Cinematography: Everything You Need To Know (sin-uh-muh-tahg’-ruh-fee) Cinematography is the technique and art of making motion pictures, which are a sequence of photographs of a single subject that are taken over time and then projected in the same sequence to create an illusion of motion. Each image of a moving object is slightly different from the preceding one. Projector A motion-picture projector projects the sequence of picture frames, contained on a ribbon of film, in their proper order. A claw engages perforations in the film and pulls the film down into the film gate, placing each new frame in exactly the same position as the preceding one. When the frame is in position, it is projected onto the screen by illuminating it with a beam of light. The period of time between the projection of each still image when no image is projected is normally not noticed by the viewer.
Two perceptual phenomena-persistence of vision and the critical flicker frequency-cause a continuous image. Persistence of a vision is the ability of the viewer to retain or in some way remember the impression of an image after it has been withdrawn from view. The critical flicker frequency is the minimum rate of interruption of the projected light beam that will not cause the motion picture to appear to flicker. A frequency above about 48 interruptions a second will eliminate flicker. Camera Like a still camera (see CAMERA), a movie camera shoots each picture individually. The movie camera, however, must also move the film precisely and control the shutter, keeping the amount of light reaching the film nearly constant from frame to frame.
... late 1800 s, dozens of inventors worked on moving-picture cameras. The essential device for creating the illusion of moving ... entertainment. More importantly, it demonstrated the artistic potentialities of film as compared to live theater. Tens of millions went to ... Just as important as the motion pictures were the actors and actresses who performed in the films. Throughout America they became popular ...
The shutter of a movie camera is essentially a circular plate rotated by an electric motor An opening in the plate exposes the film frame only after the film has been positioned and has come to rest. The plate itself continues to rotate smoothly. Photographic materials must be manufactured with great precision. The perforations, or holes in the film, must be precisely positioned. The pitch-the distance from one hole to another-must be maintained by correct film storage.
By the late 1920 s, a sound-on-film system of synchronous SOUND RECORDING was developed and gained widespread popularity. In this process, the sound is recorded separately on a machine synchronized with the picture camera. Unlike the picture portion of the film, the sound portion is recorded and played back continuously rather than in intermittent motion. Although editing still makes use of perforated film for flexibility, a more modern technique uses conventional magnetic tape for original recording and synchronizes the recording to the picture electronically (see TAPE RECORDER).
If the number of photographs projected per unit time (frame rate) differs from the number produced per unit time by the camera, an apparent speeding up or slowing down of the normal rate is created.
Changes in the frame rates are used occasionally for comic effect or motion analysis. Cinematography becomes an art when the filmmaker attempts to make moving images that relate directly to human perception, provide visual significance and information, and provoke emotional response. History of Film Technology Several parlor toys of the early 1800 s used visual illusions similar to those of the motion picture. These include the thaumatrope (1825); the phenakistiscope (1832); the stroboscope (1832); and the zoe trope (1834).
The photographic movie, however, was first used as a means of investigation rather than of theatrical illusion.
Leland Stanford, then governor of California, hired photographer Eadweard MUYBRIDGE to prove that at some time in a horse’s gallop all four legs are simultaneously off the ground. Muybridge did so by using several cameras to produce a series of photographs with very short time intervals between them. Such a multiple photographic record was used in the kinetoscope, which displayed a photographic moving image and was commercially successful for a time. The kinetoscope was invented either by Thomas Alva EDISON or by his assistant William K. L. Dickson, both of whom had experimented originally with moving pictures as a supplement to the phonograph record.
... move in. I personally thought the film was wonderful for its time. It wasn't the plot because ... in too many movies. The sound in the movie was very interesting at times. There were scenes where you ... He ends up getting caught because of the sound of his whistling that's one of the main ... become synonymous with trouble, and menacing situations. The sound of the killer's whistling is what inevitably gets ...
They later turned to George EASTMAN, who provided a flexible celluloid film base to store the large number of images necessary to create motion pictures. The mechanical means of cinematography were gradually perfected. It was discovered that it was better to display the sequence of images intermittently rather than continuously. This technique allowed a greater presentation time and more light for the projection of each frame. Another improvement was the loop above and below the film gate in both the camera and the projector, which prevented the film from tearing.
By the late 1920 s, synchronized sound was being introduced in movies. These sound films soon replaced silent films in popularity. To prevent the microphones from picking up camera noise, a portable housing was designed that muffled noises and allowed the camera to be moved about. In recent years, equipment, lighting, and film have all been improved, but the processes involved remain essentially the same.
RICHARD FL OBERG Bibliography
Fielding, Raymond, ed. , A Technological History of Motion Pictures and Television (1967); Happy, I. Bernard, Basic Motion Picture Technology, 2 d ed. (1975); Malkiewicz, J. Kris, and Rogers, Robert E.
, Cinematography (1973); Wheeler, Leslie J. , Principles of Cinematography, 4 th ed. (1973).
film: film, history of The history of film has been dominated by the discovery and testing of the paradoxes inherent in the medium itself. Film uses machines to record images of life; it combines still photographs to give the illusion of continuous motion; it seems to present life itself, but it also offers impossible un realities approached only in dreams. ^The motion picture was developed in the 1890 s from the union of still PHOTOGRAPHY, which records physical reality, with the persistence-of-vision toy, which made drawn figures appear to move.
... Lumieres brothers improve on Edison Kinescope, and create the Cinematograph, a smaller more portable camera, that can film and view motion pictures. With this new ... Cinematograph, the Lumieres brothers were able to film and then project ...
Four major film traditions have developed since then: fictional narrative film, which tells stories about people with whom an audience can identify because their world looks familiar; nonfictional documentary film, which focuses on the real world either to instruct or to reveal some sort of truth about it; animated film, which makes drawn or sculpted figures look as if they are moving and speaking; and experimental film, which exploits film’s ability to create a purely abstract, non realistic world unlike any previously seen. ^Film is considered the youngest art form and has inherited much from the older and more traditional arts. Like the novel, it can tell stories; like the drama, it can portray conflict between live characters; like painting, it composes in space with light, color, shade, shape, and texture; like music, it moves in time according to principles of rhythm and tone; like dance, it presents the movement of figures in space and is often underscored by music; and like photography, it presents a two-dimensional rendering of what appears to be three-dimensional reality, using perspective, depth, and shading. ^Film, however, is one of the few arts that is both spatial and temporal, intentionally manipulating both space and time. This synthesis has given rise to two conflicting theories about film and its historical development. Some theorists, such as S.
