Star System and Its Contribution Term Paper

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Other studios relied on a few stars, but nevertheless did very well: Fox made an estimated $20 million on Shirley Temple, while Universal had WC Fields and Abbott and Costello. David O. Selznick split off in the mid-30's from MGM and started his own studio, relying on top-quality movies to break into the studio system's hold on the business (Dinks).

Conclusion: The Breakdown of the Star System

One could argue that the star system has never left us. Even today, the drawing power of an Angelina Jolie or a Brad Pitt can make the difference between mediocre and strong box-office results. "Star Power" exists as long as stars have the ability to bring a positive impact on the results of a picture. What is different from the "star system" of the 1930's is that the stars, directors and independent producers have much more power than they did at that time.

This re-emergence from the star system came about as a result of a 1935 Supreme Court decision which started to reverse the monopoly power of the studios to control distribution. As producers, like David O. Selznick, moved away from the major studios to form production companies, the ability of the studios to control 'product' was reduced
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and competition increased.

The net result is that there are more films, more stars and more directors today than at any time in the past; if one includes TV production, the difference in 'product' is substantial as compared to that earlier period. As with that earlier period, however, the 'star machine' is alive and well, and the movie-watching public is still just as hungry for details on 'their' stars.

Bibliography

Bellanger, M et al. Mary Pickford. Toronto: Library and Archives Canada, 2005.

Botnick, V. "Growth of the Star System (1909-1920)." American Film Institute (2007): n.p.

Dinks, T. "Film History of the 1930's." 2007. filmsite. 29 October 2007 http://www.filmsite.org/30sintro2.html.

Gallagher, B. "Some Historical Reflections on the Paradoxes of Stardom in the American Film Industry, 1910-1960." Images Journal n.d.: n.p.

Kindern, GA. The American Movie Industry: The Business of Motion Pictures. Dallas: The Southern Methodist University Press, 1982.

Powdermaker, H. Hollywood, the Dream Factory: An Anthropologist Looks at the Movie-Makers. Boston: Little, Brown, 1950.

Including, most notably, Edison and Biograph

Their fame preceded the studio system. Mary Pickford first starred as "America's Sweetheart" in the teens. DW Griffiths created the first mass-selling movies.

The Star System and its Contribution to the Development of Hollywood…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Bellanger, M et al. Mary Pickford. Toronto: Library and Archives Canada, 2005.

Botnick, V. "Growth of the Star System (1909-1920)." American Film Institute (2007): n.p.

Dinks, T. "Film History of the 1930's." 2007. filmsite. 29 October 2007 http://www.filmsite.org/30sintro2.html.

Gallagher, B. "Some Historical Reflections on the Paradoxes of Stardom in the American Film Industry, 1910-1960." Images Journal n.d.: n.p.

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