This anthology was initially inspired by a request from Mr. James Simmons at Southern Illinois University Press for me to edit a revised version of a previously published collection of essays, entitled The American Movie Industry (SIU Press, 1982). Given the fact that a number of books, including my own, have explored the history of Hollywood in some depth, we decided that it was more important at this time to put together a history of the international movie industry from its inception to the present day.
To that end I invited a number of scholars who are experts in specific "national" cinemas and culture industries and whose work I admire to contribute to this anthology. Each of their chapters focuses upon a specific movie industry's economic (and related social, aesthetic, technological, and political/ideological) development within an international context over the past century. Together they provide insightful and thought-provoking studies of eighteen (nineteen including the United States) different national movie industries, which comprise a global history of the movie industry. I am extremely grateful to each of the scholars whose work is presented in this collection of essays.
In an attempt to make their different approaches and important insights as accessible as possible to general readers and beginning film students, I have written a summary of each chapter at the conclusion of the book, which encapsulates each author's basic perspective, arguments, and findings and then offers some tentative conclusions about the United States' role in the international movie industry and other countries' responses to Hollywood. In so doing I hope that the book will be useful to students enrolled in film history courses.