Classical Hollywood Cinema
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Classical Hollywood Cinema
exams all aspects of classic hollywood style
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Brief History

Brief History | Classical Hollywood Cinema | Scoop.it

In the early 1900s, the MPPC was dominating the film industry. Around 1912, more independent films were being created and the celebrities in these films began demanding for higher salaries and even started to produce on their own.

A producer named Carl Laemmle was determined to start his own company, and in 1915 he opened Universal City, which was a studio located north of Hollywood. In 1914, W.W. Hodkinson combined 11 studios in order to form Paramount, which was the first company dedicated only to feature films. The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company was also created in 1914. Adolf Zukor eventually took over Paramount, and the contributions he made were a major part of combining small American producers with larger film companies.

Paramount was soon controlling celebrities such as Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. They also controlled top directors like D.W. Griffith, Mack Sennett, and De Mille. In 1913, Sam, Jack, and Harry Warner formed the Warner Bros. By 1918, they began producing their own films. William Fox formed the Fox Film Corporation, later renamed 20th-Century Fox. Then, in 1924, MGM was created, composed of three smaller companies (Metro, Goldwyn, and Mayer).

Paramount was definitely monopolizing the film industry, producing about 100 features a year, and requiring that theatres showed all of them. Soon, an uprising of smaller exhibitors came about, and organized the First National Exhibitors Circuit. They supplied many films to different theatres across the nation. In response to this threat, Zukor began to purchase theatres for his own company in 1919.

Vertical integration was an important factor that contributed to Hollywood's growing power. In conclusion, no other country developed a studio system that was stronger than the United States.  

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ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD STYLE

Highlights the characteristics that make up classic hollywood style

- (classic continunity )linear editing

-Character driven

-Time & Space

-Mise- en-scene

 

Genres in silent era continued to grow with the sound periods.

The Musicals,Screwball Comedy, Romance, Horror, Animataion, War, Gangster (etc.)

 

Technicolor ( color motion process, invented in 1916) advances greatly in the Classical Hollywood Cinema.

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Camera Movement

Camera Movement | Classical Hollywood Cinema | Scoop.it

Many early filmmakers had to shoot silent films and add sound later, in order to move the camera around as often as they did. Moving shots often stood out from the rest of the film and were shot with multiple cameras. These methods were not complimentary with continuity. Camera blimps started gaining popularity in the film arena, but a new complication arose. The cameras that were being used were far too heavy for the traditional tripods, so it was difficult to move the camera. These issues paved the way for the further development of dollies and cranes that began to be used at the end of the silent era.

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Classical Hollywood Characteristics

Classical Hollywood Characteristics | Classical Hollywood Cinema | Scoop.it

An array of mechanics behind making a classic hollywood film. 


Via Midori, Briana, Robert, and Young Je Lee, Classic Hollywood
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Mickey Mouse - Steamboat Willie (Whistling song)

One of the first cartoons to use synchronized sound! Debut of Mickey Mouse. Walt Disney was inspired to make a cartoon after watching the Jazz Singer

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Trouble in Paradise

Change in sound is a charcteristic that is evident in the Classical Hollywood Style. Not only did actors have more freedom in dialouge due to sound improvements but symphonic scores were also played under dialouge. 

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At Dawning (Lights of New York)

The song "At Dawning" from the 1928 movie "Lights of New York", which was the first true sound picture (Jolson's 1927 "The Jazz Singer" was basically part-si...
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Modern Times - Charlie Chaplin Eating Machine

Modern Times - Charlie Chaplin Eating Machine Charlie controlled the machine from under the table.

 

Acutally meant to be Chaplin's first talkie, but concept was abandoned and sychronized sound effects were used instead.

 

Plot focuses on a social issue by talking about individuals desperate employment status during the Great Depression. Chaplin is an assembly line worker force fed (shown in the clip) sent to the hospital and mistakened as a Communist worker. The film illustrates his obstacles and few triumphs and is a great example of invisivle style. The focus is on Chaplin as the main character not other technical elements.

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Little Caesar - Official Trailer [1931]

The gangster in each film would face a violent downfall which was designed to remind the viewers of the consequences of crime, audiences were often able to identify with the charismatic anti-hero. Those suffering from the Depression were able to relate to the gangster character who worked hard to earn his place and success in the world, only to have it all taken away from him.

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Isn't It Romantic?

From Love Me Tonight (1932)

 

One of the most popular musical numbers of early musicals. 

 

Observe the link of scenes made by dissolves yet great continuity audio and visual continuity exists.

 

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Swing Time - Rogers and Astaire

In this Swing Time clip, Lucky, Astaire, saves Penny's, Rogers, job by showing how much she has taught him. The first true dance number with the two.

 

Contritubtes to the classical romances that are part of this style of film and how dance was used to illustrate or further companionship between characters. 

