onwards. This film especially captured the haunting sense of a culturally and politically marginalized urban milieu which is under constant surveillance by the state.
The impossibility of escape, the fragile nature of intrablack community relations, were also prominent themes in Mario Van Peebles's violent urban crime drama New Jack City ( 1991) and Matty Rich's Straight out of Brooklyn ( 1991), which was particularly about the desire to escape. The ironic point about these contemporary African-American urban dramas, however, is that they suggest the total collapse of liberal integrationism, in which the black cinematic subject has been reinvented and reenslaved within the segregated confines of a strange, exotic, sometimes dangerous 'otherness'. After 100 years of American cinema, black representation remains an acutely unresolved problem.
Bogle, Donald ( 1989), Blacks in American Films and Television.
Cripps, Thomas ( 1977), Slow Fade to Black: The Negro in American Film, 1900-1942.
Klotman, Phyllis Rauch ( 1979), Frame by Frame: A Black Filmography.
Leab, Daniel J. ( 1975), From Sambo to Superspade: The Black Experience in Motion Pictures.
Nesteby, James R. ( 1982), Black Images in American Films, 1896-1954.
Pines, Jim ( 1975), Blacks in Films.
Sampson, Henry T. ( 1977), Blacks in Black and White: A Source Book on Black Films.
Post- 1980 time travel films like The Philadelphia Experiment ( 1984) and Back to the Future ( 1985) are obliged to feature the gag in which a disbelieving inhabitant of a naive past discovers that Ronald Reagan is in the White House. 'And who's Secretary of the Treasury,' Christopher Lloyd asks Michael J. Fox, 'Jack Benny?' The joke, persisting well after the Reagan presidency in Late for Dinner ( 1990), comes from an awareness that a film-goer of the 1940s or 1950s would be unable to conceive of a future in which a second-string movie star is President. Though the New Hollywood is increasingly self-aware, as witness the inside approaches of The Player ( 1992) or Last Action Hero ( 1993), no time travel film dares suggest that a 1940s film-goer warped into any year after 1977 would find it ridiculous that Star Wars ( 1977, derived from Flash Gordon), Superman ( 1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark ( 1981), or Dick Tracy ( 1990) were big-budget, A-ticket movies. The originals of these properties were despised, marginalized efforts, creeping out of 'poverty row', playing to children at Saturday matinees. As a new generation of baby-boom executives take control of the product, time-travellers from the 1960s would now face he spectacle of a future in which the throwaway media of their own time has been reincarnated in major studio reruns of Batman ( 1989), The Addams Family ( 1991), The Fugitive ( 1992), and Maverick ( 1994). In the 1950s and 1960s, changes were made which radically affected the shape of mainstream American cinema.
David O. Selznick and Louis B. Mayer would never have considered making the films which constitute Variety's current box-office top ten, though they would have understood Gandhi ( 1982) if Paul Muni had been available. Even if Beverly Hills Cop ( 1984) or Ghostbusters ( 1983) had been green-lighted in the golden age of Hollywood, they would have been double-bill fillers with Abbott and Costello or the Bowery Boys. Old-style studio heads recognized this sort of product as necessary, but never dreamt it merited the big stars, lavish productions, major effects, or mammoth promotional budgets afforded 'important' motion pictures like Marie Antoinette ( 1938) or The Best Years of Our Lives ( 1946). The attitude was universal; in the last years of her life, actress Gale Sondegaard was staggered that her Oscar-winning work on Anthony Adverse ( 1936) was less remembered than her villainy in the Sherlock Holmes quickie The Spider Woman ( 1944). In the 1930s and 1940s, there were few A-feature Westerns, horror films, urban crime stories, or sex melodramas; these genres throve at the mini-majors or the 'poverty row' independents. Beyond Hollywood were such murky fringes as the allblack 'race' film industry (Son of Ingagi, 1938), or supposedly 'educational' films shown on the carnival circuit (Reefer Madness, 1936), which produced a flow of films shown outside the majors' distribution channels.
In the 1950s, as the industrial structure of Hollywood changed, so did the cinema itself. The studios were forced to divest themselves of their theatre chains, vastly increasing the risk involved in any given production. The establishment of alternative systems of distributing foreign, art, or pornographic movies made available a wider range of cinema, especially to an impressionable college generation who would become film-makers themselves. The peak audiences of the war years subsided as television became the primary entertainment medium, and the New York-based TV industry began to create its own stars, genres, and monopolies. The family pattern of cinema