Hollywood Post World War II

When you talk about Post World War II Cinema, one has to realize that this topic has many other titles and stories throughout the world after the death of FDR and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You have to talk about the fall and rebuilding of the monopoly of cinema in America known as Hollywood. You then have to talk about Europe and its cinema re-birth in Italy called “Italian Neorealism”. Then there is the “French New Wave of Cinema”, where you see film enthusiasts create a new style of cinema to what is called Auteur Cinema. The world was after this war had to rebuild its theaters and use what they had to show their artistic visions, the filmmakers all over the world had a chance to rebuild the world of cinema and they did just that.

The first Hollywood film ever created, “In Old California”, was directed by no other than D.W. Griffith in the town Hollywood. Since then, Hollywood has become a word to describe American cinema and the place to be to become a big filmmaker or star in America. From here Hollywood’s image is shaped by names like Charlie Chapman, D.W. Griffith, and Buster Keaton until Technicolor was introduced in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. Then as the War rolled along the cinematic world lost many of its main actors to the war and saw new genres come about like war movies and film noir. Then as the war end, Hollywood is looked at through the eye of communism as a monopoly and anti-monopoly legislation tore down major film studios in Hollywood. This led to many filmmakers and actors/actresses to go elsewhere.

The main problem with Hollywood was in the way it was run; it was run by Eastern European immigrants who wanted to stake their claim in the land of opportunity. They created organizations monopolizing the cinema world in America having their films spread all over the country to theaters where the actors and actresses had to comply to rules and regulations with little freedom to pursue their own endeavors. This communistic form of rule in cinema led to the anti-trust legislations which broke up the vice-grip Hollywood had over America and its cinema. Hollywood did not seem to want to become a more socially concentrated industry and continued making its rigid strict romantic melodrama films.

With this happening you also see the shift of people moving out of urban areas into the suburbs. People in America gained a new perspective and wanted safer environments for their families while gaining new concepts on leisure time.

With this new way of American life and the film industry being pounded down, you see anti-communist witch hunts starting to attack the film Industry. Then you have one of the biggest downfalls in American Cinema as well as the beginning of a new true American way of film in the late 1940’s. The “Hollywood 10” are described as the ten men who would not reveal their political situations and were thrown in jail by Congress. These ten people who were singled out were just a fraction of the true corrupt entities in Hollywood, but this low point in Hollywood also marked the moment that America took back cinema for the greater good.

Hollywood now adapted to the new age of cinema, splitting the one giant monopoly up into small scattered studios that would begin creating films of any nature that they choose.  This is where the new style of cinema, Auteur Cinema came to be, where you could see a personal artistic portrayal by different directors that could be recognized and distinguished from others.

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One response to “Hollywood Post World War II

  1. Pingback: Francois Truffaut & Auteur Theory « Notes on Short Film

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