M. EISENSTEIN and Rudolf Arnheim, have argued that film must take the path of the other modern arts and concentrate not on telling stories or representing reality but on investigating time and space in a pure and consciously abstract way. Others, such as Andre Bazin and Siegfried KRACAUER, maintain that film must fully and carefully develop its connection with nature so that it can portray human events as excitingly and revealingly as possible. ^Because of his fame, his success at publicizing his activities, and his habit of patenting machines before actually inventing them, Thomas EDISON received most of the credit for having invented the motion picture; as early as 1887, he patented a motion picture camera, but this could not produce images. In reality, many inventors contributed to the development of moving pictures. Perhaps the first important contribution was the series of motion photographs made by Eadweard MUYBRIDGE between 1872 and 1877.
Hired by the governor of California, Leland Stanford, to capture on film the movement of a racehorse, Muybridge tied a series of wires across the track and connected each one to the shutter of a still camera. The running horse tripped the wires and exposed a series of still photographs, which Muybridge then mounted on a stroboscopic disk and projected with a magic lantern to reproduce an image of the horse in motion. Muybridge shot hundreds of such studies and went on to lecture in Europe, where his work intrigued the French scientist E. J. MAREY. Marey devised a means of shooting motion photographs with what he called a photographic gun.
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^Edison became interested in the possibilities of motion photography after hearing Muybridge lecture in West Orange, N. J. Edison’s motion picture experiments, under the direction of William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, began in 1888 with an attempt to record the photographs on wax cylinders similar to those used to make the original phonograph recordings. Dickson made a major breakthrough when he decided to use George EASTMAN’s celluloid film instead. Celluloid was tough but supple and could be manufactured in long rolls, making it an excellent medium for motion photography, which required great lengths of film. Between 1891 and 1895, Dickson shot many 15-second films using the Edison camera, or Kinetograph, but Edison decided against projecting the films for audiences-in part because the visual results were inadequate and in part because he felt that motion pictures would have little public appeal.
Instead, Edison marketed an electrically driven peep-hole viewing machine (the Kinetoscope) that displayed the marvels recorded to one viewer at a time. ^Edison thought so little of the Kinetoscope that he failed to extend his patent rights to England and Europe, an oversight that allowed two Frenchmen, Louis and Auguste LUMIERE, to manufacture a more portable camera and a functional projector, the Cinematography, based on Edison’s machine. The movie era might be said to have begun officially on Dec. 28, 1895, when the Lumiere’s presented a program of brief motion pictures to a paying audience in the basement of a Paris cafe. English and German inventors also copied and improved upon the Edison machines, as did many other experimenters in the United States. By the end of the 19 th century vast numbers of people in both Europe and America had been exposed to some form of motion pictures.
^The earliest films presented 15- to 60-second glimpses of real scenes recorded outdoors (workmen, trains, fire engines, boats, parades, soldiers) or of staged theatrical performances shot indoors. These two early tendencies-to record life as it is and to dramatize life for artistic effect-can be viewed as the two dominant paths of film history. ^Georges MELIES was the most important of the early theatrical filmmakers. A magician by trade, Melies, in such films as A Trip to the Moon (1902), showed how the cinema could perform the most amazing magic tricks of all: simply by stopping the camera, adding something to the scene or removing something from it, and then starting the camera again, he made things seem to appear and disappear. Early English and French filmmakers such as Cecil Hepworth, James Williamson, and Ferdinand Zucca also discovered how rhythmic movement (the chase) and rhythmic editing could make cinema’s treatment of time and space more exciting. American Film in the Silent Era (1903-1928) A most interesting primitive American film was The Great Train Robbery (1903), directed by Edwin S.
... after hearing Muybridge lecture in West Orange, N.J. Edison's motion picture experiments, under the direction of William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, ... and America had been exposed to some form of motion pictures.The earliest films presented 15- to 60-second glimpses of real ... as if they are moving and speaking; and experimental film, which exploits film's ability to create a purely abstract, nonrealistic ...
PORTER of the Edison Company. This early western used much freer editing and camera work than usual to tell its story, which included bandits, a holdup, a chase by a posse, and a final shoot-out. When other companies (Vita graph, the American Muto scope and Biograph Company, Lubin, and Kale m among them) began producing films that rivaled those of the Edison Company, Edison sued them for infringement of his patent rights. This so-called patents war lasted 10 years (1898-1908), ending only when nine leading film companies merged to form the Motion Picture Patents Company.
^One reason for the settlement was the enormous profits to be derived from what had begun merely as a cheap novelty. Before 1905 motion pictures were usually shown in vaudeville houses as one act on the bill. After 1905 a growing number of small, storefront theaters called nickelodeons, accommodating less than 200 patrons, began to show motion pictures exclusively. By 1908 an estimated 10 million Americans were paying their nickels and dimes to see such films. Young speculators such as William Fox and Marcus Loew saw their theaters, which initially cost but $1, 600 each, grow into enterprises worth $150, 000 each within 5 years. Called the drama of the people, the early motion pictures attracted primarily working-class and immigrant audiences who found the nickelodeon a pleasant family diversion; they might not have been able to read the words in novels and newspapers, but they understood the silent language of pictures.
... the first motion pictures many people tried to synchronize phonograph records with films without success. Some theaters used machines to emit sound effects behind ... peak of its development. United States had the largest film industry and American films dominated the international market. Germany and Japan still had ...
^The popularity of the moving pictures led to the first attacks against it by crusading moralists, police, and politicians. Local censorship boards were established to eliminate objectionable material from films. In 1909 the infant U. S. film industry waged a counterattack by creating the first of many self-censorship boards, the National Board of Censorship (after 1916 called the National Board of Review), whose purpose was to set moral standards for films and thereby save them from costly mutilation. ^A nickelodeon program consisted of about six 10-minute films, usually including an adventure, a comedy, an informational film, a chase film, and a melodrama.
