Movies 1930s
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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

  • 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


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  • 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)


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  • 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)



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