgence of mankind as the focal point.

Thus, classical narration progresses always through psychological motivation, i.e. by the will of a human character and its struggle with obstacles towards a defined goal. The aspects of space and time are subordinated to the narrative element which is usually composed of two lines of action: A heterosexual romance intertwined with a more generic one such as business or, in the case of Alfred Hitchcock films, solving a crime.

Time in classical Hollywood is continuous, since non-linearity calls attention to the illusory workings of the medium. The only permissible manipulation of time in this format is the flashback. It is mostly used to introduce a memory sequence of a character, e.g. Casablanca.

Likewise, the treatment of space in classic Hollywood strives to overcome or conceal the two-dimensionality of film ("invisible style") and is strongly centered upon the human body. The majority of shots in a classical film focus on gestures or facial expressions (medium-long and medium shots). Andre Bazin once compared classical film to a photographed play in that the events seem to exist objectively and that cameras only give us the best view of the whole play.

This treatment of space consists of four main aspects: centering, balancing, frontality and depth. Persons or objects of significance are mostly in the center part of the picture frame and never out of focus. Balancing refers to the visual composition, i.e. characters are evenly distributed throughout the frame.
The action is subtly addressed towards the spectator (frontality) and set, lighting (mostly three-point lighting) and costumes are designed to separate foreground from the background (depth).

Production
The mode of production came to be known as the Hollywood studio system and the star system, which standardized the way movies were produced. All film workers (actors, directors, etc.) were employees of a particular film studio. This resulted in a certain uniformity to film style: directors were encouraged to think of themselves as employees rather than artists, and hence auteurs did not flourish (although some directors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Howard Hawks, and Orson Welles, fought against these restrictions).

Periodization
While the boundaries are vague, the Classical era is generally held to begin in 1927 with the release of The Jazz Singer. Hollywood classicism gradually declined with the collapse of the studio system, the advent of television, the growing popularity of auteurism among directors, and the increasing influence of foreign films and independent filmmaking.

The 1948 U.S. Supreme Court decision United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., which outlawed the practice of block booking and the above-mentioned ownership and operation of theater chains by the major film studios (as it constituted anti-competitive and monopolistic trade practices) was seen as a major blow to the studio system, clearing the way for a growing number of independent producers (some of them the actors themselves) and studios to produce their film product free of major studio interference.

The end of the classical period is considered to be the 1960s, after which the New Hollywood era can be said to have begun.

Some historians believe we are now in a 'post-classical' era in which movies are very different from Classical Hollywood. Others argue that the differences are superficial and that the basic methods of storytelling have not actually changed that much.

 


Silent film


Corinne Griffith



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Scene from the 1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially spoken dialogue. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the introduction of the Vitaphone system. After The Jazz Singer in 1927, "talkies" became more and more commonplace and within a decade silent films essentially disappeared.

History

The first film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888. It was a two second film of people walking around in Oakwood Grange garden, titled Roundhay Garden Scene. The art of motion pictures grew into full maturity in the "silent era" before silent films were replaced by "talking pictures" in the late 1920s. Many film scholars and buffs argue that the aesthetic quality of cinema decreased for several years until directors, actors, and production staff adapted to the new "talkies".

The visual quality of silent movies — especially those produced during the 1920s — was often extremely high. However, there is a widely held misconception that these films were primitive and barely watchable by modern standards. This misconception is due to technical errors (such as films being played back at wrong speed) and due to the deteriorated condition of many silent films (many silent films exist only in second or even third generation copies which were often copied from already damaged and neglected film stock).

 

Live music and sound

Showings of silent films almost always featured live music, starting with the pianist at the first public projection of movies by the Lumière Brothers on December 28, 1895 in Paris. From the beginning, music was recognized as essential, contributing to the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues (musicians sometimes played on film sets during shooting for similar reasons). Small town and neighborhood movie theaters usually had a pianist. Beginning in the mid 1910s, large city theaters tended to have organists or ensembles of musicians. Massive theater organs were designed to fill a gap between a simple piano soloist and a larger orchestra. Theater organs had a wide range of special effects, and used actual percussion. Theatrical organs such as the famous "Mighty Wurlitzer" could simulate some orchestral sounds along with a number of percussion effects such as bass drums and cymbals and sound effects ranging from galloping horses to rolling thunder.

