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History of American cinema, including a bit of other countries.

  • First motion picture

    First motion picture
    Before the pre-classical cinema period started, Eadweard Muybridge used 24 cameras and photograph every stage of a horse’s gallop. Surprising, he discovered the motion pictures.
  • Period: to


    In order to understand this period of time, we really must begin with the invention of the motion picture camera.
  • The motion camera

    The motion camera
    By 1892 Edison and Dickson invented a motion picture camera and a peephole viewing device called the Kinetoscope.
  • Lumière Brothers

    Lumière Brothers
    This day the Lumière brothers projected the first film to a paying audience in Paris, France. They used a device of their own making, the Cinématographe, which was a camera, a projector and a film printer all in one.
  • Nickelodeon theatres

    Nickelodeon theatres
    The first type of indoor exhibition space dedicated to showing films. These flourished between 1905 and 1915, and were usually created in old shops and you had to pay a nickel to enter.
  • David Wark Griffith

    David Wark Griffith
    By 1908, Griffith had entered the world of moviemaking. He pushed the industry, developed numerous techniques and was consider as the pioneer American motion-picture director.
  • Pathé studios

    Pathé studios
    Just a while before, French mega studios Pathé had gained complete control over the industry. With its ego harmed, Thomas Edison wanted to eliminate any type of competence.
  • Motion picture patent company (mppc)

    Motion picture patent company (mppc)
    He did so by establishing the Motion Picture Patent Company, also known as The Trust, a trust of 10 film producers who attempted to gain complete control of the motion-picture industry. In order to avoid it, foreign studios began to roadshow across the nation.
  • “The independents”

    “The independents”
    After witnessing the success of the roadshow and the decay of The Trust, a new type of filmmakers began to appear. They were “the independents”. Of these independent producers, none reached more fame than Adolf Zukor.
  • The Birth of a Nation

    The Birth of a Nation
    The Birth of a Nation was a huge commercial success and influenced both the film industry and American culture. It contained sophisticated editing, developed story and lots of action. Soon it was considered the modern film model and the reason to begin a new film era.
  • Period: to


    During this 15 years the world experienced global events that favored an American cinema industry. There were five major film studios known as the Big Five, controlling the film industry. Today, the Big Five majors are: Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Columbia Pictures. https://timelineofcinema.com/
  • Adding color

    Adding color
    The early Technicolor started in 1916 and colour was not used more widely until the introduction of its three‑colour process in 1932. It was used for films such as Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
  • The end of The Trust

    The end of The Trust
    In 1917, The Trust was dissolved by court order. However, was indirectly responsible for the establishment of Hollywood, California, as the nation’s film capital.
  • Paramount Pictures

    Paramount Pictures
    Adolf Zukor and his studio Paramount, managed to do what Thomas Edison and The Trust couldn’t do. He gained complete control over production, distribution and exhibition of films. The achievement of all this was due to using an industrialized production system and asking Wall Street for financial support. Along with the money from the investors, he bought theatres and exhibition rooms all over the country. Moreover, with Will Hays’s political support, he opened international markets.
  • Adding sound

    Adding sound
    The first movie incorporating synchronised dialogue, The Jazz Singer (1927)used the Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone system. Vitaphone was the last major sound-on-disc system and the only one that was really used and commercially successful.
  • The end of the era

    The end of the era
    Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount were the leading companies in the production of most of the major films of the decade. However, with the union of sound and images, the quality of the films suffered. It took until the late 1930s for cinema to take hold of modern technology and begin to produce films with the same creative aesthetic as when they were still silent.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    Even in the depths of the crisis, millions of Americans went to the movies. Studios at this time weren’t at their best, so they produced low cost, low risk features that fell into a new category, the B movie. However, it was truly thanks to the intervention of both Wall Street and Washington that studios rose back to power.
  • Period: to


  • Dialogue and its “internationalization”

    Dialogue and its “internationalization”
    Two years after the success of "The Jazz Singer", Hollywood was able to provide a distinct American flavor to their films through dialogue. But, the dependency on the dialogue made it difficult for America to commerce with other countries. The problem was resolved with what is called “dubbing”, which consists in the addition of an audio track in any other language over the original audio.
  • Motion Pictures Association of America

    Motion Pictures Association of America
    The MPAA was an organization founded to ensure that American movies ensured a clean moral tone and remained financially stable. Pressured by the general public, Hays introduced the now infamous Hays Code, a list of "don't do"s and "be careful"s.
  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz
    Like "Gone With The Wind," another film produced in 1939, "The Wizard of Oz" was a huge undertaking. The film highlights what the major studio films aimed to do at the time and with brilliant color. It employed the use of a star vehicle, or the Star System, and adaptation from literature.
  • Drive in theaters