 

 

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CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD CINEMAS - a JORGE AMEER documentary - TRAILER ***

48 sec-2:37

 

Production companies moved from New York & New Jersey to Hollywood due to the realiable weather. 

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Classical Hollywood Cinema

WHAT IS CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA??

Here is a for dummies summary :)

 

- Classical Hollywood cinema is a great contrast to Soviet Montage through its use of continuity editing & focus soley on characters as a method of story telling. This style is a rebirth of the ideals in the Renissance age.

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Influential Directors of Early Hollywood Cinema

Influential Directors of Early Hollywood Cinema | Classical Hollywood Cinema | Scoop.it

-Charles "Charlie" Chaplin- producer and star of his Silent Films

"City Lights" & "Modern Times

 

-Ernst Lubitsch- made many popular muscials and comedies

"Trouble in Paradise"

 

John Ford- signed 26 films during the 1930's. Directed some of the most popular early hollywood stars

"Wee Willie Winkie" "Stagecoach"

 

Howard Hawks- worked on a variety of genres. Mastered continuity editing and rapid pacing

"His Girl Friday"

 

Willy Wyler- made many inexpensive westerns

"The Children's Hour"

 

Frank Borzage- sentimental melodramas

"A Farewell to Arms"

 

Frank Capra- known for his "rags to riches" stories

" It Happened One Night" " Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" 

 

*Sorry for the "quotes" scoop it won't let me use italics

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Francine's curator insight, May 22, 2014 12:35 PM

My favourite is Willy Wyler

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Hollywood & the Depression

Like other industries, Hollywood was hit very hard by the depression. Despite this, the industry kept afloat by having sweepstakes and drawings at the theaters. Any potential promise of money was greatly valued. The cost to go to a movie was .27 cents and may theaters had double features. Many people used the movies to escape from the harsh reality of the world. Screwball Comedies (bascially romantic comedies) were among some of the most popular films during the depression. 

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Gold Diggers of 1933 - "We're in the Money"

Through sound being new to film musicals were a huge genre in early hollywood cinema.  This scene illustrates how shots were used using a crane and overhead camera due to the huge dance numbers and choreography.

 

Great example of synchronized sound.  

 

Start at :58 seconds

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The Jazz Singer

A clip from The Jazz Singer, the first live-action film with sound.

 

It is known for being the first feature film with sychronized sound elements.  This film produced by Warner Brothers birthed the decline of silent films and the popularity of talkie films

 

The plot has very popular classical syles focusing on a young Jewish boy how runs away from home to become a Jazz singer returns and has to deal with conflict between his dreams and his family heritage.

 

Observe the continunity editing( invisible style) & focus on the main character!

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Broadway Melody (1929)

It opened 80 years ago today! Broadway Melody, the first all talking musical. It was one of the first musicals to use Technicolor sequence and made color in musicals very popular. First sound film to win an Academy Award. 

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Morocco (1930)

Morocco directed by Josef von Sternberg illustrates how mise-ce scene through costumes, lighting, textures, cinematopgraphy and depth contributed to Classic Hollywood style. Star, Marlene Dietrich is glamorized through the use of grayer and softer tones created by smearing or distorting glass masks. 

 

Start at 1:42

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Pre- Code Hollywood 1930-1934

That four-year interval marks a fascinating and anomalous passage in American motion picture history: the so-called pre-Code era, when censorship was lax and Hollywood made the most of it. Unlike all studio system feature films released after July 1934, pre-Code Hollywood did not adhere to the strict regulations on matters of sex, vice, violence, and moral meaning forced upon the balance of Hollywood cinema. -Thomas Dorethy Columbia University

 

During this time many social statement films were created along with gangster and horror films.  The Pre-code Hollywood time period also illustrated more sexual and suggestive nature before harsh censorship was greatly enforced in film

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The Brox Sisters: Crying for the Carolines (1930)

Great example of linear editing and how the sound is consistent even when the sisters are shown from a distance verses full body shots.

 

Great stills of Mise- en-scene in the beginning 

 

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Dracula (1931) Trailer

Horror films were reborn in the 1930s. Instant classics such as Dracula and Frankenstein provided an escape into a supernatural world from the horror of the Great Depression. The adding of sound was a huge innovation and created an even more horrific experience. The studios would even hire actresses to sit in the audience and scream and run out of the theater at the scariest moments. These films were also heavily influenced by German Expressionism films such as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."

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1934 It happened one night - Trailer

"It happened one night" by Frank Capra... is considered the first true screwball comedy. Screwballs were characterized by fast-paced repartee, farcical situations, escapist themes, and plot lines involving courtship and marriage. They also generally feature a self-confident and often stubborn central female protagonist as seen in "It happened one night".

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