Cinematography Everything You Need To Know Essay

, Research Paper

Cinematography: Everything You Need To Know


Cinematography is the technique and art of making motion pictures, which

are a sequence of photographs of a single subject that are taken over time

and then projected in the same sequence to create an illusion of motion.

Each image of a moving object is slightly different from the preceding one.


A motion-picture projector projects the sequence of picture frames,

contained on a ribbon of film, in their proper order. A claw engages

perforations in the film and pulls the film down into the film gate,

placing each new frame in exactly the same position as the preceding one.

When the frame is in position, it is projected onto the screen by

illuminating it with a beam of light. The period of time between the

projection of each still image when no image is projected is normally not

noticed by the viewer.

Two perceptual phenomena–persistence of vision and the critical flicker

frequency–cause a continuous image. Persistence of a vision is the

ability of the viewer to retain or in some way remember the impression of

an image after it has been withdrawn from view. The critical flicker

frequency is the minimum rate of interruption of the projected light beam

that will not cause the motion picture to appear to flicker. A frequency

above about 48 interruptions a second will eliminate flicker.


Like a still camera (see CAMERA), a movie camera shoots each picture

individually. The movie camera, however, must also move the film precisely

and control the shutter, keeping the amount of light reaching the film

nearly constant from frame to frame. The shutter of a movie camera is

essentially a circular plate rotated by an electric motor. An opening in

the plate exposes the film frame only after the film has been positioned

and has come to rest. The plate itself continues to rotate smoothly.

Photographic materials must be manufactured with great precision. The

perforations, or holes in the film, must be precisely positioned. The

pitch–the distance from one hole to another–must be maintained by correct

film storage. By the late 1920s, a sound-on-film system of synchronous

SOUND RECORDING was developed and gained widespread popularity. In this

process, the sound is recorded separately on a machine synchronized with

the picture camera. Unlike the picture portion of the film, the sound

portion is recorded and played back continuously rather than in

intermittent motion. Although editing still makes use of perforated film

for flexibility, a more modern technique uses conventional magnetic tape

for original recording and synchronizes the recording to the picture

electronically (see TAPE RECORDER).

If the number of photographs projected per unit time (frame rate) differs

from the number produced per unit time by the camera, an apparent speeding

up or slowing down of the normal rate is created. Changes in the frame

rates are used occasionally for comic effect or motion analysis.

Cinematography becomes an art when the filmmaker attempts to make moving

images that relate directly to human perception, provide visual

significance and information, and provoke emotional response.

History of Film Technology

Several parlor toys of the early 1800s used visual illusions similar to

those of the motion picture. These include the thaumatrope (1825); the

phenakistiscope (1832); the stroboscope (1832); and the zoetrope (1834).

The photographic movie, however, was first used as a means of investigation

rather than of theatrical illusion. Leland Stanford, then governor of

California, hired photographer Eadweard MUYBRIDGE to prove that at some

time in a horse’s gallop all four legs are simultaneously off the ground.

Muybridge did so by using several cameras to produce a series of

photographs with very short time intervals between them. Such a multiple

photographic record was used in the kinetoscope, which displayed a

photographic moving image and was commercially successful for a time.

The kinetoscope was invented either by Thomas Alva EDISON or by his

assistant William K. L. Dickson, both of whom had experimented originally

with moving pictures as a supplement to the phonograph record. They later

turned to George EASTMAN, who provided a flexible celluloid film base to

store the large number of images necessary to create motion pictures.

The mechanical means of cinematography were gradually perfected. It was

discovered that it was better to display the sequence of images

intermittently rather than continuously. This technique allowed a greater

presentation time and more light for the projection of each frame. Another

improvement was the loop above and below the film gate in both the camera

and the projector, which prevented the film from tearing.

By the late 1920s, synchronized sound was being introduced in movies.

These sound films soon replaced silent films in popularity. To prevent the

microphones from picking up camera noise, a portable housing was designed

that muffled noises and allowed the camera to be moved about. In recent

years, equipment, lighting, and film have all been improved, but the

processes involved remain essentially the same. RICHARD FLOBERG


Bibliography: Fielding, Raymond, ed., A Technological History of Motion

Pictures and Television (1967); Happe, I. Bernard, Basic Motion Picture

Technology, 2d ed. (1975); Malkiewicz, J. Kris, and Rogers, Robert E.,

Cinematography (1973); Wheeler, Leslie J., Principles of Cinematography,

4th ed. (1973).



film, history of


The history of film has been dominated by the discovery and testing of the

paradoxes inherent in the medium itself. Film uses machines to record

images of life; it combines still photographs to give the illusion of

continuous motion; it seems to present life itself, but it also offers

impossible unrealities approached only in dreams.^The motion picture was

developed in the 1890s from the union of still PHOTOGRAPHY, which records

physical reality, with the persistence-of-vision toy, which made drawn

figures appear to move. Four major film traditions have developed since

then: fictional narrative film, which tells stories about people with whom

an audience can identify because their world looks familiar; nonfictional

documentary film, which focuses on the real world either to instruct or to

reveal some sort of truth about it; animated film, which makes drawn or

sculpted figures look as if they are moving and speaking; and experimental

film, which exploits film’s ability to create a purely abstract,

nonrealistic world unlike any previously seen.^Film is considered the

youngest art form and has inherited much from the older and more

traditional arts. Like the novel, it can tell stories; like the drama, it

can portray conflict between live characters; like painting, it composes in

space with light, color, shade, shape, and texture; like music, it moves in

time according to principles of rhythm and tone; like dance, it presents

the movement of figures in space and is often underscored by music; and

like photography, it presents a two-dimensional rendering of what appears

to be three-dimensional reality, using perspective, depth, and

shading.^Film, however, is one of the few arts that is both spatial and

temporal, intentionally manipulating both space and time. This synthesis

has given rise to two conflicting theories about film and its historical

development. Some theorists, such as S. M. EISENSTEIN and Rudolf

Arnheim, have argued that film must take the path of the other modern arts

and concentrate not on telling stories or representing reality but on

investigating time and space in a pure and consciously abstract way.

