The Growth and Development of the Movie Industry
This paper will give a brief study of the growth and development of the movie industry in Europe and other parts of the world, will look at some of the ancient movie studios. I will also give a short overview of some of the most important and influential people in the history of cinema. This will include a look at Charlie Chaplin and his work with Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. I will also touch on R.K.O and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, two other large studios that have had a significant impact on cinema. Finally, I will take a brief look at the Cinema of China and Hong Kong Cinema.
2. The Growth and Development of the Movie Industry
-2.1 The Early Years
The film industry began in Europe in the late 19th century with the invention of motion picture cameras. The first public screenings of films were held in Paris in 1895 and the first commercial film studio was founded in 1897 by Charles Pathé. The first ever copyrighted film was L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, which was shot by Auguste and Louis Lumière. European cinema was initially dominated by French, Italian and German film companies.
The first American film studio was Edison Studios, which was founded in 1893 by Thomas Edison. Edison’s company created some of the first commercially successful films such as The Kiss (1896) and The Great Train Robbery (1903). American cinema soon began to dominate the international market with its major film studios such as Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, RKO Pictures and MGM Studios.
-2.2 The Studio Era
The studio era is often considered to have begun in 1927 with the release of The Jazz Singer, which was the first feature length film to synchronized sound. This new technology ushered in a new era of filmmaking known as “talkies”. The studio era is generally considered to have ended in 1948 with the release of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. During this period, the Hollywood studio system was at its height and the major studios exerted complete control over all aspects of filmmaking from production to distribution.
-2.3 The New Hollywood
The new Hollywood era is generally considered to have started in 1967 with the release of Bonnie and Clyde. This new wave of American cinema was led by a group of young filmmakers who were influenced by European art house films. These directors included Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. They brought fresh ideas and new styles to Hollywood filmmaking which helped to create some of the most successful and iconic films ever made such as The Godfather (1972), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) and Jurassic Park (1993).
3. Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin was a British actor, director, producer and screenwriter who is considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of cinema. He began his career in the music hall and then moved to America where he became a Keystone Kop in 1914. He soon began to direct his own films and went on to make some of the most iconic films ever made such as The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936). Chaplin continued to make films until he was forced to leave America due to his political beliefs. He returned to England where he made his final film, Monsieur Verdoux (1947). Chaplin was knighted in 1975 and died two years later.
4. Warner Bros
Warner Bros is an American film studio founded in 1923 by brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner. The studio has produced some of the most popular and successful films ever made such as The Jazz Singer (1927), The Public Enemy (1931), Casablanca (1942), Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Exorcist (1973). Warner Bros is also responsible for creating some of the most iconic characters in film history such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Superman and Batman. The studio is currently owned by Time Warner.
5. 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox is an American film studio founded in 1915 by William Fox. The studio has produced some of the most popular and successful films ever made such as The Sound of Music (1965), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), Titanic (1997) and Avatar (2009). 20th Century Fox is currently owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
6. Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures is an American film studio founded in 1912 by Adolph Zukor. The studio has produced some of the most popular and successful films ever made such as Sunset Boulevard (1950), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), The Godfather (1972) and Forrest Gump (1994). Paramount Pictures is currently owned by Viacom.
7. RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film studio founded in 1928 by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. The studio has produced some of the most popular and successful films ever made such as King Kong (1933), Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). RKO Pictures ceased operations in 1957 but was revived in 2015 by investors including Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is an American film studio founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. The studio has produced some of the most popular and successful films ever made such as Ben-Hur (1959), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Rocky (1976). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is currently owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
9. Cinema of China
The Cinema of China is one of the oldest and most prolific in the world, with a history dating back to 1896. Chinese cinema has undergone many changes throughout its history, from silent films to martial arts epics, to contemporary comedies and dramas. Some of the most popular and successful Chinese films include Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Hero (2002) and Kung Fu Hustle (2004).
10. Hong Kong Cinema
Hong Kong cinema is one of the most prolific and internationally renowned in the world. It has a rich history dating back to the 1920s, and has produced some of the most iconic films and filmmakers of all time. Hong Kong cinema is known for its martial arts films, comedies and gangster movies. Some of the most popular and successful Hong Kong films include Enter the Dragon (1973), Infernal Affairs (2002) and Ip Man (2008).