The most accomplished maker of these films was Biograph’s D. W. GRIFFITH, who almost single handedly transformed both the art and the business of the motion picture. Griffith made over 400 short films between 1908 and 1913, in this period discovering or developing almost every major technique by which film manipulates time and space: the use of alternating close-ups, medium shots, and distant panoramas; the subtle control of rhythmic editing; the effective use of traveling shots, atmospheric lighting, narrative commentary, poetic detail, and visual symbolism; and the advantages of understated acting, at which his acting company excelled.
The culmination of Griffith’s work was The Birth of a Nation (1915), a mammoth, 3-hour epic of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Its historical detail, suspense, and passionate conviction were to outdate the 10-minute film altogether. ^The decade between 1908 and 1918 was one of the most important in the history of American film. The full-length feature film replaced the program of short films; World War I destroyed or restricted the film industries of Europe, promoting greater technical innovation, growth, and commercial stability in America; the FILM INDUSTRY was consolidated with the founding of the first major studios in Hollywood, Calif. (Fox, Paramount, and Universal); and the great American silent comedies were born. Mack SENNETT became the driving force behind the Keystone Company soon after joining it in 1912; Hal Roach founded his comedy company in 1914; and Charlie CHAPLIN probably had the best-known face in the world in 1916.
^During this period the first movie stars rose to fame, replacing the anonymous players of the short films. In 1918, America’s two favorite stars, Charlie Chaplin and Mary PICKFORD, both signed contracts for over $1 million. Other familiar stars of the decade included comedians Fatty ARBUCKLE and John Bunny, cowboys William S. HART and Bronco Billy Anderson, matinee idols Rudolph VALENTINO and John Gilbert, and the alluring females The da BARA and Clara BOW. Along with the stars came the first movie fan magazines; Photoplay published its inaugural issue in 1912. That same year also saw the first of the FILM SERIALS, The Perils of Pauline, starring Pearl White.
^The next decade in American film history, 1918 to 1928, was a period of stabilization rather than expansion. Films were made within studio complexes, which were, in essence, factories designed to produce films in the same way that Henry Ford’s factories produced automobiles. Film companies became monopolies in that they not only made films but distributed them to theaters and owned the theaters in which they were shown as well. This vertical integration formed the commercial foundation of the film industry for the next 30 years. Two new producing companies founded during the decade were Warner Brothers (1923), which would become powerful with its early conversion to synchronized sound, and Metro-Goldwyn (1924; later Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), the producing arm of Loew’s, under the direction of Louis B. MAYER and Irving THAL BERG.
^Attacks against immorality in films intensified during this decade, spurred by the sensual implications and sexual practices of the movie stars both on and off the screen. In 1921, after several nationally publicized sex and drug scandals, the industry headed off the threat of federal CENSORSHIP by creating the office of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (now the Motion Picture Association of America), under the direction of Will HAYS. Hays, who had been postmaster general of the United States and Warren G. Harding’s campaign manager, began a series of public relations campaigns to underscore the importance of motion pictures to American life. He also circulated several lists of practices that were henceforth forbidden on and off the screen. ^Hollywood films of the 1920 s became more polished, subtle, and skillful, and especially imaginative in handling the absence of sound.
It was the great age of comedy. Chaplin retained a hold on his world-following with full-length features such as The Kid (1920) and The Gold Rush (1925); Harold LLOYD climbed his way to success-and got the girl-no matter how great the obstacles as Grandma’s Boy (1922) or The Freshman (1925); Buster KEATON remained deadpan through a succession of wildly bizarre sight gags in Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator (both 1924); Harry Langdon was ever the innocent elf cast adrift in a mean, tough world; and director Ernst LUBITSCH, fresh from Germany, brought his “touch” to understated comedies of manners, sex, and marriage. The decade saw the United States’s first great war film (The Big Parade, 1925), its first great westerns (The Covered Wagon, 1923; The Iron Horse, 1924), and its first great biblical epics (The Ten Commandments, 1923, and King of Kings, 1927, both made by Cecil B.
Other films of this era included Erich Von STROHEIM’s sexual studies, Lon CHANEY’s grotesque costume melodramas, and the first great documentary feature, Robert J. FLAHERTY’s Nanook of the North (1922).
European Film in the 1920 s In the same decade, the European film industries recovered from the war to produce one of the richest artistic periods in film history.
The German cinema, stimulated by EXPRESSIONISM in painting and the theater and by the design theories of the BAUHAUS, created bizarrely expressionistic settings for such fantasies as Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1919), F. W. MURNAU’s Nosferatu (1922), and Fritz LANG’s Metropolis (1927).
The Germans also brought their sense of decor, atmospheric lighting, and penchant for a frequently moving camera to such realistic political and psychological studies as Murnau’s The Last Laugh (1924), G. W.
PABST’s The Joyless Street (1925), and E. A. Dupont’s Variety (1925).
^Innovation also came from the completely different approach taken by filmmakers in the USSR, where movies were intended not only to entertain but also to instruct the masses in the social and political goals of their new government. The Soviet cinema used MONTAGE, or complicated editing techniques that relied on visual metaphor, to create excitement and richness of texture and, ultimately, to affect ideological attitudes. The most influential Soviet theorist and filmmaker was Sergei M.
Eisenstein, whose Potemkin (1925) had a worldwide impact; other innovative Soviet filmmakers of the 1920 s included V. I. PUDOVKIN, Lev Kuleshov, Abram Room, and Alexander DOVZHENKO. ^The Swedish cinema of the 1920 s relied heavily on the striking visual qualities of the northern landscape. Mauri tz Stiller and Victor Sj ostrom mixed this natural imagery of mountains, sea, and ice with psychological drama and tales of supernatural quests. French cinema, by contrast, brought the methods and assumptions of modern painting to film.
Under the influence of SURREALISM and dadaism, filmmakers working in France began to experiment with the possibility of rendering abstract perceptions or dreams in a visual medium. Marcel DUCHAMP, Rene CLAIR, Fernand LEGER, Jean RENOIR-and Luis BUNUEL and Salvador DALI in Un Chien and alou (1928) -all made anti realist, antirational, noncommercial films that helped establish the avant-garde tradition in filmmaking. Several of these filmmakers would later make significant contributions to the narrative tradition in the sound era. The Arrival of Sound The era of the talking film began in late 1927 with the enormous success of Warner Brothers’ The Jazz Singer.