Others, such as Andre Bazin and Siegfried KRACAUER, maintain that film must

fully and carefully develop its connection with nature so that it can

portray human events as excitingly and revealingly as possible.^Because of

his fame, his success at publicizing his activities, and his habit of

patenting machines before actually inventing them, Thomas EDISON received

most of the credit for having invented the motion picture; as early as

1887, he patented a motion picture camera, but this could not produce

images. In reality, many inventors contributed to the development of

moving pictures. Perhaps the first important contribution was the series

of motion photographs made by Eadweard MUYBRIDGE between 1872 and 1877.

Hired by the governor of California, Leland Stanford, to capture on film

the movement of a racehorse, Muybridge tied a series of wires across the

track and connected each one to the shutter of a still camera. The running

horse tripped the wires and exposed a series of still photographs, which

Muybridge then mounted on a stroboscopic disk and projected with a magic

lantern to reproduce an image of the horse in motion. Muybridge shot

hundreds of such studies and went on to lecture in Europe, where his work

intrigued the French scientist E. J. MAREY. Marey devised a means of

shooting motion photographs with what he called a photographic gun.^Edison

became interested in the possibilities of motion photography after hearing

Muybridge lecture in West Orange, N.J. Edison’s motion picture

experiments, under the direction of William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, began

in 1888 with an attempt to record the photographs on wax cylinders similar

to those used to make the original phonograph recordings. Dickson made a

major breakthrough when he decided to use George EASTMAN’s celluloid film

instead. Celluloid was tough but supple and could be manufactured in long

rolls, making it an excellent medium for motion photography, which required

great lengths of film. Between 1891 and 1895, Dickson shot many 15-second

films using the Edison camera, or Kinetograph, but Edison decided against

projecting the films for audiences–in part because the visual results were

inadequate and in part because he felt that motion pictures would have

little public appeal. Instead, Edison marketed an electrically driven

peep-hole viewing machine (the Kinetoscope) that displayed the marvels

recorded to one viewer at a time.^Edison thought so little of the

Kinetoscope that he failed to extend his patent rights to England and

Europe, an oversight that allowed two Frenchmen, Louis and Auguste LUMIERE,

to manufacture a more portable camera and a functional projector, the

Cinematographe, based on Edison’s machine. The movie era might be said to

have begun officially on Dec. 28, 1895, when the Lumieres presented a

program of brief motion pictures to a paying audience in the basement of a

Paris cafe. English and German inventors also copied and improved upon the

Edison machines, as did many other experimenters in the United States. By

the end of the 19th century vast numbers of people in both Europe and

America had been exposed to some form of motion pictures.^The earliest

films presented 15- to 60-second glimpses of real scenes recorded outdoors

(workmen, trains, fire engines, boats, parades, soldiers) or of staged

theatrical performances shot indoors. These two early tendencies–to

record life as it is and to dramatize life for artistic effect–can be

viewed as the two dominant paths of film history.^Georges MELIES was the

most important of the early theatrical filmmakers. A magician by trade,

Melies, in such films as A Trip to the Moon (1902), showed how the cinema

could perform the most amazing magic tricks of all: simply by stopping the

camera, adding something to the scene or removing something from it, and

then starting the camera again, he made things seem to appear and

disappear. Early English and French filmmakers such as Cecil Hepworth,

James Williamson, and Ferdinand Zecca also discovered how rhythmic movement

(the chase) and rhythmic editing could make cinema’s treatment of time and

space more exciting.

American Film in the Silent Era (1903-1928)

A most interesting primitive American film was The Great Train Robbery

(1903), directed by Edwin S. PORTER of the Edison Company. This early

western used much freer editing and camera work than usual to tell its

story, which included bandits, a holdup, a chase by a posse, and a final

shoot-out. When other companies (Vitagraph, the American Mutoscope and

Biograph Company, Lubin, and Kalem among them) began producing films that

rivaled those of the Edison Company, Edison sued them for infringement of

his patent rights. This so-called patents war lasted 10 years (1898-1908),

ending only when nine leading film companies merged to form the Motion

Picture Patents Company.^One reason for the settlement was the enormous

profits to be derived from what had begun merely as a cheap novelty.

Before 1905 motion pictures were usually shown in vaudeville houses as one

act on the bill. After 1905 a growing number of small, storefront theaters

called nickelodeons, accommodating less than 200 patrons, began to show

motion pictures exclusively. By 1908 an estimated 10 million Americans

were paying their nickels and dimes to see such films. Young speculators

such as William Fox and Marcus Loew saw their theaters, which initially

cost but $1,600 each, grow into enterprises worth $150,000 each within 5

years. Called the drama of the people, the early motion pictures attracted

primarily working-class and immigrant audiences who found the nickelodeon a

pleasant family diversion; they might not have been able to read the words

in novels and newspapers, but they understood the silent language of

pictures.^The popularity of the moving pictures led to the first attacks

against it by crusading moralists, police, and politicians. Local

censorship boards were established to eliminate objectionable material from

films. In 1909 the infant U.S. film industry waged a counterattack by

creating the first of many self-censorship boards, the National Board of

Censorship (after 1916 called the National Board of Review), whose purpose

was to set moral standards for films and thereby save them from costly

mutilation.^A nickelodeon program consisted of about six 10-minute films,

usually including an adventure, a comedy, an informational film, a chase

film, and a melodrama. The most accomplished maker of these films was

Biograph’s D. W. GRIFFITH, who almost singlehandedly transformed both the

art and the business of the motion picture. Griffith made over 400 short

films between 1908 and 1913, in this period discovering or developing

almost every major technique by which film manipulates time and space: the

use of alternating close-ups, medium shots, and distant panoramas; the

subtle control of rhythmic editing; the effective use of traveling shots,

atmospheric lighting, narrative commentary, poetic detail, and visual

symbolism; and the advantages of understated acting, at which his acting

company excelled. The culmination of Griffith’s work was The Birth of a

Nation (1915), a mammoth, 3-hour epic of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Its historical detail, suspense, and passionate conviction were to outdate

the 10-minute film altogether.^The decade between 1908 and 1918 was one of

the most important in the history of American film. The full-length

feature film replaced the program of short films; World War I destroyed or

restricted the film industries of Europe, promoting greater technical

innovation, growth, and commercial stability in America; the FILM INDUSTRY

was consolidated with the founding of the first major studios in Hollywood,

Calif. (Fox, Paramount, and Universal); and the great American silent

comedies were born. Mack SENNETT became the driving force behind the

Keystone Company soon after joining it in 1912; Hal Roach founded his

comedy company in 1914; and Charlie CHAPLIN probably had the best-known

face in the world in 1916.^During this period the first movie stars rose to

fame, replacing the anonymous players of the short films. In 1918,

America’s two favorite stars, Charlie Chaplin and Mary PICKFORD, both

signed contracts for over $1 million. Other familiar stars of the decade

included comedians Fatty ARBUCKLE and John Bunny, cowboys William S. HART

and Bronco Billy Anderson, matinee idols Rudolph VALENTINO and John

Gilbert, and the alluring females Theda BARA and Clara BOW. Along with the

stars came the first movie fan magazines; Photoplay published its inaugural

issue in 1912. That same year also saw the first of the FILM SERIALS, The

Perils of Pauline, starring Pearl White.^The next decade in American film

history, 1918 to 1928, was a period of stabilization rather than expansion.

