By Otto Friedrich
In 1939, fifty million americans went to the films a week, Louis B. Mayer was once the highest-paid guy within the nation, and Hollywood produced 530 characteristic movies a yr. One decade and 5 thousand videos later, the studios have been faltering. The Forties turned the last decade of Hollywood's decline: anticommunist hysteria excommunicated a few of its top expertise, whereas a 1948 antitrust consent decree ended the various enterprise practices that had made the studio process so profitable.
In this masterful paintings of cultural background, the mythical Otto Friedrich tells the tale of Hollywood's heyday and decline in a brilliant narrative that includes an all-star forged of the actors, writers, musicians, composers, manufacturers, administrators, racketeers, exertions leaders, reporters, and politicians who performed significant elements within the motion picture capital throughout the turbulent decade from global conflict II to the Korean War.
Friedrich attracts on assets from big name biographies to trade-union background, mingling vigorous gossip with research of Hollywood's seedier company dealings and telling the tales of mythical videos comparable to Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, and All approximately Eve.
A vintage portrait of a different position in a distinct time, urban of Nets provides us a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse right into a bygone period that also captivates our imaginations.
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Extra info for City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's
Overseas markets, with the exception of North America, were not essential to European ﬁlm companies, who constituted only a small part of the world ﬁlm market. Export ﬁgures of French motion picture ﬁlms from 1913–1918 show that the non-western market accounted for only 10 to 15 per cent of exports, and did not decrease. The same also holds true for Britain (Stephenson America’s master 33 1922). First of all, these ﬁgures show that exports continued during the war, and second, they probably overestimate the importance of nonwestern markets, those small markets to which copies (positives) were shipped.
However, changes should reﬂect real changes in the market. America’s master 29 exporting ﬁlms through an American company in spring 1907, and the next year had its own sales ofﬁce (Mottram 1988). Around 1907, the Pathé Frères company was the largest ﬁlm producer and distributor in the world. Gaumont, its main French competitor was about a third its size. Other French companies, such as Éclair, Méliès and Lux, were much smaller. The French ﬁlm companies thrived on exports. Pathé Frères, Gaumont, Méliès and Éclair all set up American studios, and some of them also had studios in Germany, Britain and Italy.
Very-high-budget ﬁlms generated losses in four of the ten years in which high-budget production took place, and in only two of the six remaining years did the percentage contribution to aggregate annual proﬁts of high-budget ﬁlms exceed the proportion of production budgets that they absorbed (1936 and 1942). That is, ﬁnancial success in the 1930s derived from medium- to lower-budget production, whereas in the 1990s it was higher-budget production that made the major contribution to ﬁnancial success.