How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students

By Edgar Dale | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE HISTORY OF THE MOVIES

IT is probably hard for young persons today to imagine a time when there were no motion pictures. Although they were invented before you were born, the movies are actually very young. I wonder if you knew that motion pictures are only about forty years old. This means, then, that when your fathers and mothers were boys and girls, they saw some of the first motion pictures that were made.

Perhaps you are interested in finding out about these early inventions, but before we discuss them, let us go back farther than the motion picture itself, and discover the steps that led up to the invention of this marvelous new instrument of communication.

Probably the earliest form of dramatic expression was story-telling. Did you ever indulge in the common habit of playing a football or basketball game all over again by describing in great detail to your friends (who may also have been there) just what happened when the fifty-yard run was made by Smith from the kick-off? " Jones kicked for South High. It was certainly a pretty kick. Smith saw it was coming to him and caught it on a dead run on the ten-yard line. Mitchell, their star tackle, came in fast, but Brown picked him off. I thought for a minute that he was going to get through, but he didn't" . . . And so the story goes on.

Why do we do it? It is primarily for the purpose of recreating an event which once gave us a great deal of pleasure and in the repeating of which we again experience some of

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How to Appreciate Motion Pictures: A Manual of Motion-Picture Criticism Prepared for High-School Students
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Chapter I What is Motion-Picture Appreciation? 3
  • Chapter II Shopping for Your Movies 16
  • Conclusion 24
  • Chapter III The History of the Movies 26
  • Chapter IV A Visit to a Studio 37
  • Chapter V Motion-Picture Reviewing 59
  • Chapter VI The Story 74
  • Summary of Standards 95
  • Chapter VII Acting 98
  • Chapter VIII Photography 121
  • Summary of Standards 149
  • Chapter IX Settings 151
  • Summary of Standards 169
  • Chapter X Sound and Music 171
  • Summary of Standards 177
  • Chapter XI Direction 179
  • Conclusion 204
  • Chapter XII What Are Motion Pictures For? 205
  • Chapter XIII What Next? 220
  • Appendix Suggested Readings 233
  • A Glossary of Motion-Picture Vocabulary 235
  • Index 241
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