Films were made within studio complexes, which were, in essence, factories

designed to produce films in the same way that Henry Ford’s factories

produced automobiles. Film companies became monopolies in that they not

only made films but distributed them to theaters and owned the theaters in

which they were shown as well. This vertical integration formed the

commercial foundation of the film industry for the next 30 years. Two new

producing companies founded during the decade were Warner Brothers (1923),

which would become powerful with its early conversion to synchronized

sound, and Metro-Goldwyn (1924; later Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), the producing

arm of Loew’s, under the direction of Louis B. MAYER and Irving

THALBERG.^Attacks against immorality in films intensified during this

decade, spurred by the sensual implications and sexual practices of the

movie stars both on and off the screen. In 1921, after several nationally

publicized sex and drug scandals, the industry headed off the threat of

federal CENSORSHIP by creating the office of the Motion Picture Producers

and Distributors of America (now the Motion Picture Association of

America), under the direction of Will HAYS. Hays, who had been postmaster

general of the United States and Warren G. Harding’s campaign manager,

began a series of public relations campaigns to underscore the importance

of motion pictures to American life. He also circulated several lists of

practices that were henceforth forbidden on and off the screen.^Hollywood

films of the 1920s became more polished, subtle, and skillful, and

especially imaginative in handling the absence of sound. It was the great

age of comedy. Chaplin retained a hold on his world-following with

full-length features such as The Kid (1920) and The Gold Rush (1925);

Harold LLOYD climbed his way to success–and got the girl–no matter how

great the obstacles as Grandma’s Boy (1922) or The Freshman (1925); Buster

KEATON remained deadpan through a succession of wildly bizarre sight gags

in Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator (both 1924); Harry Langdon was ever the

innocent elf cast adrift in a mean, tough world; and director Ernst

LUBITSCH, fresh from Germany, brought his “touch” to understated comedies

of manners, sex, and marriage. The decade saw the United States’s first

great war film (The Big Parade, 1925), its first great westerns (The

Covered Wagon, 1923; The Iron Horse, 1924), and its first great biblical

epics (The Ten Commandments, 1923, and King of Kings, 1927, both made by

Cecil B. DE MILLE). Other films of this era included Erich Von STROHEIM’s

sexual studies, Lon CHANEY’s grotesque costume melodramas, and the first

great documentary feature, Robert J. FLAHERTY’s Nanook of the North


European Film in the 1920s

In the same decade, the European film industries recovered from the war to

produce one of the richest artistic periods in film history. The German

cinema, stimulated by EXPRESSIONISM in painting and the theater and by the

design theories of the BAUHAUS, created bizarrely expressionistic settings

for such fantasies as Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1919),

F. W. MURNAU’s Nosferatu (1922), and Fritz LANG’s Metropolis (1927). The

Germans also brought their sense of decor, atmospheric lighting, and

penchant for a frequently moving camera to such realistic political and

psychological studies as Murnau’s The Last Laugh (1924), G. W. PABST’s

The Joyless Street (1925), and E. A. Dupont’s Variety (1925).^Innovation

also came from the completely different approach taken by filmmakers in the

USSR, where movies were intended not only to entertain but also to instruct

the masses in the social and political goals of their new government. The

Soviet cinema used MONTAGE, or complicated editing techniques that relied

on visual metaphor, to create excitement and richness of texture and,

ultimately, to affect ideological attitudes. The most influential Soviet

theorist and filmmaker was Sergei M. Eisenstein, whose Potemkin (1925) had

a worldwide impact; other innovative Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s

included V. I. PUDOVKIN, Lev Kuleshov, Abram Room, and Alexander

DOVZHENKO.^The Swedish cinema of the 1920s relied heavily on the striking

visual qualities of the northern landscape. Mauritz Stiller and Victor

Sjostrom mixed this natural imagery of mountains, sea, and ice with

psychological drama and tales of supernatural quests. French cinema, by

contrast, brought the methods and assumptions of modern painting to film.

Under the influence of SURREALISM and dadaism, filmmakers working in France

began to experiment with the possibility of rendering abstract perceptions

or dreams in a visual medium. Marcel DUCHAMP, Rene CLAIR, Fernand LEGER,

Jean RENOIR–and Luis BUNUEL and Salvador DALI in Un Chien andalou

(1928)–all made antirealist, antirational, noncommercial films that helped

establish the avant-garde tradition in filmmaking. Several of these

filmmakers would later make significant contributions to the narrative

tradition in the sound era.

The Arrival of Sound

The era of the talking film began in late 1927 with the enormous success of

Warner Brothers’ The Jazz Singer. The first totally sound film, Lights of

New York, followed in 1928. Although experimentation with synchronizing

sound and picture was as old as the cinema itself (Dickson, for example,

made a rough synchronization of the two for Edison in 1894), the

feasibility of sound film was widely publicized only after Warner Brothers

purchased the Vitaphone from Western Electric in 1926. The original

Vitaphone system synchronized the picture with a separate phonographic

disk, rather than using the more accurate method of recording (based on the

principle of the OSCILLOSCOPE) a sound track on the film itself. Warners

originally used the Vitaphone to make short musical films featuring both

classical and popular performers and to record musical sound tracks for

otherwise silent films (Don Juan, 1926). For The Jazz Singer, Warners

added four synchronized musical sequences to the silent film. When Al

JOLSON sang and then delivered several lines of dialogue, audiences were

electrified. The silent film was dead within a year.^The conversion to

synchronized sound caused serious problems for the film industry. Sound

recording was difficult; cameras had to shoot from inside glass booths;

studios had to build special soundproof stages; theaters required expensive

new equipment; writers had to be hired who had an ear for dialogue; and

actors had to be found whose voices could deliver it. Many of the earliest

talkies were ugly and static, the visual images serving merely as an

accompaniment to endless dialogue, sound effects, and musical numbers.