The scores for early silent films were either improvised or compiled of classical or theatrical repertory music. Once full features became commonplace, however, music was compiled from photoplay music by the pianist, organist, orchestra conductor or the movie studio itself, which would send out a cue sheet with the film. These sheets were often very lengthy, with detailed notes about effects and moods to watch for. Starting with mostly original score composed by Joseph Carl Breil for D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking epic The Birth of a Nation (USA, 1915) it became relatively common for the biggest-budgeted films to arrive at the exhibiting theater with original, specially composed scores.

When an organist or pianist used sheet music, they still might add in improvisatory flourishes to heighten the drama onscreen. As well, even if special effects were not indicated in the score, if an organist was playing a theater organ with an unusual sound effect, such as a "galloping horses" effect, they would use it during a dramatic horseback chase.

By the height of the silent era, movies were the single largest source of employment for instrumental musicians (at least in America). But the introduction of talkies, which happened simultaneously with the onset of the Great Depression, was devastating to many musicians.

Some countries devised other ways of bringing sound to silent films. The early cinema of Brazil featured fitas cantatas: filmed operettas with singers performing behind the screen. In Japan, films had not only live music but also the benshi, a live narrator who provided commentary and character voices. The benshi became a central element in Japanese film form, as well as providing translation for foreign (mostly American) movies. Their popularity was one reason why silents persisted well into the 1930s in Japan.

Few film scores have survived intact from this period, and musicologists are still confronted by questions in attempting a precise reconstruction of those which remain. Scores can be distinguished as complete reconstructions of composed scores, newly composed for the occasion, assembled from already existing music libraries, or even improvised. Interest in the scoring of silent films fell somewhat out of fashion during the 1960s and 1970s. There was a belief current in many college film programs and repertory cinemas that audiences should experience silent film as a pure visual medium, undistracted by music. This belief may have been encouraged by the poor quality of the music tracks found on many silent film reprints of the time. More recently, there has been a revival of interest in presenting silent films with quality musical scores, either reworkings of period scores or cue sheets, or composition of appropriate original scores. A watershed event in this context was Francis Ford Coppola's 1980 restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) with a live orchestral score composed by his father Carmine Coppola.

Notable current specialists in the art of arranging and performing silent film scores include organists and pianists such as Steven Ball (of Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater); Rosa Rio (organist at the Brooklyn Fox during the silent era and now at the Tampa Theater), Ben Model, Bernie Anderson, Jr., Neil Brand, Geoff Smith, John Sweeney, Phillip C. Carli, Jon Mirsalis, Dennis James, and Donald Sosin. Orchestral conductors such as Carl Davis and Robert Israel have written and compiled scores for numerous silent films. In addition to composing original film scores Timothy Brock has restored many of Charlie Chaplin's scores.

 

Acting techniques


Lillian Gish

Lillian Gish was a major star of the silent era with one of the longest careers, working from 1912-1987Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. For this reason, silent comedies tend to be more popular in the modern era than drama, partly because overacting is more natural in comedy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: "The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures." In other cases, directors such as John Griffith Wray required their actors to deliver larger-than-life expressions for emphasis. As early as 1914, American viewers had begun to make known their preference for greater naturalness on screen.

In any case, the large image size and unprecedented intimacy the actor enjoyed with the audience began to affect acting style, making for more subtlety of expression. Actresses such as Mary Pickford in all her films, Eleanora Duse in the Italian film Cenere (1916), Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, Priscilla Dean in The Dice Woman and Lillian Gish in most of her performances made restraint and easy naturalism in acting a virtue. Directors such as Albert Capellani (a French director who also did work in America directing Alla Nazimova films) and Maurice Tourneur insisted on naturalism in their films; Tourneur had been just such a minimalist in his prior stage productions. By the mid-20s many American silent films had adopted a more naturalistic acting style, though not all actors and directors accepted naturalistic, low key acting straight away, as late as 1927 films featuring expressionistic acting styles such as Metropolis were still being released. Some viewers liked the flamboyant acting for its escape value, and some countries were later than the United States in embracing naturalistic style in their films. In fact today the level of naturalism in acting varies from film to film and our favourites may not be the most naturalistic. Just like today, a film's success depended upon the setting, the mood, the script, the skills of the director, and the overall talent of the cast.
 






Clara Bow



Projection speed

Until the standardization of the projection speed of 24 frames per second (fps) for sound films in 1926, silent films were shot at variable speeds (or "frame rates"), typically anywhere from 16 to 23 frames per second or faster, depending on the year and studio. Unless carefully shown at their original speeds they can appear unnaturally fast and jerky, which reinforces their alien appearance to modern viewers. At the same time, some scenes were intentionally undercranked during shooting in order to accelerate the action, particularly in the case of slapstick comedies. The intended frame rate of a silent film can be ambiguous and since they were usually hand cranked there can even be variation within one film. Film speed is often a vexed issue among scholars and film buffs in the presentation of silents today, especially when it comes to DVD releases of "restored" films; the 2002 restoration of Metropolis (Germany, 1927) may be the most fiercely debated example.

