American Cinema: Season 1, Episode 2

The Studio System

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary
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American Cinema
15 March 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

American Cinema: The Studio System (1995)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Entertaining look at the studio system and how it has had to change over the decades. Charlton Heston, DeForrest Kelley, Catherine Turney, Robert Parrish, Howard W. Koch, Michael Eisner, Edward Dmytryk, Charles Lang, Henry Bumstead, A.C. Lyles and Harrison Ford are among the people interviewed. While this is titled "The Studio System", it probably would have been better as "Paramount's Studio System" as they're the main focus of the picture. We hear about how the studio formed and how in the 30s they started to raid foreign countries to find their talent. From here we move throughout the decade as the factory like system was formed and how it began to fall apart once studios had to sell their theaters. From this point we see the decline of the studios in the 60s and how certain filmmakers started to bring them back in the 70s. Overall this is another good episode in the American Cinema series. I think the most interesting thing is early on when we get some footage of a studio tour around Paramount that was taken in the 1930s. Another good moment came when Eisner talked about the business side of thing and how selling the theaters dropped the profits so bad that it was nearly impossible for things to continue as they were. Fans of American movies will certainly want to watch this for the interviews and the stories.


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