Serious film critics mourned the passing of the motion picture, which no

longer seemed to contain either motion or picture.^The most effective early

sound films were those that played most adventurously with the union of

picture and sound track. Walt DISNEY in his cartoons combined surprising

sights with inventive sounds, carefully orchestrating the animated motion

and musical rhythm. Ernst Lubitsch also played very cleverly with sound,

contrasting the action depicted visually with the information on the sound

track in dazzlingly funny or revealing ways. By 1930 the U.S. film

industry had conquered both the technical and the artistic problems

involved in using sight and sound harmoniously, and the European industry

was quick to follow.

Hollywood’s Golden Era

The 1930s was the golden era of the Hollywood studio film. It was the

decade of the great movie stars–Greta GARBO, Marlene DIETRICH, Jean


Clark GABLE, James STEWART–and some of America’s greatest directors

thrived on the pressures and excitement of studio production. Josef von

STERNBERG became legendary for his use of exotic decor and sexual

symbolism; Howard HAWKS made driving adventures and fast-paced comedies;

Frank CAPRA blended politics and morality in a series of comedy-dramas; and

John FORD mythified the American West.^American studio pictures seemed to

come in cycles, many of the liveliest being those that could not have been

made before synchronized sound. The gangster film introduced Americans to

the tough doings and tougher talk of big-city thugs, as played by James

CAGNEY, Paul MUNI, and Edward G. ROBINSON. Musicals included the witty

operettas of Ernst Lubitsch, with Maurice CHEVALIER and Jeanette MACDONALD;

the backstage musicals, with their kaleidoscopically dazzling dance

numbers, of Busby BERKELEY; and the smooth, more natural song-and-dance

comedies starring Fred ASTAIRE and Ginger ROGERS. Synchronized sound also

produced SCREWBALL COMEDY, which explored the dizzy doings of fast-moving,

fast-thinking, and, above all, fast-talking men and women.^The issue of

artistic freedom versus censorship raised by the movies came to the fore

again with the advent of talking pictures. Spurred by the depression that

hit the industry in 1933 and by the threat of an economic boycott by the

newly formed Catholic Legion of Decency, the motion picture industry

adopted an official Production Code in 1934. Written in 1930 by Daniel

Lord, S.J., and Martin Quigley, a Catholic layman who was publisher of The

Motion Picture Herald, the code explicitly prohibited certain acts, themes,

words, and implications. Will Hays appointed Joseph I. Breen, the

Catholic layman most instrumental in founding the Legion of Decency, head

of the Production Code Administration, and this awarded the industry’s seal

of approval to films that met the code’s moral standards. The result was

the curtailment of explicit violence and sexual innuendo, and also of much

of the flavor that had characterized films earlier in the decade.

Europe During the 1930s

The 1930s abroad did not produce films as consistently rich as those of the

previous decade. With the coming of sound, the British film industry was

reduced to satellite status. The most stylish British productions were the

historical dramas of Sir Alexander KORDA and the mystery-adventures of

Alfred HITCHCOCK. The major Korda stars, as well as Hitchcock himself,

left Britain for Hollywood before the decade ended. More innovative were

the government-funded documentaries and experimental films made by the

General Post Office Film Unit under the direction of John Grierson.^Soviet

filmmakers had problems with the early sound-film machines and with the

application of montage theory (a totally visual conception) to sound

filming. They were further plagued by restrictive Stalinist policies,

policies that sometimes kept such ambitious film artists as Pudovkin and

Eisenstein from making films altogether. The style of the German cinema was

perfectly suited to sound filming, and German films of the period 1928-32

show some of the most creative uses of the medium in the early years of

sound. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, however, almost all the

creative film talent left Germany. An exception was Leni RIEFENSTAHL,

whose theatrical documentary Triumph of the Will (1934) represents a highly

effective example of the German propaganda films made during the

decade.^French cinema, the most exciting alternative to Hollywood in the

1930s, produced many of France’s most classic films. The decade found

director Jean Renoir–in Grand Illusion (1937) and Rules of the Game

(1939)–at the height of his powers; Rene Clair mastered both the musical

fantasy and the sociopolitical satire (A Nous la liberte, 1931); Marcel

PAGNOL brought to the screen his trilogy of Marseilles life, Fanny; the

young Jean VIGO, in only two films, brilliantly expressed youthful

rebellion and mature love; and director Marcel CARNE teamed with poet

Jacques Prevert to produce haunting existential romances of lost love and

inevitable death in Quai des brumes (1938) and Le Jour se leve (1939).

Hollywood: World War II, Postwar Decline

During World War II, films were required to lift the spirits of Americans

both at home and overseas. Many of the most accomplished Hollywood

directors and producers went to work for the War Department. Frank Capra

produced the “Why We Fight” series (1942-45); Walt Disney, fresh from his

Snow White (1937) and Fantasia (1940) successes, made animated

informational films; and Garson KANIN, John HUSTON, and William WYLER all

made documentaries about important battles. Among the new American

directors to make remarkable narrative films at home were three former

screenwriters, Preston STURGES, Billy WILDER, and John Huston. Orson

WELLES, the boy genius of theater and radio fame, also came to Hollywood to

shoot Citizen Kane (1941), the strange story of a newspaper magnate whose

American dream turns into a loveless nightmare.^Between 1946 and 1953 the

movie industry was attacked from many sides. As a result, the Hollywood

studio system totally collapsed. First, the U.S. House of

Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities investigated alleged

Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry in two separate sets

of hearings. In 1948, The HOLLYWOOD TEN, 10 screenwriters and directors

who refused to answer the questions of the committee, went to jail for

contempt of Congress. Then, from 1951 to 1954, in mass hearings, Hollywood

celebrities were forced either to name their associates as fellow

Communists or to refuse to answer all questions on the grounds of the 5th

Amendment, protecting themselves against self-incrimination. These

hearings led the industry to blacklist many of its most talented workers

and also weakened its image in the eyes of America and the world.^In 1948

the United States Supreme Court, ruling in United States v. Paramount that

the vertical integration of the movie industry was monopolistic, required

the movie studios to divest themselves of the theaters that showed their

pictures and thereafter to cease all unfair or discriminatory distribution

practices. At the same time, movie attendance started a steady decline;