The first totally sound film, Lights of New York, followed in 1928. Although experimentation with synchronizing sound and picture was as old as the cinema itself (Dickson, for example, made a rough synchronization of the two for Edison in 1894), the feasibility of sound film was widely publicized only after Warner Brothers purchased the Vitaphone from Western Electric in 1926. The original Vitaphone system synchronized the picture with a separate phonographic disk, rather than using the more accurate method of recording (based on the principle of the OSCILLOSCOPE) a sound track on the film itself. Warners originally used the Vitaphone to make short musical films featuring both classical and popular performers and to record musical sound tracks for otherwise silent films (Don Juan, 1926).
For The Jazz Singer, Warners added four synchronized musical sequences to the silent film. When Al JOLSON sang and then delivered several lines of dialogue, audiences were electrified.
The silent film was dead within a year. ^The conversion to synchronized sound caused serious problems for the film industry. Sound recording was difficult; cameras had to shoot from inside glass booths; studios had to build special soundproof stages; theaters required expensive new equipment; writers had to be hired who had an ear for dialogue; and actors had to be found whose voices could deliver it. Many of the earliest talkies were ugly and static, the visual images serving merely as an accompaniment to endless dialogue, sound effects, and musical numbers.
Serious film critics mourned the passing of the motion picture, which no longer seemed to contain either motion or picture. ^The most effective early sound films were those that played most adventurously with the union of picture and sound track. Walt DISNEY in his cartoons combined surprising sights with inventive sounds, carefully orchestrating the animated motion and musical rhythm. Ernst Lubitsch also played very cleverly with sound, contrasting the action depicted visually with the information on the sound track in dazzlingly funny or revealing ways. By 1930 the U. S.
film industry had conquered both the technical and the artistic problems involved in using sight and sound harmoniously, and the European industry was quick to follow. Hollywood’s Golden Era The 1930 s was the golden era of the Hollywood studio film. It was the decade of the great movie stars-Greta GARBO, Marlene DIETRICH, Jean HARLOW, Mae WEST, Katharine HEPBURN, Bette DAVIS, Cary GRANT, Gary COOPER, Clark GABLE, James STEWART-and some of America’s greatest directors thrived on the pressures and excitement of studio production. Josef von STERNBERG became legendary for his use of exotic decor and sexual symbolism; Howard HAWKS made driving adventures and fast-paced comedies; Frank CAPRA blended politics and morality in a series of comedy-dramas; and John FORD myth ified the American West.
^American studio pictures seemed to come in cycles, many of the liveliest being those that could not have been made before synchronized sound. The gangster film introduced Americans to the tough doings and tougher talk of big-city thugs, as played by James CAGNEY, Paul MUNI, and Edward G. ROBINSON. Musicals included the witty operettas of Ernst Lubitsch, with Maurice CHEVALIER and Jeanette MACDONALD; the backstage musicals, with their kaleidoscopically dazzling dance numbers, of Busby BERKELEY; and the smooth, more natural song-and-dance comedies starring Fred ASTAIRE and Ginger ROGERS. Synchronized sound also produced SCREWBALL COMEDY, which explored the dizzy doings of fast-moving, fast-thinking, and, above all, fast-talking men and women. ^The issue of artistic freedom versus censorship raised by the movies came to the fore again with the advent of talking pictures.
Spurred by the depression that hit the industry in 1933 and by the threat of an economic boycott by the newly formed Catholic Legion of Decency, the motion picture industry adopted an official Production Code in 1934. Written in 1930 by Daniel Lord, S. J. , and Martin Quigley, a Catholic layman who was publisher of The Motion Picture Herald, the code explicitly prohibited certain acts, themes, words, and implications. Will Hays appointed Joseph I.
Breen, the Catholic layman most instrumental in founding the Legion of Decency, head of the Production Code Administration, and this awarded the industry’s seal of approval to films that met the code’s moral standards. The result was the curtailment of explicit violence and sexual innuendo, and also of much of the flavor that had characterized films earlier in the decade. Europe During the 1930 s The 1930 s abroad did not produce films as consistently rich as those of the previous decade. With the coming of sound, the British film industry was reduced to satellite status. The most stylish British productions were the historical dramas of Sir Alexander KORDA and the mystery-adventures of Alfred HITCHCOCK. The major Korda stars, as well as Hitchcock himself, left Britain for Hollywood before the decade ended.
More innovative were the government-funded documentaries and experimental films made by the General Post Office Film Unit under the direction of John Grierson. ^Soviet filmmakers had problems with the early sound-film machines and with the application of montage theory (a totally visual conception) to sound filming. They were further plagued by restrictive Stalinist policies, policies that sometimes kept such ambitious film artists as Pudovkin and Eisenstein from making films altogether. The style of the German cinema was perfectly suited to sound filming, and German films of the period 1928-32 show some of the most creative uses of the medium in the early years of sound. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, however, almost all the creative film talent left Germany.
An exception was Leni RIEFENSTAHL, whose theatrical documentary Triumph of the Will (1934) represents a highly effective example of the German propaganda films made during the decade. ^French cinema, the most exciting alternative to Hollywood in the 1930 s, produced many of France’s most classic films. The decade found director Jean Renoir-in Grand Illusion (1937) and Rules of the Game (1939) -at the height of his powers; Rene Clair mastered both the musical fantasy and the sociopolitical satire (A Nous la liberty, 1931); Marcel PAG NOL brought to the screen his trilogy of Marseilles life, Fanny; the young Jean VIGO, in only two films, brilliantly expressed youthful rebellion and mature love; and director Marcel CARNE teamed with poet Jacques Prevent to produce haunting existential romances of lost love and inevitable death in Quai des brutes (1938) and Le Jour se leve (1939).
Hollywood: World War II, Postwar Decline During World War II, films were required to lift the spirits of Americans both at home and overseas. Many of the most accomplished Hollywood directors and producers went to work for the War Department. Frank Capra produced the “Why We Fight” series (1942-45); Walt Disney, fresh from his Snow White (1937) and Fantasia (1940) successes, made animated informational films; and Garson KAN IN, John HUSTON, and William WYLER all made documentaries about important battles.
Among the new American directors to make remarkable narrative films at home were three former screenwriters, Preston STURGES, Billy WILDER, and John Huston. Orson WELLES, the boy genius of theater and radio fame, also came to Hollywood to shoot Citizen Kane (1941), the strange story of a newspaper magnate whose American dream turns into a loveless nightmare. ^Between 1946 and 1953 the movie industry was attacked from many sides. As a result, the Hollywood studio system totally collapsed. First, the U. S.
