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As the film industry grew, studios realized that they could target individual segments of the viewing public. These segments could be based on interest, age, current events; well, just about anything. Providing the public with something they previously enjoyed and recognized as having similar characters, storylines, and settings was a recipe for success. The actors themselves play a major role in this way of doing business. An audience knew W.C. Fields would be funny, that Joan Crawford was dramatically excellent, and that Fred Astaire would musically entertain them.
If a studio produced a movie that was loved by the audience that had seen it, you could now be sure there would be additional follow-up films with a similar, or even the same, theme. As these pictures were produced, they automatically created their own little corners of the film world. These corners would become the individual film genres. Comedy, Drama, Action and Adventure, Musicals, Film Noir, Mystery and Suspense, Horror, Science Fiction, Westerns, and more, all grew into the film genres as we know them today.
These genres also produced sub-genres. For example, Comedy could be broken down into screwball comedies, action comedies, buddy comedies, etc.
Audiences loved the development of the film genre with everyone having their own favorites. They also began to learn some unwritten rules regarding genres. If watching a horror film and in the film a character is alone in a house while it is dark and raining…don’t go into the basement or the attic, it won’t end up well. In a war picture, never climb to the top of a tree for a better view…you will be shot. Do you hear strange noises coming from the next room while a murderer is at large in your area…don’t walk blindly into the dark room, put the lights on. And never, ever check into the Bates Motel.
Source by Carl DiNello