Hollywood History

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A Brief Film History Timeline – The 1940’s

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Part 3 – The 1940’s 

This is the third of a four-part film history timeline highlighting some selective moments from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.

The 1940’s were a decade that brought with it the paranoid fear of communism, the beginning of the end of the “studio system,” a new film genre, and the threat of television to the motion picture industry.

1940From Great Novel to Great Motion Picture – John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” has been brought to the screen with brilliance by John Ford.

Set during the Great Depression this powerful story focuses on the life and hardships faced by migrant workers in, what can only be described as a life without a future. This film would stir up a great deal of controversy with its appeal for justice and freedom from oppression.

1941A New Film Genre Thanks To A Little Black Bird – The wonderfully dark and mysterious genre of Film Noir is created with the production of “The Maltese Falcon” directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart.

This first major work of Film Noir would permanently imprint the profile of the “hard-boiled detective,” and the genre that would captivate generations of film fans for all time.

1942Popular Actress Carole Lombard Killed – American actress Carole Lombard, most noted for her roles in classic 1930’s comedies, was killed in a plane crash at the age of 33.

She will be remembered as one of the greatest stars of all time and the highest-paid actress during the late 1930’s and was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the classic comedy “My Man Godfrey.”

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A Brief Film History Timeline – The 1930’s

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Part 2 – The 1930’s 

This is the second of a four-part film history timeline highlighting some selective moments from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.

The 1930’s film decade presented us with the expansion of “talking pictures,” the development of film genre’s, the growth of the major film studios, and the beginning of what is known as “The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Color film production became the rage, new stars were created, and some of the old stars faded from the industry.

1930 – The Immortal Garbo Talks – Greta Garbo, having been one of the major silent screen stars, successfully made the transition to “talking pictures.”

MGM marketed the popular actress in her first speaking role with the catchphrase “Garbo Talks.” The film was Anna Christie and Garbo received an Academy Award nomination for her role and became the Queen of MGM.

1931 – “M” Thrills Audiences – Director Fritz Lang’s first sound film “M,” a suspense thriller starring Peter Lorre, sent chills down the spines of movie goers.

Reportedly based on the case of a real-life serial killer, “M” would go on to become a classic and the film Lang considered to be his finest work.

Bela Lugosi Immortalizes “Dracula” – Famed horror director Tod Browning brings Bram Stoker’s Dracula to life on the screen. The death of actor Lon Chaney along with the financial troubles faced by Universal Studio opened the door for Bela Lugosi to assume the title role.

Lugosi had experience with the role on Broadway and would work cheap. The resulting production is a timeless horror classic and the role in which Bela Lugosi would always be identified.

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A Brief Film History Timeline – The 1920’s

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Part 1 – The 1920’s 

This is the first of a four-part film history timeline highlighting some selective moments from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.

The 1920’s film decade presented us with many wonderful contributions to the history of film. The most notable being the addition of sound to motion pictures.

In addition to the development of sound technology, the following moments and events are worth remembering and/or appreciating again.

1920 – United Artists Corporation – Although incorporated as a joint venture in 1919 the American film studio United Artists Corporation did not really get under way until 1920.

Four of Hollywood’s leading stars, Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks, joined together to form their own company in an effort to take control of their careers from the “studio system.”

1921 – The “Fatty” Arbuckle Scandal – The arrest of popular silent screen comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle on charges of rape and murder threatened to rock Hollywood to its foundation.

Although later acquitted, after a series of trials, the comedians career and finances lay in ruin.

Valentino is “The Sheik” -Known as the “Latin Lover,” Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor. Tired of always playing “heavies,” and looking for a great deal more respect then he was getting at Metro Pictures, Valentino left the studio and signed with Famous Players – Lasky.

Jesse Lasky, looking to take advantage of Valentino’s reputation as the “Latin Lover,” cast the actor in his new production of “The Sheik.” This move would ultimately define the actors image, career, and legacy.

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Hollywood Movie Memories Introduction

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

From the black-and-white silent screen classics of the 1920’s to the glorious color productions of the 1950’s – these were Hollywood’s greatest decades.

Explore early Hollywood film history and the wonderful Hollywood Movie Memories that were created, as this was a time when both Hollywood and its stars were their most glamorous.

Continue reading for a brief primer of each of the featured film decades, with the films suggested for viewing those that I feel offer an accurate representation of each film genre for each year during this historic period in Hollywood.

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1940s Hollywood – Post-War and Back To The Basics

Friday, November 26th, 2010

After World War II, 1940’s peacetime Hollywood required a little something old and a little something new to keep the attention of moviegoers. During the war Hollywood had experimented, and found success, with the production of war themed pictures as well as more mature films with new topical subject matter.

There were predictions that motion pictures would, and could, never be the same as before the war. These predictions would prove to be false. The publics emotional and ideological fatigue over the war was being replaced with a peacetime euphoria that was bringing with it a building boom, new cars, and the rapid spread of television across the country.

It was time for Hollywood to get back to the basics of what the public most desired in movies. The war had reignited a taste for violence in film and the appeal of sex had never really disappeared.

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