House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities investigated alleged Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry in two separate sets of hearings. In 1948, The HOLLYWOOD TEN, 10 screenwriters and directors who refused to answer the questions of the committee, went to jail for contempt of Congress. Then, from 1951 to 1954, in mass hearings, Hollywood celebrities were forced either to name their associates as fellow Communists or to refuse to answer all questions on the grounds of the 5 th Amendment, protecting themselves against self-incrimination. These hearings led the industry to blacklist many of its most talented workers and also weakened its image in the eyes of America and the world. ^In 1948 the United States Supreme Court, ruling in United States v. Paramount that the vertical integration of the movie industry was monopolistic, required the movie studios to divest themselves of the theaters that showed their pictures and thereafter to cease all unfair or discriminatory distribution practices.
At the same time, movie attendance started a steady decline; the film industry’s gross revenues fell every year from 1947 to 1963. The most obvious cause was the rise of TELEVISION, as more and more Americans each year stayed home to watch the entertainment they could get most comfortably and inexpensively. In addition, European quotas against American films bit into Hollywood’s foreign revenues. ^While major American movies lost money, foreign art films were attracting an enthusiastic and increasingly large audience, and these foreign films created social as well as commercial difficulties for the industry. In 1951, The Miracle, a 40-minute film by Roberto ROSSELLINI, was attacked by the New York Catholic Diocese as sacrilegious and was banned by New York City’s commissioner of licenses. The 1952 Supreme Court ruling in the Miracle case officially granted motion pictures the right to free speech as guaranteed in the Constitution, reversing a 1915 ruling by the Court that movies were not equivalent to speech.
Although the ruling permitted more freedom of expression in films, it also provoked public boycotts and repeated legal tests of the definition of obscenity. ^Hollywood attempted to counter the effects of television with a series of technological gimmicks in the early 1950 s: 3-D, Cinerama, and Cinemascope. The industry converted almost exclusively to color filming during the decade, aided by the cheapness and flexibility of the new Eastman color mono pack, which came to challenge the monopoly of Technicolor. The content of postwar films also began to change as Hollywood searched for a new audience and a new style. There were more socially conscious films-such as Fred ZINNEMANN’s The Men (1950) and Elia KAZAN’s On The Waterfront (1954); more adaptations of popular novels and plays; more independent (as opposed to studio) production; and a greater concentration on FILM NOIR-grim detective stories in brutal urban settings. Older genres such as the Western still flourished, and MGM brought the musical to what many consider its pinnacle in a series of films produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente MINNELLI, Gene KELLY, and Stanley Done.
The Film in Europe and Australia From 1950 The stimulus for defining a new film content and style came to the United States from abroad, where many previously dormant film industries sprang to life in the postwar years to produce an impressive array of films for the international market. The European film renaissance can be said to have started in Italy with such masters of NEO REALISM as Roberto Rossellini, in Open City (1945), Vittorio DE SICA, in The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Umberto D (1952), and Lu chino VISCONTI, in La Terra Trem a (1948).
Federico FELLINI broke with the tradition to make films of a more poetic and personal nature such as I Vitelloni (1953) and La Strada (1954) and then shifted to a more sensational style in the 1960 s with La Dolce Vita (1960) and the intellectual 8 1/2 (1963).
Visconti in the 1960 s and ’70 s would also adopt a more flamboyant approach and subject matter in lush treatments of corruption and decadence such as The Damned (1970).
A new departure-both artistic and thematic-was evidenced by Michelangelo ANTONIO NI in his subtle psychosocial trilogy of films that began with L’Aventura (1960).
The vitality of a second generation of Italian filmmakers was impressively demonstrated by Lina WERT MULLER in The Seduction of Mimi (1974) and Seven Beauties (1976) and by Bernardo BERTOLUCCI, who in films like Before the Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), and 1900 (1977) fused radical social and political ideology with a stunning aestheticism.
^With the coming of NEW WAVE films in the late 1950 s, the French cinema reasserted the artistic primacy it had enjoyed in the prewar period. Applying a personal style to radically different forms of film narrative, New Wave directors included Claude CHABROL (The Cousins, 1959), Francois TRUFFAUT (The 400 Blows, 1959; Jules and Jim, 1961), Alain RES NAIS (Hiroshima Mon Amour, 1959), and Jean-Luc GODARD, who, following the success of his offbeat Breathless (1960), became progressively more committed to a Marxist interpretation of society, as seen in Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1966), Weekend (1967), and La Chinoise (1967).
Eric ROHMER, mining a more traditional vein, produced sophisticated “moral tales” in My Night at Maud’s (1968) and Claire’s Knee (1970); while Louis MALLE audaciously explored such charged subjects as incest and collaborationist in Murmur of the Heart (1971) and Lacombe Lucien (1974).
The Spaniard Luis Bunuel, working in Mexico, Spain, and France-and defying all categorization-continued to break new ground with ironic examinations of the role of religion (Naz arin, 1958; Viridian a, 1961; The Milky Way, 1969) and absurdist satires on middle-class foibles (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972).
^From Sweden Ingmar BERGMAN emerged in the 1950 s as the master of introspective, often death-obsessed studies of complex human relationships. Although capable of comedy, as in Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), Bergman was at his most impressive in more despairing, existentialist dramas such as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Persona (1966), and Cries and Whispers (1972), in all of these aided by a first-rate acting ensemble and brilliant cinematography. ^British film, largely reduced to a spate of Alec GUINNESS comedies by the early 1950 s, was revitalized over the next decade by the ability of directors working in England to produce compelling cinematic translations of the “angry young man” novelists and playwrights, of Harold PINTER’s existentialist dramas, and of the traditional great British novels. Britain regained a healthy share of the market with films such as Jack Clayton’s Room at the Top (1958); Tony Richardson’s Look Back in Anger (1959), The Entertainer (1960), A Taste of Honey (1961), and Tom Jones (1963); Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and Morgan (1966); Lindsay ANDERSON’s This Sporting Life (1963); Joseph LOSEY’s The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967); Ken RUSSELL’s Women in Love (1969); and John Schlesinger’S Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971).
