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HOLLYWOOD. Stars & Studios. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM. 1931, industry moved away from Central Producer system to PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM Lasted from around 1931 to around 1955. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM. Specialization increased under Central Producer system

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  1. HOLLYWOOD Stars & Studios

  2. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • 1931, industry moved away from Central Producer system to PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • Lasted from around 1931 to around 1955

  3. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • Specialization increased under Central Producer system • Different directors under central producer specialized in various genres of films • Difficult for central producer to keep tabs on growing number of films • Also difficult for central producer to be an “expert” in every genre

  4. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • Various studios’ central producers began assigning assistants to take over a degree of control over smaller groups of films • Central producer still maintained high degree of control over all of the film production at a given studio • Films of a particular studio beginning to all “look alike”, influence of central producer decreasing the individuality of the films

  5. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • Specialization continued & intensified with Producer-Unit system • Central producer replaced by a number of producers ( “associate producers”) • Desire to decrease costs; with a smaller number of films for each producer to supervise, he could keeper tighter control over costs • More different kinds of movies produced; producers made movies within their specializations • Individuality & creativity increased

  6. PRODUCER-UNIT SYSTEM • Producer-Unit system adopted by all Big 5 studios • Allowed them to make even more films, more efficiently, than during the silent era • Part of general increase in specialization & departmentalization at the studios • Increased the division of labor • Jobs in other departments also became more specialized • New jobs created by new technologies of sound & color (technicians, dialogue writers, voice coaches) • Required new jobs in other departments (make-up, costume, prop, etc.)

  7. Owned largest chain of theaters, esp. in the South & Midwest • In 1930s, during Depression, mortgages on these properties almost sank the company • When industry (& US) recovered in WW II, these theaters source of huge profits • In 1940s-50s, Paramount by far most profitable & powerful of Big 5 • During these years, Paramount made many of the films we value most from the Studio Era

  8. Paramount Stars Marlene Dietrich

  9. Paramount Stars The Marx Bros Mae West

  10. Paramount Stars Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour & Bob Hope

  11. Fleischer Bros. Studio Popeye

  12. Fleischer Bros. Studio Superman

  13. Fleischer Bros. Studio Betty Boop

  14. Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer

  15. MGM production branch of Loew’s, Inc. • Loew’s theater chain concentrated in NYC • Company survived Depression in good shape (premiere film company of 1930s) • In the post-Depression boom, however, lack of theaters hurt Loew’s

  16. MGM Stars Greta Garbo

  17. MGM Stars Clark Gable Spencer Tracy

  18. MGM Movies Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

  19. MGM Movies Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)

  20. Hal Roach Studio Laurel & Hardy

  21. Hal Roach Studio Our Gang

  22. MGM Animation

  23. MGM Animation Tex Avery’s Wolfie and Red

  24. 20th Century-Fox

  25. 1935, Fox merged with 20th Century Pictures • Best remembered for its Technicolor musicals & its “socially-conscious” films

  26. 20th Century-Fox Stars Sonja Henie Shirley Temple

  27. 20th Century-Fox Stars Betty Grable Tyrone Power

  28. 20th-Century Fox Movies Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937)

  29. Warner Bros.

  30. From profits from innovation of sound movies, Warner bought First National in 1928, making it a major player in the Big 5 • Remembered for social expose films, gangster films & backstage musicals • Most of these films were box office losers • Biggest profits from moderately-budgeted mainstream comedies & biographies; specialized in contemporary genre films • Warner also distributed Vitagraph musical shorts

  31. Warner Bros. Stars Humphrey Bogart

  32. Warner Bros. Stars Bette Davis

  33. Warner Bros. Animation

  34. RKO • Result of RCA’s purchase of Film Booking Office, Keith & Orpheum chains • Output was erratic • Few of RKO’s films were successful at the box office

  35. RKO Movies

  36. Disney Animation Mickey Mouse Donald Duck

  37. Disney Animation Snow White (1937)

  38. Universal

  39. Important in silent era, but fell on hard times in 1930s-40s • It specialized in: • Abbott & Costello features • Horror films (the best!) • Cheap serials (Jungle Jim, Flash Gordon) • Cheap newsreels • Cheap cartoons

  40. Universal Movies Abbott & Costello

  41. Universal Horror Movies

  42. Universal Horror Movies

  43. Universal Serials

  44. Walter Lantz Studio Woody Woodpecker Chilly Willy

  45. Columbia

  46. Small, cut-rate studio • Remembered especially for its Frank Capra films • Most of its output consisted of B films • Westerns • Series based on comic strip & comic book characters • Shorts starring the 3 Stooges (very popular)

  47. Columbia Movies Claudette Colbert Clark Gable Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934)

  48. Columbia Movies Batman & Robin

  49. Columbia Shorts The Three Stooges

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