The American Movie Industry: The Business of Motion Pictures


These seventeen essays make up a history of the American film industry. Because film-making entails a special blend of economic and artistic endeavor, Kindem has chosen contributions from experts in a variety of fields- business, law, mass communications, and cinema studies.

The organization of this anthology is both chronological and topical. The first three parts of the book basically follow the history of the film industry's marketing strategies, structural changes, and product innovations: from exhibition in Kinetoscope arcades to film "acts" in vaudeville, Nickelodeons, and movie palaces; from states' rights marketing schemes to block booking and chain-store exhibition strategies; from a production and distribution monopoly based on the pooling of major patents to an oligopoly of produc tion, distribution, and exhibition firms; and from the rise of feature films, the star system, and the studio system to Hollywood's con versions to sound and color.

The fourth through sixth parts examine film regulation and censorship, film's inter action with television, and America's role in the international film industry. The diversity of methods and perspectives in this anthol ogy are representative of the field, suggesting that the history of the American film indus try is really a collection of histories, not a monolithic, single-strand chronology of events.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Robert C. Allen
  • Ralph Cassady Jr.
  • Jeanne Thomas Allen
  • Gorham Kindem
  • Janet Staiger
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Carbondale, IL
Publication year:
  • 1982


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