The popularity of the James Bond spy series, which began in 1962, gave the industry an added boost. ^The internationalism both of the film market and of film distribution after 1960 was underscored by the emergence even in smaller countries of successful film industries and widely recognized directorial talent: Andrzej WANDA and Roman POLANSKI in Poland; Jan KADAR, Milos FORMAN, Ivan PASSER, and Jiri Menzel in Czechoslovakia; and, more recently, Wim WENDERS, Werner HERZOG, and Rainer Werner FASSBINDER in West Germany. The death (1982) of Fassbinder ended an extraordinary and prolific career, but his absence has yet to be felt-particularly in the United States, where many of his earlier films are being shown for the first time. ^Australia is a relatively new entrant into the contemporary world film market. Buoyed by government subsidies, Australian directors have produced a group of major films within the past decade: Peter WEIR’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave (1977), Gillian Armstrong’s My Brilliant Career (1979) and Star Struck (1982), Fred Schepisi’s The Devil’s Playground and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978), and Bruce Beresford’s Breaker Moran t (1980).
Beresford, Weir, and Schepisi have since directed films with U.
S. backing; Beresford’s Tender Mercies (1983) is about that most American phenomenon, the country-western singer. Postwar Film in Asia Thriving film industries have existed in both Japan and India since the silent era. It was only after World War II, however, that non-Western cinematic traditions became visible and influential internationally. The Japanese director Akira KUROSAWA opened a door to the West with his widely acclaimed Rashomon (1950), an investigation into the elusive nature of truth.
His samurai dramas, such as The Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), an adaptation of Macbeth, Yojimbo (1961), and Kagemusha (1980), were ironic adventure tales that far transcended the usual Japanese sword movies, a genre akin to U. S. westerns. K enzi MIZOGUCHI is known for his stately period films Ug etsu (1953) and San sho the Bailiff (1955).
Yoshio Ozu’s poetic studies of modern domestic relations (Tokyo Story, 1953; An Autumn Afternoon, (1962) introduced Western audiences to a personal sensitivity that was both intensely national and universal. Younger directors, whose careers date from the postwar burgeoning of the Japanese film, include Teinosuke Kinugasa (Gate of Hell, 1953), Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman of the Dunes, 1964, from a script by the novelist ABE KOBO), Masahiro Shin oda (Under the Cherry Blossoms, 1975), Nag isa Oshima (The Ceremony, 1971) and Masaki Kobayashi, best known for his nine-hour trilogy on the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, The Human Condition (1959-61), and Hara kiri (1962), a de glamorization of the samurai tradition.
^The film industry in India, which ranks among the largest in the world, has produced very little for international consumption. Its most famous director, Satyajit RAY, vividly brings to life the problems of an India in transition, in particular in the trilogy comprising Rather Panc hali (1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1958).
Bengali is the language used in almost all Ray’s films. In 1977, however, he produced The Chess Players, with sound tracks in both Hindi and English.
American Film Today Throughout the 1960 s and ’70 s, the American film industry accommodated itself to the competition of this world market; to a film audience that had shrunk from 80 million to 20 million weekly; to the tastes of a primarily young and educated audience; and to the new social and sexual values sweeping the United States and much of the rest of the industrialized world. The Hollywood studios that have survived in name (Paramount, Warners, Universal, MGM, Fox) are today primarily offices for film distribution. Many are subsidiaries of such huge conglomerates as the Coca Cola Company or Gulf and Western. Increasingly, major films are being shot in places other than Hollywood (New York City, for example, is recovering its early status as a filmmaking center), and Hollywood now produces far more television movies, series, and commercials than it does motion pictures.
^American movies of the past 20 years have moved more strongly into social criticism (Doctor Strangelove, 1963; The Graduate, 1967; The Godfather, 1971; One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975; The Deer Hunter, 1978; Norma Rae, 1979; Apocalypse Now, 1979; Missing, 1982); or they have offered an escape from social reality into the realm of fantasy, aided by the often beautiful, sometimes awesome effects produced by new film technologies (2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968; Jaws, 1975; Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977; Altered States, 1979; E. T. , 1982); or they have returned to earnest or comic investigations of the dilemmas of everyday life (a troubled family, in Ordinary People, 1980; divorce life and male parenting, in Kramer v. Kramer, 1979; women in a male world, in Nine to Five, 1979, and Tootsie, 1982).
The most successful directors of the past 15 years-Stanley KUBRICK, Robert ALTMAN, Francis Ford COPPOLA, Woody ALLEN, George LUCAS, and Steven SPIELBERG-are those who have played most imaginatively with the tools of film communication itself.
The stars of recent years (with the exceptions of Paul NEWMAN and Robert REDFORD) have, for their part, been more offbeat and less glamorous than their predecessors of the studio era-Robert DE NIRO, Jane Fonda (see FONDA FAMILY), Dustin HOFFMAN, Jack NICHOLSON, Al PACINO, and Meryl STREEP. ^The last two decades have seen the virtual extinction of animated film, which is too expensive to make well, and the rebirth of U. S. documentary film in the insightful work of Fred WISEMAN, the May sles brothers, Richard Leacock and Donn Penne baker, and, in Europe, of Marcel OPH ULS. Even richer is the experimental, or underground, movement of the 1960 s and 1970 s, in which filmmakers such as Stan BRAK HAGE, Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Hollis Frampton, Michael Snow, and Robert Beer have worked as personally and abstractly with issues of visual and psychological perception as have modern painters and poets.
The new vitality of these two opposite traditions-the one devoted to revealing external reality, the other to revealing the life of the mind-underscores the persistence of the dichotomy inherent in the film medium. In the future, film will probably continue to explore these opposing potentialities. Narrative films in particular will probably continue trends that began with the French New Wave, experimenting with more elliptical ways of telling film stories and either borrowing or rediscovering many of the images, themes, and devices of the experimental film itself. GERALD MAST Bibliography
GENERAL HISTORIES AND CRITICISM: Arnheim, Rudolf, Film as Art (1957; repr.
1971); Bazin, Andre, What is Cinema, 2 vols. , trans. by Hugh Gray (1967, 1971); Cook, David A. , A History of Narrative Film, 1889-1979 (1981); Cowie, Peter, ed. , Concise History of the Cinema, 2 vols. (1970); Eisenstein, Sergei M.