the film industry’s gross revenues fell every year from 1947 to 1963. The

most obvious cause was the rise of TELEVISION, as more and more Americans

each year stayed home to watch the entertainment they could get most

comfortably and inexpensively. In addition, European quotas against

American films bit into Hollywood’s foreign revenues.^While major American

movies lost money, foreign art films were attracting an enthusiastic and

increasingly large audience, and these foreign films created social as well

as commercial difficulties for the industry. In 1951, The Miracle, a

40-minute film by Roberto ROSSELLINI, was attacked by the New York Catholic

Diocese as sacrilegious and was banned by New York City’s commissioner of

licenses. The 1952 Supreme Court ruling in the Miracle case officially

granted motion pictures the right to free speech as guaranteed in the

Constitution, reversing a 1915 ruling by the Court that movies were not

equivalent to speech. Although the ruling permitted more freedom of

expression in films, it also provoked public boycotts and repeated legal

tests of the definition of obscenity.^Hollywood attempted to counter the

effects of television with a series of technological gimmicks in the early

1950s: 3-D, Cinerama, and Cinemascope. The industry converted almost

exclusively to color filming during the decade, aided by the cheapness and

flexibility of the new Eastman color monopack, which came to challenge the

monopoly of Technicolor. The content of postwar films also began to change

as Hollywood searched for a new audience and a new style. There were more

socially conscious films–such as Fred ZINNEMANN’s The Men (1950) and Elia

KAZAN’s On The Waterfront (1954); more adaptations of popular novels and

plays; more independent (as opposed to studio) production; and a greater

concentration on FILM NOIR–grim detective stories in brutal urban

settings. Older genres such as the Western still flourished, and MGM

brought the musical to what many consider its pinnacle in a series of films

produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente MINNELLI, Gene KELLY, and

Stanley Donen.

The Film in Europe and Australia From 1950

The stimulus for defining a new film content and style came to the United

States from abroad, where many previously dormant film industries sprang to

life in the postwar years to produce an impressive array of films for the

international market. The European film renaissance can be said to have

started in Italy with such masters of NEOREALISM as Roberto Rossellini, in

Open City (1945), Vittorio DE SICA, in The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Umberto

D (1952), and Luchino VISCONTI, in La Terra Trema (1948). Federico FELLINI

broke with the tradition to make films of a more poetic and personal nature

such as I Vitelloni (1953) and La Strada (1954) and then shifted to a more

sensational style in the 1960s with La Dolce Vita (1960) and the

intellectual 8 1/2 (1963). Visconti in the 1960s and ’70s would also adopt

a more flamboyant approach and subject matter in lush treatments of

corruption and decadence such as The Damned (1970). A new departure–both

artistic and thematic–was evidenced by Michelangelo ANTONIONI in his

subtle psychosocial trilogy of films that began with L’Aventura (1960).

The vitality of a second generation of Italian filmmakers was impressively

demonstrated by Lina WERTMULLER in The Seduction of Mimi (1974) and Seven

Beauties (1976) and by Bernardo BERTOLUCCI, who in films like Before the

Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), and

1900 (1977) fused radical social and political ideology with a stunning

aestheticism.^With the coming of NEW WAVE films in the late 1950s, the

French cinema reasserted the artistic primacy it had enjoyed in the prewar

period. Applying a personal style to radically different forms of film

narrative, New Wave directors included Claude CHABROL (The Cousins, 1959),

Francois TRUFFAUT (The 400 Blows, 1959; Jules and Jim, 1961), Alain RESNAIS

(Hiroshima Mon Amour, 1959), and Jean-Luc GODARD, who, following the

success of his offbeat Breathless (1960), became progressively more

committed to a Marxist interpretation of society, as seen in Two or Three

Things I Know About Her (1966), Weekend (1967), and La Chinoise (1967).

Eric ROHMER, mining a more traditional vein, produced sophisticated “moral

tales” in My Night at Maud’s (1968) and Claire’s Knee (1970); while Louis

MALLE audaciously explored such charged subjects as incest and

collaborationism in Murmur of the Heart (1971) and Lacombe Lucien (1974).

The Spaniard Luis Bunuel, working in Mexico, Spain, and France–and defying

all categorization–continued to break new ground with ironic examinations

of the role of religion (Nazarin, 1958; Viridiana, 1961; The Milky Way,

1969) and absurdist satires on middle-class foibles (The Discreet Charm of

the Bourgeoisie, 1972).^From Sweden Ingmar BERGMAN emerged in the 1950s as

the master of introspective, often death-obsessed studies of complex human

relationships. Although capable of comedy, as in Smiles of a Summer Night

(1955), Bergman was at his most impressive in more despairing,

existentialist dramas such as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries

(1957), Persona (1966), and Cries and Whispers (1972), in all of these

aided by a first-rate acting ensemble and brilliant cinematography.^British

film, largely reduced to a spate of Alec GUINNESS comedies by the early

1950s, was revitalized over the next decade by the ability of directors

working in England to produce compelling cinematic translations of the

“angry young man” novelists and playwrights, of Harold PINTER’s

existentialist dramas, and of the traditional great British novels.

Britain regained a healthy share of the market with films such as Jack

Clayton’s Room at the Top (1958); Tony Richardson’s Look Back in Anger

(1959), The Entertainer (1960), A Taste of Honey (1961), and Tom Jones

(1963); Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and Morgan

(1966); Lindsay ANDERSON’s This Sporting Life (1963); Joseph LOSEY’s The

Servant (1963) and Accident (1967); Ken RUSSELL’s Women in Love (1969); and

John Schlesinger’S Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971). The popularity of the

James Bond spy series, which began in 1962, gave the industry an added

boost.^The internationalism both of the film market and of film

distribution after 1960 was underscored by the emergence even in smaller

countries of successful film industries and widely recognized directorial

talent: Andrzej WAJDA and Roman POLANSKI in Poland; Jan KADAR, Milos

FORMAN, Ivan PASSER, and Jiri Menzel in Czechoslovakia; and, more recently,

Wim WENDERS, Werner HERZOG, and Rainer Werner FASSBINDER in West Germany.

