American Cinema of the 1920s: Themes and Variations (Screen


In the course of the Nineteen Twenties, sound revolutionized the movie and cinema persevered as the most major and renowned kinds of mass leisure on this planet. movie studios have been remodeled into significant businesses, hiring a bunch of craftsmen and technicians together with cinematographers, editors, screenwriters, and set designers. The start of the superstar approach supported the meteoric upward push and star prestige of actors together with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and Rudolph Valentino whereas black performers (relegated to "race films") seemed now and again in mainstream videos. The vintage Hollywood movie variety used to be perfected and important movie genres have been verified: the melodrama, western, historic epic, and romantic comedy, besides slapstick, technology fiction, and fantasy.In ten unique essays, American Cinema of the Nineteen Twenties examines the movie industry's persisted development and prosperity whereas targeting very important subject matters of the period.

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Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (who conducted numerous raids in 1920) had, in fact, predicted a Bolshevik coup for the same year. Often radical politics were associated with particular ethnicities—especially with Jews from Eastern Europe who were tainted by the shadow of the Russian Revolution. As Allen reports, Americans “were listening to ugly rumors of a huge radical conspiracy against the government and institutions of the United States. They had their ears cocked for the detonation of bombs and the tramp of Bolshevist armies.

May, in both role and rhetoric, was thus an ideal figure to help sell the movies in a small town. Her activities in Waukesha on the day leading up to her appearance at the Park included, not surprisingly, a professional courtesy call on the town’s two biggest department stores, the McCoy and the Enterprise, a brief stopover at the popular Waukesha Mud Baths for an introduction to the benefits of “restoring health by means of mud,” and a touching personal visit to Resthaven, a convalescent hospital and home for injured local veterans, where she “conversed [with] some of the war heroes and prevailed upon them to relate to her their war experiences” (“Edith May”).

On an industrial level, the Hollywood industry expands international distribution and moves toward vertical integration with the purchase of additional movie theaters. On the film front, Ross finds evidence of the import of the flapper generation in such comic films as Bobbed Hair, in which the heroine plays out her fantasy of bohemianism only to return to the bourgeois marital fold. The drama Manslaughter (directed by DeMille) offers a more extreme vision of the contemporary woman, but, once again, her wildness (fast driving, partying, and so on) must eventually be tamed.

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