Classic Hollywood
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Classical Hollywood Characteristics

Classical Hollywood Characteristics | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

Classic Hollywood Cinema style is aimed at making all style and editing invisible to the viewer. Such characteristics include:

- Sophisticated lighting techniques that had a purpose but did not draw attention to itself

- Acting style aimed at realism

- Exclusively oriented toward narrative form such as producing a strong plot that was linear and logical.

- Each shot was meant to advance the plot, but was never intended to draw attention to itself

- Camera levels are at predominantly eye level


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Classic Hollywood
This depicts emerging styles of the Classic Hollywood Cinema era (1930-1945) as well as innovations and historical context.
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Historical Context: Movies in the Great Depression

Historical Context: Movies in the Great Depression | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

This gives historical context to the new innovations occuring during the Great Depression. Since many people couldn't afford to go to the movies, theaters began to do things like prize drawings and offered concessions such as popcorn for the first time in order to draw in crowds. Now that these movies had sound, the movies were an escape from the reality of tough times.

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Sound Stage - The History of Motion Picture Sound

Sound Stage - The History of Motion Picture Sound | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

Lee de Forest was known as the father of radio of his invention, the Audion tube. He was the first to successfully record sound on motion picture film in a process he called "Phonofilm".

 

While it was his optical recording of sound on film in 1922 that was the first successful demonstration of talking pictures, it would be sound recorded on synchronized records that provided the ability for the film industry to abandon silent pictures forever.

 

Examples include Love's Sweet Old Song


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Hollywood, Epic Documentary Chronicles the Early History of Cinema

Hollywood, Epic Documentary Chronicles the Early History of Cinema | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

This article/video combination talks about the release of a 13 part documentary series, Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film that was released in 1980.

 

This series got overwhelmingly negative reviews from silent film patrons who had dedicated their lives to a medium that transformed almost over night, leaving most of the actors behind.

 

New sound innovations along with the monopolized star system of the Golden Era put many of these devoted actors out of the industry.  


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Classical Hollywood Characteristics

Classical Hollywood Characteristics | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

Classic Hollywood Cinema style is aimed at making all style and editing invisible to the viewer. Such characteristics include:

- Sophisticated lighting techniques that had a purpose but did not draw attention to itself

- Acting style aimed at realism

- Exclusively oriented toward narrative form such as producing a strong plot that was linear and logical.

- Each shot was meant to advance the plot, but was never intended to draw attention to itself

- Camera levels are at predominantly eye level


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There Will Be Plot: The Classical Hollywood Narrative Style of Filmmaking

There Will Be Plot: The Classical Hollywood Narrative Style of Filmmaking | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

Classical Hollywood narrative movies are structured so that the narrative progression is the overriding consideration intended to unify all other aspects of the craft, from acting to cinematography, from sound editing to special effects, and beyond. This kind of movie uses invisible editing styles in order to produce a united entity with a main goal in which nothing is allowed to stay that dares draw the viewer. 

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NHD Project - The Hays Code

A well formulated history of the Hays Code and how it related to the thesis of 'revolution, reform, and reaction' throughout 1930s-1960s.

 

Before the Hays Code, there was no enforced restriction on visual cinema so many movies involved nudity, drugs, and violence. This code was instituted to avoid censorship by the government. This code was not fair and balanced and often portrayed racist ideals and religious views. 

 

According to the draft by the Hays Code, it was a code to govern the making of motion and talking pictures in order to avoid corrupting society, namely the children.

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Screwball Comedies of the 1930s: When Romance Met Mayhem

Screwball Comedies of the 1930s: When Romance Met Mayhem | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it
Combine outrageous scenarios with slapstick humor, then add witty, fast-paced dialogue and light romantic situations and you have screwball comedy.

 

The Screwball comedy genre is said to have emerged around 1934 with the release of Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night. This genre emerged due to 3 changes in the world: The Great Depression, enforcement of the Hayes Code, and the transition to sound in films. 

 

It was understood that one of the best ways to utilize sound in films was to generate comic relief. The Great Depression made many people want an escape from realities of the economy. Many of these comedies involved portrayal of class (rich vs. poor) in which the rich often got the punishment that they deserved. To the common poor individual of the Great Depression, this was the ideal escape.

 

Also, due to the Hayes code, writers and directors had to be stealthy in how they presented topics that were considred vulgar or that were unapproved. The language of sex and sexuality had to be subtle and dialogue and comedic pace were key in getting a good review. 