The death (1982) of Fassbinder ended an extraordinary and prolific career,

but his absence has yet to be felt–particularly in the United States,

where many of his earlier films are being shown for the first

time.^Australia is a relatively new entrant into the contemporary world

film market. Buoyed by government subsidies, Australian directors have

produced a group of major films within the past decade: Peter WEIR’s

Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave (1977), Gillian Armstrong’s My

Brilliant Career (1979) and Star Struck (1982), Fred Schepisi’s The Devil’s

Playground and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978), and Bruce Beresford’s

Breaker Morant (1980). Beresford, Weir, and Schepisi have since directed

films with U.S. backing; Beresford’s Tender Mercies (1983) is about that

most American phenomenon, the country-western singer.

Postwar Film in Asia

Thriving film industries have existed in both Japan and India since the

silent era. It was only after World War II, however, that non-Western

cinematic traditions became visible and influential internationally. The

Japanese director Akira KUROSAWA opened a door to the West with his widely

acclaimed Rashomon (1950), an investigation into the elusive nature of

truth. His samurai dramas, such as The Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of

Blood (1957), an adaptation of Macbeth, Yojimbo (1961), and Kagemusha

(1980), were ironic adventure tales that far transcended the usual Japanese

sword movies, a genre akin to U.S. westerns. Kenzi MIZOGUCHI is known for

his stately period films Ugetsu (1953) and Sansho the Bailiff (1955).

Yoshiro Ozu’s poetic studies of modern domestic relations (Tokyo Story,

1953; An Autumn Afternoon, (1962) introduced Western audiences to a

personal sensitivity that was both intensely national and universal.

Younger directors, whose careers date from the postwar burgeoning of the

Japanese film, include Teinosuke Kinugasa (Gate of Hell, 1953), Hiroshi

Teshigahara (Woman of the Dunes, 1964, from a script by the novelist ABE

KOBO), Masahiro Shinoda (Under the Cherry Blossoms, 1975), Nagisa Oshima

(The Ceremony, 1971) and Musaki Kobayashi, best known for his nine-hour

trilogy on the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, The Human Condition

(1959-61), and Harakiri (1962), a deglamorization of the samurai

tradition.^The film industry in India, which ranks among the largest in the

world, has produced very little for international consumption. Its most

famous director, Satyajit RAY, vividly brings to life the problems of an

India in transition, in particular in the trilogy comprising Pather

Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1958). Bengali is

the language used in almost all Ray’s films. In 1977, however, he produced

The Chess Players, with sound tracks in both Hindi and English.

American Film Today

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, the American film industry accommodated

itself to the competition of this world market; to a film audience that had

shrunk from 80 million to 20 million weekly; to the tastes of a primarily

young and educated audience; and to the new social and sexual values

sweeping the United States and much of the rest of the industrialized

world. The Hollywood studios that have survived in name (Paramount,

Warners, Universal, MGM, Fox) are today primarily offices for film

distribution. Many are subsidiaries of such huge conglomerates as the Coca

Cola Company or Gulf and Western. Increasingly, major films are being shot

in places other than Hollywood (New York City, for example, is recovering

its early status as a filmmaking center), and Hollywood now produces far

more television movies, series, and commercials than it does motion

pictures.^American movies of the past 20 years have moved more strongly

into social criticism (Doctor Strangelove, 1963; The Graduate, 1967; The

Godfather, 1971; One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975; The Deer Hunter,

1978; Norma Rae, 1979; Apocalypse Now, 1979; Missing, 1982); or they have

offered an escape from social reality into the realm of fantasy, aided by

the often beautiful, sometimes awesome effects produced by new film

technologies (2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968; Jaws, 1975; Star Wars and Close

Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977; Altered States, 1979; E. T., 1982); or

they have returned to earnest or comic investigations of the dilemmas of

everyday life (a troubled family, in Ordinary People, 1980; divorce life

and male parenting, in Kramer v. Kramer, 1979; women in a male world, in

Nine to Five, 1979, and Tootsie, 1982). The most successful directors of

the past 15 years–Stanley KUBRICK, Robert ALTMAN, Francis Ford COPPOLA,

Woody ALLEN, George LUCAS, and Steven SPIELBERG–are those who have played

most imaginatively with the tools of film communication itself. The stars

of recent years (with the exceptions of Paul NEWMAN and Robert REDFORD)

have, for their part, been more offbeat and less glamorous than their

predecessors of the studio era–Robert DE NIRO, Jane Fonda (see FONDA


last two decades have seen the virtual extinction of animated film, which

is too expensive to make well, and the rebirth of U.S. documentary film in

the insightful work of Fred WISEMAN, the Maysles brothers, Richard Leacock

and Donn Pennebaker, and, in Europe, of Marcel OPHULS. Even richer is the

experimental, or underground, movement of the 1960s and 1970s, in which

filmmakers such as Stan BRAKHAGE, Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Hollis

Frampton, Michael Snow, and Robert Breer have worked as personally and

abstractly with issues of visual and psychological perception as have

modern painters and poets. The new vitality of these two opposite

traditions–the one devoted to revealing external reality, the other to

revealing the life of the mind–underscores the persistence of the

dichotomy inherent in the film medium. In the future, film will probably

continue to explore these opposing potentialities. Narrative films in

particular will probably continue trends that began with the French New

Wave, experimenting with more elliptical ways of telling film stories and

either borrowing or rediscovering many of the images, themes, and devices

of the experimental film itself. GERALD MAST


Bibliography:GENERAL HISTORIES AND CRITICISM: Arnheim, Rudolf, Film as Art

(1957; repr. 1971); Bazin, Andre, What is Cinema?, 2 vols., trans. by

Hugh Gray (1967, 1971); Cook, David A., A History of Narrative Film,

1889-1979 (1981); Cowie, Peter, ed., Concise History of the Cinema, 2 vols.

