The Rise of the American Film: A Critical History

By Lewis Jacobs | Go to book overview

IX
PRE-WAR FILMS: SIGNIFICANT TRENDS

HAVING refined their story-telling technique and lengthened their films, American producers during the years 1908-1914 probed deeper into contemporary life and into various kinds of literature for their themes. Literature had been raided previously for subject matter, but it now became more inviting for at least two reasons: it was likely to be safe from the increasing threats of censorship, and it was likely to be known and popular with movie audiences. From popular magazines, famous novels, and successful stage plays, plots were taken in part or as wholes; locales were changed; names of characters were altered; ideas were shaped down to fit the movie mold. Excerpts from novels by Jack London and Frank Norris, William Thackeray and Charles Dickens, Rex Beach and Anthony Hope; from plays by Dion Boucicault, David Belasco, and Clyde Fitch; from short stories published in Collier's, McClure's, and Cosmopolitan; from poems by Robert Browning, William Shakespeare, and Alfred Tennyson--all these were remolded into film tales (the original sources seldom, by the way, being credited).

At first the novel, short story, play, and poem were utilized at intervals to reinforce material from the newspaper, anecdote, and popular joke. But fiction came to be relied upon more and more, and real life less and less. This was true particularly toward the close of the period, owing to the influence of Griffith's film adaptations of famous literary works, Zukor's picture versions of famous plays, and the foreign films of historical dramas. The movement was facilitated by the establishment of scenario departments staffed by professional writers. The final effect was to make screen stories

-136-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Rise of the American Film: A Critical History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 590

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.