, Film Form (1949; repr. 1969); Halliwell, Leslie, Filmgoer’s Companion, 6 th ed. (1977); Jowett, Garth, Film: The Democratic Art (1976); Karl, Pauline, Reeling (1976), and 5, 000 Nights at the Movies: A Guide from A to Z (1982); Kracauer, Siegfried, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (1960); Mast, Gerald, A Short History of the Movies, 2 d ed. (1976); Mast, Gerald, and Cohen, Marshall, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (1974); Monaco, James, How to Read a Film (1977); Peary, Danny, Cult Movies (1981); Robinson, David, The History of World Cinema (1973).
^ NATIONAL FILM HISTORIES: AMERICAN: Higham, Charles, The Art of American Film, 1900-1971 (1973); Monaco, James, American Film Now: The People, the Power, the Movies (1979); S arris, Andrew, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968 (1968); Sklar, Robert, Movie-Made America (1975).
^AUSTRALIAN: Stratton, David, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival (1981).
^BRITISH: Armes, Roy, A History of British Cinema (1978); Low, Rachael, The History of British Film, 4 vols. (1973); Manvell, Roger, New Cinema in Britain (1969).
^FRENCH: Armes, Roy, The French Cinema Since 1946, 2 vols. , rev.
ed. (1970); Harvey, Sylvia, May ’68 and Film Culture (rev. ed. , 1980); Monaco, James, The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Ricette (1976); Sado ul, Georges, French Film (1953; repr. 1972).
^GERMAN: Barlow, John D.
, German Expressionist Film (1982); Hull, David S. , Film of the Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 1933-1945 (1969); Manvell, Roger, and Fraenkel, Heinrich, The German Cinema (1971); Sandford, John The New German Cinema (1980); Wallenberg, H. H. , Fifty Years of German Film (1948; repr. 1972).
^ITALIAN: Jarrett, Vernon, Italian Cinema (1951; repr. 1972); Leprohon, Pierre, The Italian Cinema (1972); Rond i, Gian, Italian Cinema Today (1965); Wit combe, Roger, The New Italian Cinema (1982).
^JAPANESE: Mellen, Joan, The Waves at Genji’s Door: Japan Through Its Cinema (1976); Richie, Donald, The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965), and The Japanese Movie: An Illustrated History (1966); Sato, Tada o, Currents in Japanese Cinema (1982).
^RUSSIAN: Cohen, Louis H. , The Cultural-Political Traditions and Development of the Soviet Cinema, 1917-1972 (1974); Dickenson, Thorold, and De La Roche, Catherine, Soviet Cinema (1948; repr.
1972); Leda, Jay, Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film (1960; repr. 1973); Taylor, Richard, Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany (1979).
^SWEDISH: Cowie, Peter, Swedish Cinema (1966); Donner, Jorn, The Personal Vision of Ingmar Bergman (1964); Hardy, Forsyth, The Scandinavian Film (1952; repr. 1972).
Porter, Cole Cole Porter, b.
Peru, Ind. , June 9, 1892, d. Oct. 15, 1964, was an American lyricist and composer of popular songs for stage and screen. A graduate of Yale College, he attended Harvard School of Arts and Sciences for 2 years and later studied under the French composer Vincent d’Indy.
Both his lyrics and music have a witty sophistication, technical virtuosity, and exquisite sense of style that have rarely been paralleled in popular music. He contributed brilliant scores to numerous Broadway musicals, such as Anything Goes (1934) and Kiss Me, Kate (1948), and to motion pictures. His best songs have become classics; these include “Begin the Beguine,”Night and Day,” and “I Love Paris.” DAVID EWEN
E ells, George, The Life that Late He Led: A Biography of Cole Porter (1967); Kimball, Robert, ed. , Cole (1971); Schwartz, Charles, Cole Porter (1977).
Griffith, D. W. David Llewelyn Wark Griffith, b. La Grange, Ky.
, Jan. 23, 1875, d. July 23, 1948, is recognized as the greatest single film director and most consistently innovative artist of the early American film industry. His influence on the development of cinema was worldwide. After gaining experience with a Louisville stock company, he was employed as an actor and writer by the Biograph Film Company of New York in 1907. The following year he was offered a director-producer contract and, for the next five years, oversaw the production of more than 400 one- and two-reel films.
As his ideas grew bolder, however, he felt increasingly frustrated by the limitations imposed by his employers. Griffith left Biograph in 1913 to join Reliance-Majestic as head of production, and in 1914, he began his most famous film, based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon. This Civil War Reconstruction epic, known as The Birth of a Nation (1915), became a landmark in American filmmaking, both for its artistic merits and for its unprecedented use of such innovative techniques as flashbacks, fade-outs, and close-ups. The film was harshly condemned, however, for its racial bias and glorification of the Ku Klux Klan; several subsequent lynchings were blamed on the film. In response to this criticism, Griffith made what many consider his finest film, Intolerance (1916), in which the evils of intolerance were depicted in four parallel stories-a framework that required a scope of vision and production never before approached. Although Griffith made numerous other films up to 1931, none ranked with his first two classics.
Among the best of these later efforts were Hearts of the World (1918); Broken Blossoms (1919), released by his own newly formed corporation, United Artists; Way Down East (1920); Orphans of the Storm (1922); America (1924); Isn’t Life Wonderful (1924); and Abraham Lincoln (1930).
Of the many actors trained by Griffith and associated with his name, Mary PICKFORD, Dorothy and Lillian GISH, and Lionel Barrymore (see BARRYMORE family) are the most famous. In 1935, Griffith was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a special award.
Barry, Iris, D. W. Griffith, American Film Master (1940); Brown, Karl, Adventures with D.
W. Griffith (1976); Geduld, Harry M. , ed. , Focus on D. W. Griffith (1971); Gish, Lillian, Lillian Gish: The Movies, Mr.
Griffith and Me (1969); Henderson, Robert M. , D. W. Griffith: His Life and Work (1972) and D. W. Griffith: The Years at Biograph (1970); O’Dell, Paul, Griffith and the Rise of Hollywood (1970); Wagenknecht, Edward C.