(1970); Eisenstein, Sergei M., Film Form (1949; repr. 1969); Halliwell,

Leslie, Filmgoer’s Companion, 6th ed. (1977); Jowett, Garth, Film: The

Democratic Art (1976); Kael, Pauline, Reeling (1976), and 5,000 Nights at

the Movies: A Guide from A to Z (1982); Kracauer, Siegfried, Theory of

Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (1960); Mast, Gerald, A Short

History of the Movies, 2d ed. (1976); Mast, Gerald, and Cohen, Marshall,

Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings (1974); Monaco, James, How

to Read a Film (1977); Peary, Danny, Cult Movies (1981); Robinson, David,

The History of World Cinema (1973).^ NATIONAL FILM HISTORIES: AMERICAN:

Higham, Charles, The Art of American Film, 1900-1971 (1973); Monaco, James,

American Film Now: The People, the Power, the Movies (1979); Sarris,

Andrew, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968 (1968);

Sklar, Robert, Movie-Made America (1975).^AUSTRALIAN: Stratton, David, The

Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival (1981).^BRITISH: Armes, Roy, A

History of British Cinema (1978); Low, Rachael, The History of British

Film, 4 vols. (1973); Manvell, Roger, New Cinema in Britain

(1969).^FRENCH: Armes, Roy, The French Cinema Since 1946, 2 vols., rev.

ed. (1970); Harvey, Sylvia, May ‘68 and Film Culture (rev. ed., 1980);

Monaco, James, The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette

(1976); Sadoul, Georges, French Film (1953; repr. 1972).^GERMAN: Barlow,

John D., German Expressionist Film (1982); Hull, David S., Film of the

Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 1933-1945 (1969); Manvell,

Roger, and Fraenkel, Heinrich, The German Cinema (1971); Sandford, John The

New German Cinema (1980); Wollenberg, H. H., Fifty Years of German Film

(1948; repr. 1972).^ITALIAN: Jarratt, Vernon, Italian Cinema (1951; repr.

1972); Leprohon, Pierre, The Italian Cinema (1972); Rondi, Gian, Italian

Cinema Today (1965); Witcombe, Roger, The New Italian Cinema

(1982).^JAPANESE: Mellen, Joan, The Waves at Genji’s Door: Japan Through

Its Cinema (1976); Richie, Donald, The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965), and

The Japanese Movie: An Illustrated History (1966); Sato, Tadao, Currents

in Japanese Cinema (1982).^RUSSIAN: Cohen, Louis H., The

Cultural-Political Traditions and Development of the Soviet Cinema,

1917-1972 (1974); Dickenson, Thorold, and De La Roche, Catherine, Soviet

Cinema (1948; repr. 1972); Leyda, Jay, Kino: A History of the Russian and

Soviet Film (1960; repr. 1973); Taylor, Richard, Film Propaganda: Soviet

Russia and Nazi Germany (1979).^SWEDISH: Cowie, Peter, Swedish Cinema

(1966); Donner, Jorn, The Personal Vision of Ingmar Bergman (1964); Hardy,

Forsyth, The Scandinavian Film (1952; repr. 1972).

Porter, Cole


Cole Porter, b. Peru, Ind., June 9, 1892, d. Oct. 15, 1964, was an

American lyricist and composer of popular songs for stage and screen. A

graduate of Yale College, he attended Harvard School of Arts and Sciences

for 2 years and later studied under the French composer Vincent d’Indy.

Both his lyrics and music have a witty sophistication, technical

virtuosity, and exquisite sense of style that have rarely been paralleled

in popular music. He contributed brilliant scores to numerous Broadway

musicals, such as Anything Goes (1934) and Kiss Me, Kate (1948), and to

motion pictures. His best songs have become classics; these include “Begin

the Beguine,” “Night and Day,” and “I Love Paris.” DAVID EWEN

Bibliography: Eells, George, The Life that Late He Led: A Biography of Cole

Porter (1967); Kimball, Robert, ed., Cole (1971); Schwartz, Charles, Cole

Porter (1977).

Griffith, D. W.


David Lewelyn Wark Griffith, b. La Grange, Ky., Jan. 23, 1875, d. July

23, 1948, is recognized as the greatest single film director and most

consistently innovative artist of the early American film industry. His

influence on the development of cinema was worldwide.

After gaining experience with a Louisville stock company, he was employed

as an actor and writer by the Biograph Film Company of New York in 1907.

The following year he was offered a director-producer contract and, for the

next five years, oversaw the production of more than 400 one- and two-reel

films. As his ideas grew bolder, however, he felt increasingly frustrated

by the limitations imposed by his employers. Griffith left Biograph in

1913 to join Reliance-Majestic as head of production, and in 1914, he began

his most famous film, based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon.

This Civil War Reconstruction epic, known as The Birth of a Nation (1915),

became a landmark in American filmmaking, both for its artistic merits and

for its unprecedented use of such innovative techniques as flashbacks,

fade-outs, and close-ups. The film was harshly condemned, however, for its

racial bias and glorification of the Ku Klux Klan; several subsequent

lynchings were blamed on the film. In response to this criticism, Griffith

made what many consider his finest film, Intolerance (1916), in which the

evils of intolerance were depicted in four parallel stories–a framework

that required a scope of vision and production never before approached.

Although Griffith made numerous other films up to 1931, none ranked with

his first two classics. Among the best of these later efforts were Hearts

of the World (1918); Broken Blossoms (1919), released by his own newly

formed corporation, United Artists; Way Down East (1920); Orphans of the

Storm (1922); America (1924); Isn’t Life Wonderful? (1924); and Abraham

Lincoln (1930). Of the many actors trained by Griffith and associated with

his name, Mary PICKFORD, Dorothy and Lillian GISH, and Lionel Barrymore

(see BARRYMORE family) are the most famous. In 1935, Griffith was honored

by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a special award.

Bibliography: Barry, Iris, D. W. Griffith, American Film Master (1940);

Brown, Karl, Adventures with D. W. Griffith (1976); Geduld, Harry M.,

ed., Focus on D. W. Griffith (1971); Gish, Lillian, Lillian Gish: The

Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me (1969); Henderson, Robert M., D. W. Griffith:

His Life and Work (1972) and D. W. Griffith: The Years at Biograph

(1970); O’Dell, Paul, Griffith and the Rise of Hollywood (1970);

Wagenknecht, Edward C., The Films of D. W. Griffith (1975).

film industry


The first four decades of the film age (roughly 1908-48) saw the increasing

concentration of control in the hands of a few giant Hollywood concerns.