Projectionists frequently ran silent films at speeds which were slightly faster than the rate at which they were shot. Most films seem to have been shown at 18 fps or higher - some even faster than what would become sound film speed (24 fps, or 90 feet per minute). Even if shot at 16 fps (often cited as "silent speed"), the projection of a cellulose nitrate base film at such a slow speed carried a considerable risk of fire. Often projectionists would receive very general instructions from the distributors as to how fast particular reels or scenes should be projected on the musical director's cue sheet. In rare instances, usually for larger productions, detailed cue sheets specifically for the projectionist would carry a detailed guide in how to present the film. Theaters also sometimes varied their projection speeds depending on the time of day or popularity of a film in order to maximize profit.





Dolores Costello

 

Tinting

With the lack of natural color processing available, films of the silent era were frequently dipped in dyestuffs and dyed various shades and hues in order to signal a mood or represent a specific time of day. Blue represented night scenes, yellow or amber meant day. Red represented fire and green represented a mysterious mood. Similarly, toning of film (such as the common silent film generalization of sepia-toning) with special solutions replaced the silver particles in the film stock with salts or dyes of various colors. A combination of tinting and toning could be used as an effect that could be very striking.

Some films were hand-tinted, such as Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895), from Edison Studios. In it, Annabelle Moore, a young dancer from Broadway, is dressed in white veils that appear to change colors as she dances. Hand coloring was often used in the early "trick" and fantasy films of Europe, especially those by Georges Méliès.


By the beginning of the 1910s, with the onset of feature-length films, tinting was expanded upon as another mood setter, just as commonplace as music. The director D.W. Griffith displayed a constant interest and concern about color, and used tinting to a unique effect in many of his films. His 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation, utilized a number of colors, including amber, blue, lavender, and a striking red tint for scenes such as the "burning of Atlanta" and the ride of the Ku Klux Klan at the climax of the picture. Griffith later invented a color system in which colored lights flashed on areas of the screen to achieve a color effect.

 

Top grossing silent films in the United States
The following are the films that earned the highest ever gross income in film history, according to Variety magazine in 1932. The dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation, and the values were calculated in 1932.

The Birth of a Nation (1915) - $10,000,000
The Big Parade (1925) - $6,400,000
Ben-Hur (1925) - $5,500,000
Way Down East (1920) - $5,000,000
The Gold Rush (1925) - $4,250,000
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) - $4,000,000
The Circus (1928) - $3,800,000
The Covered Wagon (1923) - $3,800,000
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) - $3,500,000
The Ten Commandments (1923) - $3,400,000
Orphans of the Storm (1921) - $3,000,000
For Heaven's Sake (1926) - $2,600,000
Seventh Heaven (1926) - $2,400,000
Abie's Irish Rose (1928) - $1,500,000



Louise Brooks




During the sound era

Although attempts to create sync-sound motion pictures go back to the Edison lab in 1896, the technology became well-developed only in the early 1920s. The next few years saw a race to design, implement, and market several rival sound-on-disc and sound-on-film sound formats. Although The Jazz Singer's release in 1927 marked the first commercially successful sound film, silent films formed the majority of features produced in both 1927 and 1928. Thus the modern sound film era may be regarded as coming to dominance beginning in 1929.

For a listing of notable silent era films, see list of years in film for the years between the beginning of film and 1928. The following list includes only films produced in the sound era with the specific artistic intention of being silent.

City Girl, F.W. Murnau, 1930
Borderline, Kenneth MacPherson, 1930
Earth, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930
City Lights, Charlie Chaplin, 1931
Tabu, F. W. Murnau, Robert Flaherty, 1931
I Was Born, But..., Yasujiro Ozu, 1932
A Story of Floating Weeds, Yasujiro Ozu, 1934
The Goddess , Wu Yonggang, 1934
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin, 1936


Later homages
Several filmmakers have paid homage to the comedies of the silent era, including Jacques Tati with his Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) and Mel Brooks with Silent Movie (1976). Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's acclaimed drama Three Times (2005) is silent during its middle third, complete with intertitles; Stanley Tucci's The Impostors has an opening silent sequence in the style of early silent comedies. Writer / Director Michael Pleckaitis puts his own twist on the genre with Silent (2007).

