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Cinematography is the technique and art of making motion pictures, which are a

sequence of photographs of a single subject that are taken over time and then

projected in the same sequence to create an illusion of motion. Each image of a

moving object is slightly different from the preceding one.


A motion-picture projector projects the sequence of picture frames, contained

on a ribbon of film, in their proper order. A claw engages perforations in the

film and pulls the film down into the film gate, placing each new frame in

exactly the same position as the preceding one. When the frame is in position,

it is projected onto the screen by illuminating it with a beam of light. The

period of time between the projection of each still image when no image is

projected is normally not noticed by the viewer.

Two perceptual phenomena--persistence of vision and the critical flicker

frequency--cause a continuous image. Persistence of a vision is the ability of

the viewer to retain or in some way remember the impression of an image after

it has been withdrawn from view. The critical flicker frequency is the minimum

rate of interruption of the projected light beam that will not cause the motion

picture to appear to flicker. A frequency above about 48 interruptions a

second will eliminate flicker.


Like a still camera (see CAMERA), a movie camera shoots each picture

individually. The movie camera, however, must also move the film precisely and

control the shutter, keeping the amount of light reaching the film nearly

constant from frame to frame. The shutter of a movie camera is essentially a

circular plate rotated by an electric motor. An opening in the plate exposes

the film frame only after the film has been positioned and has come to rest.

The plate itself continues to rotate smoothly.

Photographic materials must be manufactured with great precision. The

perforations, or holes in the film, must be precisely positioned. The

pitch--the distance from one hole to another--must be maintained by correct

film storage. By the late 1920s, a sound-on-film system of synchronous SOUND

RECORDING was developed and gained widespread popularity. In this process, the

sound is recorded separately on a machine synchronized with the picture camera.

Unlike the picture portion of the film, the sound portion is recorded and

played back continuously rather than in intermittent motion. Although editing

still makes use of perforated film for flexibility, a more modern technique

uses conventional magnetic tape for original recording and synchronizes the

recording to the picture electronically (see TAPE RECORDER).

If the number of photographs projected per unit time (frame rate) differs from

the number produced per unit time by the camera, an apparent speeding up or

slowing down of the normal rate is created. Changes in the frame rates are

used occasionally for comic effect or motion analysis.

Cinematography becomes an art when the filmmaker attempts to make moving images

that relate directly to human perception, provide visual significance and

information, and provoke emotional response.

History of Film Technology

Several parlor toys of the early 1800s used visual illusions similar to those

of the motion picture. These include the thaumatrope (1825); the

phenakistiscope (1832); the stroboscope (1832); and the zoetrope (1834).

The photographic movie, however, was first used as a means of investigation

rather than of theatrical illusion. Leland Stanford, then governor of

California, hired photographer Eadweard MUYBRIDGE to prove that at some time in

a horse's gallop all four legs are simultaneously off the ground. Muybridge

did so by using several cameras to produce a series of photographs with very

short time intervals between them. Such a multiple photographic record was

used in the kinetoscope, which displayed a photographic moving image and was

commercially successful for a time.

The kinetoscope was invented either by Thomas Alva EDISON or by his assistant

William K. L. Dickson, both of whom had experimented originally with moving

pictures as a supplement to the phonograph record. They later turned to George

EASTMAN, who provided a flexible celluloid film base to store the large number

of images necessary to create motion pictures.

The mechanical means of cinematography were gradually perfected. It was

discovered that it was better to display the sequence of images intermittently

rather than continuously. This technique allowed a greater presentation time

and more light for the projection of each frame. Another improvement was the

loop above and below the film gate in both the camera and the projector, which

prevented the film from tearing.