Since the late 1940s, however, that trend has been reversed; the monolithic

studio system has given way to independent production and diversification

at all levels of the industry.^Although in the silent era small,

independent producers were common, by the 1930s, in the so-called golden

age of Hollywood, the overwhelming majority of films were produced,

distributed, and exhibited by one of the large California studios. Led by

M-G-M, Paramount, RKO, 20th-Century-Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia, and

Universal, the industry enjoyed the benefits of total vertical integration:

because the studios owned their own theater chains, they could require

theater managers to charge fixed minimum admission rates, to purchase

groups of pictures rather than single releases (”block booking”), and to

accept films without first previewing them (”blind buying”). For more than

two decades the major studios completely controlled their contracted stars,

managed vast indoor and outdoor studio sets, and in general profited from

what amounted to a virtual monopoly of the industry.^Shortly after World

War II, three factors contributed to the loss of the majors’ hegemony.

First, a number of federal court decisions forced the studios to end

discriminatory distribution practices, including block booking, blind

selling, and the setting of fixed admission prices; in 1948 the Supreme

Court ordered divestiture of their theater chains. Second, the House

Committee on Un-American Activities investigated the industry, which

responded by blacklisting several prominent screenwriters and directors–an

action that called into question the industry’s reliability as a promoter

of unfettered creative talent. Third, television began to deprive

Hollywood of large segments of its audience, and the industry reacted

timidly and late to the possibilities for diversification presented by the

new medium.^The effects of these developments were immediate and long

lasting. Weekly attendance figures fell from 80 million in 1946 to just

over 12 million by 1972. Box-ofice revenues in the same period dropped

from $1.75 billion to $1.4 billion–and this despite constant inflation and

admission prices that were often 10 times the prewar average. The movie

colony experienced unprecedented unemployment. The number of films made

yearly declined from an average of 445 in the 1940s to under 150 in the

1970s, as the industry sought solvency in “blockbusters” rather than in the

solid but unspectacular products that had brought it a mass audience before

the age of television. Between 1948 and 1956 the number of U.S. theaters

fell from 20,000 to 10,000, and although 4,000 new drive-in theaters

somewhat offset this attrition, by the mid-1970s less than half of the

American spectator’s amusement dollar was being spent on movies; in the

1940s the yearly average had been over 80 cents.^By the late 1960s the

major studios had entered a grave economic slump, for many of their “big

picture” gambles fell through. In 1970, 20th-Century-Fox lost $36 million,

and United Artists, which as the industry leader had more to lose, ended up

more than $50 million in the red. In response to this devastation of its

profits, the industry underwent a profound reorganization. Following the

1951 lead of United Artists, the majors backed away from production (since

its cost had contributed heavily to their decline) and restructured

themselves as loan guarantors and distributors. At the same time, most of

them became subsidiaries of conglomerates such as Gulf and Western, Kinney

National Service, and Transamerica and began to look to television sales

and recording contracts for the revenues that previously had come from the

theater audience alone.^In setting up these new contractual relationships

the independent producer played a central role. Such a figure, who by now

has replaced the old studio mogul as the industry’s driving force, brings

together the various properties associated with a film (including actors, a

director, and book rights) to create a “package” often financed

independently but distributed by a film company in exchange for a share of

the rental receipts. Working with the conglomerates and accepting the

reality of a permanently reduced market, these private promoters have

partially succeeded in revitalizing the industry.^The rise of independent

production has been accompanied by diversification of subject matter, with

close attention to the interests of specialized audiences. This trend,

which began in the 1950s as an attempt to capture the “art house” audience

and the youth market, is evident today in the success of martial-arts,

rock-music, pornographic, documentary, and black-culture films.

Simultaneously, production has moved away from the Hollywood sets and

toward location filming. For many producers, New York City has become the

New filmmakers’ mecca, while shooting in foreign countries, where cheap

labor is often plentiful, has given the modern film a new international

texture; foreign markets have also become increasingly important. Both

geographically and financially, therefore, the film industry has begun to

recapture some of the variety and independence that were common in the days

before studio control. THADDEUS F. TULEJA

Bibliography: Balio, Tino, ed., The American Film Industry (1976); Brownlow,

Kevin, Hollywood: The Pioneers (1980); David, Saul, The Industry: Life in the

Hollywood Fast Lane (1981); Phillips, Gene D., The Movie Makers: Artists in an

Industry (1973); Stanley, Robert H., The Celluloid Empire (1978).



TEN TOP-GROSSING FILMS (as of Jan. 1, 1984)


Film Year Gross Earnings*


1. E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial 1982 $209,567,000

2. Star Wars 1977 193,500,000

3. Return of the Jedi 1983 165,500,000

4. The Empire Strikes Back 1980 141,600,000

5. Jaws 1975 133,435,000

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 115,598,000

7. Grease 1978 96,300,000

8. Tootsie 1982 94,571,613

9. The Exorcist 1973 89,000,000

10. The Godfather 1972 86,275,000


SOURCE: Variety (1984). *Distributors’ percentage has been subtracted.

Sennett, Mack



A pioneer of slapstick film comedy, Mack Sennett, b. Michael Sinnott,

Richmond, Quebec, Jan. 17, 1880, d. Nov. 5, 1960, was an uneducated

Irish-Canadian who drifted into films as D. W. Griffith’s apprentice. In

1912 he started his own comedy studio, called Keystone, where he developed

the Keystone Kops and discovered such major talents as Charlie Chaplin and

Frank Capra. With the advent of sound films, comedy shorts became less

popular, and in the 1930s Sennett, who failed to change with the times,

lost his entire fortune. Sennett is, however, still remembered as

Hollywood’s “King of Comedy” and received a special Academy Award in 1937

for his contribution to cinema comedy. LEONARD MALTIN

Bibliography: Fowler, Gene, Father Goose (1934; repr. 1974); Lahue, Kalton

C., and Brewer, Terry, Kops and Custards: The Legend of Keystone Films

(1968); Sennett, Mack, King of Comedy (1954; repr. 1975).

Chaplin, Charlie


Charles Spencer Chaplin, b. Apr. 16, 1889, d. Dec. 25, 1977, cinema’s

most celebrated comedian-director, achieved international fame with his

portrayals of the mustachioed Little Tramp. As the director, producer,

writer, and interpreter of his many movies, he made a major contribution to


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