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A tribute to 1930s Cinema

Andre Rieu performing Hava Naglia with some of my favorites from the 1930s- A Night at the Opera, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,...
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The Hollywood Studio System During the Golden Age (1930-1939)

The Hollywood Studio System During the Golden Age (1930-1939) | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

During what was known as the Golden Era, early Hollywood Studio cinema was created and controlled by the "Big Five". These included: MGM, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., and RKO Radio PIctures.

 

These same studios were responsible for monopolizing the entertainment industry through control of the stars within the industry. Under the Star System, actors were scouted from Broadway or another average medium of art and signed a performance contract. These contracts were strict and strenuous and left little room for the actor to make their own business decisions. In truth, they were the property of their company. 

 

This star control ended at the end of the Golden Era which allowed entertainers to have a say in what movies they played, giving them a much more rewarding experience. 

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Warner Brothers’ The Jazz Singer “Sounds” Great

October, 1927 - Warner Brothers' rolled the dice with the sound synchronization of both music and dialogue in The Jazz Singer and came up winners.
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"THE JAZZ SINGER" with AL JOLSON ~~ COFFEE DAN'S ~ LIVE 1927

"The opening live musical sequence with Al Jolson. The vitaphone was turned on and Jolson sings and speaks live!!" A clip from The Jazz Singer, the first live-action film with sound. A 1927 American musical film, its release heralded the commercial ascendance of the "talkies" and the decline of the silent film era. Produced by Warner Bros. with its Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, the movie stars Al Jolson, who performs six songs. The use of these early sound technologies experienced troubles with synchronization and amplification. Notice how this film uses the sound as a means to drive the plot of the movie, in contrast to the silent-era films where the expressions and movement of the actors did that job.


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"Give me that old time religion": Sound Used to Form Motifs in the Movie

A scene from an old time film - "Sergeant York" 1941.

 

"Sergeant York" is placed during WWI when I man, claiming to be a pacifist gets drafted in the war. This scene in the movie was intended to reinforce the strong influence of the characters religious faith. Music like this was often used to better establish a point and still be unobtrusive.

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Maltese Falcon - Trailer

Maltese Falcon demonstrates many of the characteristics of Classic Hollywood Cinema such as spatial and temporal continuity. Framing is often centered and camera angles are dominantly at eye level. The actors don't look directly at the camera and the lighting is subtle and used to accent the plot.

 

All of these characteristics serve the main purpose of displaying the great mystery that is the Maltese Falcon, and none of these qualities interfere or clash with the intetions of the director. The editing keeps you focused and is subtly effective. 

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Horror Film History — Horror Films in the 1930s

At this time, cinema was a national obsession — 80 million people attended the cinema on a weekly basis in 1930, some 65% of the total US population. 

 

Horror films were mildly popular during the 1920s, but the coming of sound offered a boom for this genre that was not previously anticipated. Many argue that with the advent of sound, horror films acted as the most effective withdrawal from the Depression and coming war. These fantasy worlds made in movies such as Dracula, King Kong, and Frankenstein were the ideal escape that had Universal Studios at the top.

 

Producers such as Tod Browning had to adjust to the struggles of sound and they realized that although it increased the impact of the horror, it was much different than producing a silent movie. 

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GOLDEN AGE OF CINEMA - MUSICALS

GOLDEN AGE OF CINEMA - MUSICALS | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it

By 1930, the musical was dead in Hollywood. Too many had been seen in 1928 and 1929. They were reflections of the times prior to the economic crash. However, the perfected use of sound, camera tracking and boom mikes brought new life to the genre.  The studio released 42nd Street, Golddiggers of 1933 and Footlight Parade, made with original and creative production numbers. Their stories realistically reflected contemporary America. The pictures were alive with music, chorus girls and sex.

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The Wizard of Oz Used Some Pretty Special Special Effects.

The Wizard of Oz Used Some Pretty Special Special Effects. | Classic Hollywood | Scoop.it
In 1939 special effects in movies were, well, not that special. Then, along came The Wizard of Oz.

 

The Wizard of Oz used new innovations like technicolor to inhanc the message behind the story, just as many movies used music to do so. Many effects used in the movie were for the 'awe factor' such as the trapdoor and dry ice to show the wicked witch of the west melting. Other effects were used simply because they were cheaper! The use of rear projection where actors were in front of a scene previously filmed. This was used in munchkin land. This movie also used the new dollies that emerged in the classical hollywood era. 

 

Overall, this movie combines all of the possiblilities that were available to directors and producers in Classical Hollywood. 

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