The 1999 German film Tuvalu is mostly silent; the small amount of dialog is an odd mix of European languages, increasing the film's universality. Guy Maddin won awards for his homage to Soviet era silent films with his short The Heart of the World after which he made a feature-length silent, Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), incorporating live Foley artists, narration and orchestra at select showings. Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a highly fictionalized depiction of the filming of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's classic silent vampire movie Nosferatu (1922). Werner Herzog honored the same film in his own version, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979).

Some films draw a direct contrast between the silent film era and the era of talkies. Sunset Boulevard shows the disconnect between the two eras in the character of Norma Desmond, played by silent film star Gloria Swanson, and Singin' In The Rain deals with the period where the people of Hollywood had to face changing from making silents to talkies. Peter Bogdanovich's affectionate 1976 film Nickelodeon deals with the turmoil of silent filmmaking in Hollywood during the early 1910s, leading up to the release of D.W. Griffith's 1915 epic The Birth of a Nation.

In 1999, the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki produced Juha which captures the style of a silent film, using intertitles in place of spoken dialogue. In India, the 1988 film Pushpak, starring Kamal Hassan, was a black comedy entirely devoid of dialog. The 2007 Australian film Dr Plonk, was a silent comedy directed by Rolf de Heer. Stage plays have drawn upon silent film styles and sources. Actor/writers Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore staged their Off-Broadway slapstick comedy Silent Laughter as a live action tribute to the silent screen era. Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford created and starred in All Wear Bowlers (2004) which started as an homage to Laurel and Hardy then evolved to incorporate life-sized silent film sequences of Sobelle and Lyford who jump back and forth between live action and the silver screen. The 1940 animated film Fantasia, which is eight different animation sequences set to music, can be considered a silent film, with only one short scene involving dialogue.



Theda Bara
 

Preservation and lost films

Many early motion pictures are lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films, like the series of Pinochle Boys films, were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75% of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data. Major silent films presumed lost include Saved from the Titanic (1912); The Apostle, the world's first animated feature film (1917); Cleopatra (1917); Arirang (1926); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1927); The Great Gatsby (1926); and London After Midnight (1927). Though most lost silent films will never be recovered, some have been discovered in film archives or private collections.

In 1978 in Dawson City, Yukon, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during excavation of a landfill. Dawson City used to be the end of the distribution line for many films, and the titles were stored at the local library until 1929 when the flammable nitrate was used as landfill in a condemned swimming pool. Stored for 50 years under the permafrost of the Yukon, the films turned out to be extremely well preserved. Included in this treasure trove were films by Pearl White, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lon Chaney, Sr.. These films are now housed at the Library of Congress. The degradation of old film stock can be slowed through proper archiving, or films can be transferred to CD-ROM or other digital media for preservation. Silent film preservation has been a high priority among film historians.

 

Hollywood



Main
district, Los Angeles, California, United States

district within the city of Los Angeles, California, U.S., whose name is synonymous with the American film industry. Lying northwest of downtown Los Angeles, it is bounded by Hyperion Avenue and Riverside Drive (east), Beverly Boulevard (south), the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains (north), and Beverly Hills (west). Since the early 1900s, when moviemaking pioneers found in southern California an ideal blend of mild climate, much sunshine, varied terrain, and a large labour market, the image of Hollywood as the fabricator of tinseled cinematic dreams has been etched worldwide. The first house in Hollywood was an adobe building (1853) on a site near Los Angeles, then a small city in the new state of California. Hollywood was laid out as a real-estate subdivision in 1887 by Harvey Wilcox, a prohibitionist from Kansas who envisioned a community based on his sober religious principles. Real-estate magnate H.J. Whitley, known as the “Father of Hollywood,” subsequently transformed Hollywood into a wealthy and popular residential area. At the turn of the 20th century, Whitley was responsible for bringing telephone, electric, and gas lines into the new suburb. In 1910, because of an inadequate water supply, Hollywood residents voted to consolidate with Los Angeles.