    Drive in theaters
    In 1940 almost every film involved war material. Therefore, the were now two genres: the combat film and the home front melodrama. People moved away from urban areas, where the studios had invested most of their capital in their theater chains. To combat this, drive-in theaters were invented.
  • Picture improvement

    Picture improvement
    Television started to challenge cinema, which didn’t benefit Hollywood since it provided a similar visual experience at a much easier convenience. As a response Hollywood changed its pictures and adopted the widescreen format which allows the picture to fill nearly your entire field of vision.
  • The Golden Age comes to and end

    The Golden Age comes to and end
    This period finally came to an end due to two main factors. For decades it was famous to purchase movie theaters. This type of monopoly made Thurman Arnold claim that the eight major corporations of Hollywood were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act which regulates competition. The presence of televisions in the homes the Americans created a difficult competition for theaters. Along with the antitrust regulations, there less money, filmmaking and profits.
  • Period: to

    New Hollywood

    In the late 1960s and early 90s, a new generation of young filmmakers came to prominence in American cinema. Their work was complex. Influenced by the revolutionary new waves of cinema coming out of Europe, they reworked, and reimagined, some of Hollywood’s classic genres. https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj4uaTKp6bzAhXKzYUKHTkxDVkQFnoECAQQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.studiobinder.com%2Fblog%2Fwhat-is-new-hollywood%2F&usg=AOvVaw3fRppbSGhE0RlsyNyKI94u
  • European wave

    European wave
    Hollywood started to absorb adopt the practices of European cinema. Also, the less censored European cinema forced Hollywood to reevaluate the Hays code. It was loosened and allowed Hollywood new films to attract audience old enough to handle sex and violence in films.
  • New Hollywood filmmaking

    New Hollywood filmmaking
    After talking about the origins and the filmmakers who inspired the New Hollywood and after Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate films were realeased, Hollywood filmmaking was reborn with this new-found freedom. These were called made-for-tv-movies.
  • New president, new scenes.

    New president, new scenes.
    On July 21st 1969 Richard Nixon was inaugurated as the thirty-sixth president of the United States. He started a campaign that aimed to end the war in Vietnam and bring the country together. Filmmakers instead responded indirectly through revisionist Westerns such as Ralph Nelson’s Soldier Blue (1970) and Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man (1970).
  • The end

    The end
    The New Hollywood era lasted until around 1980, when big budget Hollywood pictures began to redominate the market. Perhaps it is Francis Ford Coppola’s “One from the Heart” or perhaps Warren Beatty both opened and closed the movement with “Red” and began a new one. Filmmakers continue to be inspired by and draw from the works of the New Hollywood auteurs.
  • Period: to

    The modern film era

    The history of film in the last period of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st was shaped in part by new technologies and the expansion of media culture. https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjajoy5p6bzAhVDUxoKHb_DC3QQFnoECB0QAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.filmsite.org%2F2000sintro6.html&usg=AOvVaw08PQJdxcEU1RXFmuz581JO
  • Videocassette recorder

    Videocassette recorder
    In the 1980-1981 the widespread adoption of the videocassette recorder (VCR) opened up new possibilities for the distribution of films as videocassettes, giving wider circulation and easier access to works made throughout the world.
  • Eastern countries‘s growth

    Eastern countries‘s growth
    Filmmaking had become less and less popular in China, until the 1982 when it reinvented and The Fifth Generation appeared. These filmmakers gained international recognition and continued to develop in new directions in the 21st century. Another aspect of Chinese-language cinema developed on the island of Taiwan, off the coast of China. A third Chinese-language film culture emerged in Hong Kong. As in France, filmmakers of the Japanese New Wave era of the 1960s continued to be active
  • European cinema

    European cinema
    In France, cinema remained at the forefront of cultural and intellectual life, and companies managed to finance a rich and varied group of filmmakers.
    Among the outstanding figures of European cinema were Pedro Almodóvar of Spain who had broken sexual taboos, Manoel de Oliveira of Portugal, Théo Angelopoulos of Greece, Aki Kaurismäki of Finland, and Nanni Moretti of Italy.
    British cinema experienced a revival in the 1990s along with two major figures: Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.
  • Last decade in the cinema’s history

    Last decade in the cinema’s history
    The decade of the 2000s in film involved many significant developments in the film industries around the world, especially in the technology used. Computer animation replaced traditional animation. The most famous and influential company’s at the moment are Warner Bros, Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, 20th century Fox, Paramount Pictures… and so many more.