By 1950 it was estimated that over 10.5 million U.S. households had a television, and that number was climbing rapidly. Post-war affluence seemed ripe for the taking. However, with this affluence came a number of alternate leisure activities.
Not only was television grabbing a larger share of the entertainment pie, but there were also newly created opportunities outside the movie theater. A couple of examples would be; ‘fast food restaurants,’ and ‘drive-ins’. It didn’t take long for these to catch on and gain their share of the publics leisure time and dollar..
The motion picture industry needed to again change a large portion of its focus. Older viewers became the ones most likely to stay home and watch television. The younger market was growing in both size and spending power, and the youth-oriented movie goer had little interest in films produced to appeal to the older market. They demanded something fresh, and whenever possible a bit of a rebellious edge.
While these efforts worked to some extent,
Motion pictures were specifically produced to include the popularity of Rock and Roll music in their story lines and literally on the screen. Many of the most popular singers and singing groups of this time would appear in these films much to the delight of the younger fan. An example being Rock Around the Clock, featuring disc jockey Allan Freed, Bill Haley and His Comets (performing the classic title song), The Platters, and more. Don’t Knock the Rock, was a response to the older generations lack of acceptance of rock and roll music. There were biographical films like The Buddy Holly Story, and La Bamba which told the story of the careers of both Buddy Holly and Richie Valens as well as their tragic ending along with fellow star The Big Bopper in a 1959 plane crash.
It wasn’t only the pictures portraying rebellion, it was also the stars. Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Elvis Presley provided enough personal controversy to be very successfully marketed to the young audience.
Source by Carl DiNello