, The Films of D. W. Griffith (1975).
film industry The first four decades of the film age (roughly 1908-48) saw the increasing concentration of control in the hands of a few giant Hollywood concerns. Since the late 1940 s, however, that trend has been reversed; the monolithic studio system has given way to independent production and diversification at all levels of the industry. ^Although in the silent era small, independent producers were common, by the 1930 s, in the so-called golden age of Hollywood, the overwhelming majority of films were produced, distributed, and exhibited by one of the large California studios.
Led by M-G-M, Paramount, RKO, 20 th-Century-Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia, and Universal, the industry enjoyed the benefits of total vertical integration: because the studios owned their own theater chains, they could require theater managers to charge fixed minimum admission rates, to purchase groups of pictures rather than single releases (“block booking”), and to accept films without first previewing them (“blind buying”).
For more than two decades the major studios completely controlled their contracted stars, managed vast indoor and outdoor studio sets, and in general profited from what amounted to a virtual monopoly of the industry. ^Shortly after World War II, three factors contributed to the loss of the majors’ hegemony. First, a number of federal court decisions forced the studios to end discriminatory distribution practices, including block booking, blind selling, and the setting of fixed admission prices; in 1948 the Supreme Court ordered divestiture of their theater chains. Second, the House Committee on Un-American Activities investigated the industry, which responded by blacklisting several prominent screenwriters and directors-an action that called into question the industry’s reliability as a promoter of unfettered creative talent. Third, television began to deprive Hollywood of large segments of its audience, and the industry reacted timidly and late to the possibilities for diversification presented by the new medium.
^The effects of these developments were immediate and long lasting. Weekly attendance figures fell from 80 million in 1946 to just over 12 million by 1972. Box-office revenues in the same period dropped from $1. 75 billion to $1. 4 billion-and this despite constant inflation and admission prices that were often 10 times the prewar average. The movie colony experienced unprecedented unemployment.
The number of films made yearly declined from an average of 445 in the 1940 s to under 150 in the 1970 s, as the industry sought solvency in “blockbusters” rather than in the solid but unspectacular products that had brought it a mass audience before the age of television. Between 1948 and 1956 the number of U. S. theaters fell from 20, 000 to 10, 000, and although 4, 000 new drive-in theaters somewhat offset this attrition, by the mid-1970 s less than half of the American spectator’s amusement dollar was being spent on movies; in the 1940 s the yearly average had been over 80 cents. ^By the late 1960 s the major studios had entered a grave economic slump, for many of their “big picture” gambles fell through. In 1970, 20 th-Century-Fox lost $36 million, and United Artists, which as the industry leader had more to lose, ended up more than $50 million in the red.
In response to this devastation of its profits, the industry underwent a profound reorganization. Following the 1951 lead of United Artists, the majors backed away from production (since its cost had contributed heavily to their decline) and restructured themselves as loan guarantors and distributors. At the same time, most of them became subsidiaries of conglomerates such as Gulf and Western, Kinney National Service, and Transamerica and began to look to television sales and recording contracts for the revenues that previously had come from the theater audience alone. ^In setting up these new contractual relationships the independent producer played a central role. Such a figure, who by now has replaced the old studio mogul as the industry’s driving force, brings together the various properties associated with a film (including actors, a director, and book rights) to create a “package” often financed independently but distributed by a film company in exchange for a share of the rental receipts. Working with the conglomerates and accepting the reality of a permanently reduced market, these private promoters have partially succeeded in revitalizing the industry.
^The rise of independent production has been accompanied by diversification of subject matter, with close attention to the interests of specialized audiences. This trend, which began in the 1950 s as an attempt to capture the “art house” audience and the youth market, is evident today in the success of martial-arts, rock-music, pornographic, documentary, and black-culture films. Simultaneously, production has moved away from the Hollywood sets and toward location filming. For many producers, New York City has become the New filmmakers’ mecca, while shooting in foreign countries, where cheap labor is often plentiful, has given the modern film a new international texture; foreign markets have also become increasingly important. Both geographically and financially, therefore, the film industry has begun to recapture some of the variety and independence that were common in the days before studio control. THADDEUS F.
Bali, Tino, ed. , The American Film Industry (1976); Brownlow, Kevin, Hollywood: The Pioneers (1980); David, Saul, The Industry: Life in the Hollywood Fast Lane (1981); Phillips, Gene D. , The Movie Makers: Artists in an Industry (1973); Stanley, Robert H. , The Celluloid Empire (1978).
Table: TEN TOP-GROSSING FILMS TEN TOP-GROSSING FILMS (as of Jan.
1, 1984) Film Year Gross Earnings 1. E. T. The ExtraTerrestrial 1982 $209, 567, 000 2. Star Wars 1977 193, 500, 000 3. Return of the Jedi 1983 165, 500, 000 4.
The Empire Strikes Back 1980 141, 600, 000 5. Jaws 1975 133, 435, 000 6. Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 115, 598, 000 7. Grease 1978 96, 300, 000 8. Tootsie 1982 94, 571, 613 9.
The Exorcist 1973 89, 000, 000 10. The Godfather 1972 86, 275, 000 SOURCE: Variety (1984).
Distributors’ percentage has been subtracted. Sennett, Mack (sen’-et) A pioneer of slapstick film comedy, Mack Sennett, b.
Michael Sin nott, Richmond, Quebec, Jan. 17, 1880, d. Nov. 5, 1960, was an uneducated Irish-Canadian who drifted into films as D. W.
Griffith’s apprentice. In 1912 he started his own comedy studio, called Keystone, where he developed the Keystone Kops and discovered such major talents as Charlie Chaplin and Frank Capra. With the advent of sound films, comedy shorts became less popular, and in the 1930 s Sennett, who failed to change with the times, lost his entire fortune. Sennett is, however, still remembered as Hollywood’s “King of Comedy” and received a special Academy Award in 1937 for his contribution to cinema comedy. LEONARD MALT IN
Fowler, Gene, Father Goose (1934; repr. 1974); La hue, K alton C.
, and Brewer, Terry, Kops and Custards: The Legend of Keystone Films (1968); Sennett, Mack, King of Comedy (1954; repr. 1975).
Chaplin, Charlie Charles Spencer Chaplin, b. Apr. 16, 1889, d. Dec.
25, 1977, cinema’s most celebrated comedian-director, achieved international fame with his portrayals of the mustachioed Little Tramp. As the director, producer, writer, and interpreter of his many movies, he made a major cont.