In 1908 one of the first storytelling movies, The Count of Monte Cristo, was completed in Hollywood after its filming had begun in Chicago. In 1911 a site on Sunset Boulevard was turned into Hollywood’s first studio, and soon about 20 companies were producing films in the area. In 1913 Cecil B. DeMille, Jesse Lasky, Arthur Freed, and Samuel Goldwyn formed Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company (later Paramount Pictures). DeMille produced The Squaw Man in a barn one block from present-day Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, and more box-office successes soon followed. Hollywood had become the centre of the American film industry by 1915 as more independent filmmakers relocated there from the East Coast. For more than three decades, from early silent films through the advent of “talkies,” figures such as D.W. Griffith, Goldwyn, Adolph Zukor, William Fox, Louis B. Mayer, Darryl F. Zanuck, and Harry Cohn served as overlords of the great film studios—Twentieth Century-Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, and others. Among the writers who were fascinated by Hollywood in its “golden age” were F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh, and Nathanael West.

After World War II, film studios began to move outside Hollywood, and the practice of filming “on location” emptied many of the famous lots and sound stages or turned them over to television show producers. With the growth of the television industry, Hollywood began to change, and by the early 1960s it had become the home of much of American network television entertainment.

Among the features of Hollywood, aside from its working studios, are the Hollywood Bowl (1919; a natural amphitheatre used since 1922 for summertime concerts under the stars), the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park (also a concert venue), Mann’s (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre (with footprints and handprints of many stars in its concrete forecourt), and the Hollywood Wax Museum (with more than 350 wax figures of celebrities). The Hollywood Walk of Fame pays tribute to many celebrities of the entertainment industry. The most visible symbol of the district is the Hollywood sign that overlooks the area. First built in 1923 (a new sign was erected in 1978), the sign originally said “Hollywoodland” (to advertise new homes being developed in the area), but the sign fell into disrepair, and the “land” section was removed in the 1940s when the sign was refurbished.

Many stars, past and present, live in neighbouring communities such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air, and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery contains the crypts of such performers as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and Tyrone Power. Hollywood Boulevard, long a chic thoroughfare, became rather tawdry with the demise of old studio Hollywood, but it underwent regeneration beginning in the late 20th century; the Egyptian Theatre (built in 1922), for example, was fully restored in the 1990s and became the home of the American Cinematheque, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the presentation of the motion picture.

Encyclopaedia Britannica
 

 


Gloria Swanson

 


Gloria Swanson

 


Mary Astor

 


Mary Astor

 


Mary Astor

 


AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars is a list of the top 50 stars of American cinema. They were presented by 50 stars of today, adding up to the total of 100 stars. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 16, 1999 and revealed on a CBS special hosted by Shirley Temple.



Female Legends  
 

1

Katharine Hepburn

2

Bette Davis

 

 

 

 

3

Audrey Hepburn

4

Ingrid Bergman

 

 

 

 

5

Greta Garbo

6

Marilyn Monroe

 

 

 

 

7

Elizabeth Taylor

8

Judy Garland

 

 

 

 

9

Marlene Dietrich

10

Joan Crawford

 

 

 

 

11

Barbara Stanwyck

12

Claudette Colbert

 

 

 

 

13

Grace Kelly

14

Ginger Rogers

 

 

 

 

15

Mae West

16

Vivien Leigh

 

 

 

 

17

Lillian Gish


 

18

Shirley Temple

 

 

 

 

19

Rita Hayworth

20

Lauren Bacall

 

 

 

 

21

Sophia Loren

22

Jean Harlow

 

 

 

 

23

Carole Lombard

24

Mary Pickford

 

 

 

 

25

Ava Gardner

 

 

 

Male Legends:

Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Marlon Brando, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy,
Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Laurence Olivier, Gene Kelly, Orson Welles, Kirk Douglas, James Dean, Burt Lancaster,
The Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Sidney Poitier, Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson, William Holden.

 



Charlie Chaplin


Comedian, producer, writer, director, and composer who is widely regarded as the greatest comic artist of the screen and one of the most important figures in motion-picture history.

 

The legends were presented by 50 current actors:

Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Jacqueline Bisset, Ernest Borgnine, James Caan, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chase, Cher, Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Matt Dillon, Richard Dreyfuss, Clint Eastwood, Mia Farrow, Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Teri Garr, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Woody Harrelson, Richard Harris, Goldie Hawn, Gregory Hines, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Michael Keaton, Martin Landau, Jessica Lange, Shirley MacLaine, Marsha Mason, Marlee Matlin, Mike Myers, Edward Norton, Edward James Olmos, Miss Piggy, Lynn Redgrave, Julia Roberts, Gena Rowlands, Kevin Spacey, Sylvester Stallone, Rod Steiger, Sharon Stone, Barbra Streisand, Billy Bob Thornton, Lily Tomlin, Emily Watson, and James Woods.

 

 

see also:
 

 

 

Norma Shearer

Jayne Mansfield

Josephine Baker

 

 

 

 

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