The American movie industry has experienced tremendous growth in the 20th century. The current movie style, developed from 1913 to 1969, is classified as the classical Hollywood cinema. The 1930s was considered as the Golden Age of Hollywood, where 65% of the population in the United States attended the cinema weekly. Some of the main characters in the 1930s include individuals such as Shirley Temple, Lawrence Olivier and John Ford, who at this decade were rising in fame. This was a new era in the film industry since there was an introduction of new genres such as documentaries, musicals, action, westerns, social statement films, and horror movies (Sedgwick & Pokorny, 2005). The audio tracks in the motion picture brought up a new dynamic, where it initiated the leverage of Hollywood to World War II. Throughout the 1930s, MGM dominated the screen film and had the top stars in Hollywood.
The 1940s were tough times for the American film industry. This was softly contributed by the Pearl Harbor attacks which came from the Japanese. There was however, a rebound due to the advanced technology as there was the introduction of special effects, better quality of sound, and the commencement of color film use. These factors made movies appearance to be more modern and appealing (Bordwell, 2017). The industry responded to the World War II by increasing its production and the creation of wartime pictures. The film industry in this decade provided the Americans with a source of patriotism through generations of documentaries, propaganda, educational films, and general awareness which was very critical for wartime. In 1946, specifically, was a period where there was an all high time theatre attendance, and the industry acquired huge profits.
The 1950s was one of the greatest decades for the American Film. This was the post-war era for the Americans, where there was an immense change of culture. There were new social trends, advances in music, societal trends, and the rise of the people’s culture (Kackman, 2018). In this decade, approximately 10 million people owned a TV set. There was a shift in demographics in the industry’s target market and numerous productions were made to aim at the American Youth. The industry experienced creation of tales of rebellions with rock and roll. The growth of TV led to a decline in movie theater attendance resulting in the loss of money. As a result, Hollywood began to produce films for Televisions, as a way of making money that would compensate for the theatre losses. The 1950s marked the entrance of Hollywood into the U.S film industry.
In the 1960s, there was a social change in the industry. The movies in this era began focusing on fashion, fun, rock and roll, civil rights, and cultural values. The year 1963, however, experienced the slowest growth in the decade in terms of film production. There were approximately 120 movies released, which were the fewest since the 1920s. This was a result of lower profits due to the emergence of television (Steinhart, 2018). The year 1967 is considered to be the most groundbreaking year of film, where there were major highlights of change including movies such as The Jungle Book as well as Bonnie and Clyde which were enormous movies in the film industry.
There was considerable growth in the U.S industry between the 1930s and the 1960s. The changes in movies were attributed to factors such as technology, societal changes, and the war. Initially, the industry attracted many theaters goers, until the introduction of TV in the 1950s. The 20th century was very monumental to the growth of the U.S movie industry and the success of Hollywood.
Bordwell, D. (2017). Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s filmmakers changed movie storytelling. University of Chicago Press.
Kackman, M. (2018). Television Before the Classic Network Era: 1930s–1950s. A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting. 71.
Sedgwick, J., & Pokorny, M. (2005). The film business in the United States and Britain during the 1930s. The Economic History Review, 58(1), 79-112.
Steinhart, D. (2018). The Making of Hollywood Production: Televising and Visualizing Global Filmmaking in 1960s Promotional Featurettes. Cinema Journal, 57(4), 96-119.