In the 1880s, the American stage was dominated by ‘Vaudeville shows’, which were cherished by the residents of North America. Being the primitive genre of variety entertainment, these shows differed from burlesque. As entrepreneurs started experimenting with their movie-making skills, these shows lost all of their glory. Here, achievement of the film, ‘The Great Train Robbery’ is noteworthy.
In 1910, director D.W.Griffith, with his troop, started filming in downtown Los Angeles. While searching for a more apt location, they found it in a village that was miles northward — ‘ Hollywood ‘. The first movie shot by Griffith in Hollywood was ‘In Old California’, a melodrama of California. Thorough research work identifies a number of points that ushered the beginning of Hollywood movies. But, it was Griffith’s ‘Birth Of A Nation’, which was the pioneering endeavor that whistled a never-ending journey of American cinema.
Gradually, with the growth of Hollywood industry, films were exhibited in Nicholodeon halls. Ambitious people on the production side emerged as the controlling heads of movie studios. They aided the internationalization of films to reduce America-centric provincialism. At the zenith of its popularity, the industry produced about 400 movies a year, with an audience of 90,000,000 Americans per week.
The American studios, however, confronted major difficulties when their sound productions were rejected in various foreign language markets. Also, the synchronization technique was too primitive. Around the 1930s, parallel language versions of films were produced to provide a befitting solution to the problem. With rapid advancement of synchronization, dubbing also became more realistic.
During the Golden Age of Hollywood (1920-1950), the film industry was at the peak of its success. Adherence to the formula of western slapstick comedy, musical animated cartoons contributed to it. The same creative team worked on films made by the same studio. The most renowned studios were Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, etc. Each studio had its own specialized characteristics, a trait not seen today. Each film was unique in its own flavor, since the moviemakers were all artists and creative people. The release of classics that enriched the industry, were ‘WUTHERING HEIGHTS’, ‘GONE WITH THE WIND’, ‘CASABLANCA’ and such other timeless masterpieces. In the late 1940’s, the separation of the production of films from their exhibition and the advent of television led to the decline of the studio system.
The postclassical cinema gave birth to directors from a new school of thought. They introduced new filming techniques and strategies and developed upon the prevailing ones. Films like ‘JAWS’, ‘GODFATHER’, ‘PSYCHO’, and other modern blockbusters’ have no doubt added a new dimension to Hollywood . With independent films, another new generation of moviemakers became focused as they made films that were often innovative, critical, unconventional, and contradictory. However, for their considerable financial success and crossover into popular culture, they have become a very influential part of Hollywood mainstream films.
With the passage of generations, directors with their exclusive style and innovations have come up with intellectually stimulating and thought provoking creations, making the history of Hollywood movies interesting as well as amazing.