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Movies – 1930s Early cinema Feature films, narrative Talkies Movies – major form of entertainment by 1920s “Mass Culture” web of national experience movies, automobiles, paved roads, radios, telephones, mass circulation magazines, chain stores,… Movies Number of Theater increase

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movies 1930s
Movies – 1930s
  • Early cinema
    • Feature films, narrative
    • Talkies
    • Movies – major form of entertainment by 1920s
  • “Mass Culture”
    • web of national experience
    • movies, automobiles, paved roads, radios, telephones, mass circulation magazines, chain stores,…
  • Movies
    • Number of Theater increase
      • 1929 – 23,000 theaters
    • Attendance rises
      • 1922 - 40 million
      • 1929 -95 million
      • 1930 -115 million
slide2
Impact on society
    • hair styles, clothing, recreation
    • sexual behavior
  • Depression
    • Attendance does fall, but still substantial
    • About $.25 avg. for ticket, cheap
    • Prizes for moviegoers
    • Various genres – comedy, horror, drama, escapist, crime/gangster
    • Censorship
      • 1920s – state’s adopt laws – ban smoking, pregnant women – not effective
      • 1920s – film industry self-regulates – not effective
        • Association of Movie Producers
        • Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America
      • 1930 – Will Hays, Postmaster General, overseer creation of Production Code Administration (PCA)
slide3
Hays Code – not effective either – producers could appeal to other producers
    • Dancing, vulgarity, dress, violence, miscegenation, depiction of venereal disease, childbirth, illegal drug use
    • Gangster movies especially bothersome – The Public Enemy
    • Joe Breen takes over as Production Code Administrator (1934) – strengthens implementation of Code
      • Theaters could be fined $25,000 for showing a film not approved by PCA
  • Movies
    • Gangster - Little Caesar (1930), The Public Enemy (1931), Scarface (1932), The Roaring Twenties (1939)
    • Horror - Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Freaks (1932), The Black Cat (1934), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    • Drama -Red Dust (1932), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Gone with the Wind (1939)
    • Other – All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), 42nd Street (1933), Wizard of Oz (1939)