By the late 1920s, synchronized sound was being introduced in movies. These

sound films soon replaced silent films in popularity. To prevent the

microphones from picking up camera noise, a portable housing was designed that

muffled noises and allowed the camera to be moved about. In recent years,

equipment, lighting, and film have all been improved, but the processes

involved remain essentially the same. RICHARD FLOBERG


Bibliography: Fielding, Raymond, ed., A Technological History of Motion

Pictures and Television (1967); Happe, I. Bernard, Basic Motion Picture

Technology, 2d ed. (1975); Malkiewicz, J. Kris, and Rogers, Robert E.,

Cinematography (1973); Wheeler, Leslie J., Principles of Cinematography, 4th

ed. (1973).


film, history of

The history of film has been dominated by the discovery and testing of the

paradoxes inherent in the medium itself. Film uses machines to record images

of life; it combines still photographs to give the illusion of continuous

motion; it seems to present life itself, but it also offers impossible

unrealities approached only in dreams.^The motion picture was developed in the

1890s from the union of still PHOTOGRAPHY, which records physical reality, with

the persistence-of-vision toy, which made drawn figures appear to move. Four

major film traditions have developed since then: fictional narrative film,

which tells stories about people with whom an audience can identify because

their world looks familiar; nonfictional documentary film, which focuses on the

real world either to instruct or to reveal some sort of truth about it;

animated film, which makes drawn or sculpted figures look as if they are moving

and speaking; and experimental film, which exploits film's ability to create a

purely abstract, nonrealistic world unlike any previously seen.^Film is

considered the youngest art form and has inherited much from the older and more

traditional arts. Like the novel, it can tell stories; like the drama, it can

portray conflict between live characters; like painting, it composes in space

with light, color, shade, shape, and texture; like music, it moves in time

according to principles of rhythm and tone; like dance, it presents the

movement of figures in space and is often underscored by music; and like

photography, it presents a two-dimensional rendering of what appears to be

three-dimensional reality, using perspective, depth, and shading.^Film,

however, is one of the few arts that is both spatial and temporal,

intentionally manipulating both space and time. This synthesis has given rise

to two conflicting theories about film and its historical development. Some

theorists, such as S. M. EISENSTEIN and Rudolf Arnheim, have argued that film

must take the path of the other modern arts and concentrate not on telling

stories or representing reality but on investigating time and space in a pure

and consciously abstract way. Others, such as Andre Bazin and Siegfried

KRACAUER, maintain that film must fully and carefully develop its connection

with nature so that it can portray human events as excitingly and revealingly

as possible.^Because of his fame, his success at publicizing his activities,

and his habit of patenting machines before actually inventing them, Thomas

EDISON received most of the credit for having invented the motion picture; as

early as 1887, he patented a motion picture camera, but this could not produce

images. In reality, many inventors contributed to the development of moving

pictures. Perhaps the first important contribution was the series of motion

photographs made by Eadweard MUYBRIDGE between 1872 and 1877. Hired by the

governor of California, Leland Stanford, to capture on film the movement of a

racehorse, Muybridge tied a series of wires across the track and connected each

one to the shutter of a still camera. The running horse tripped the wires and

exposed a series of still photographs, which Muybridge then mounted on a

stroboscopic disk and projected with a magic lantern to reproduce an image of

the horse in motion. Muybridge shot hundreds of such studies and went on to

lecture in Europe, where his work intrigued the French scientist E. J. MAREY.

Marey devised a means of shooting motion photographs with what he called a

photographic gun.^Edison became interested in the possibilities of motion

photography after hearing Muybridge lecture in West Orange, N.J. Edison's

motion picture experiments, under the direction of William Kennedy Laurie

Dickson, began in 1888 with an attempt to record the photographs on wax

cylinders similar to those used to make the original phonograph recordings.

Dickson made a major breakthrough when he decided to use George EASTMAN's

celluloid film instead. Celluloid was tough but supple and could be

manufactured in long rolls, making it an excellent medium for motion

photography, which required great lengths of film. Between 1891 and 1895,

Dickson shot many 15-second films using the Edison camera, or Kinetograph, but

Edison decided against projecting the films for audiences--in part because the

visual results were inadequate and in part because he felt that motion pictures

would have little public appeal. Instead, Edison marketed an electrically

driven peep-hole viewing machine (the Kinetoscope) that displayed the marvels

recorded to one viewer at a time.^Edison thought so little of the Kinetoscope

that he failed to extend his patent rights to England and Europe, an oversight

that allowed two Frenchmen, Louis and Auguste LUMIERE, to manufacture a more

portable camera and a functional projector, the Cinematographe, based on

Edison's machine. The movie era might be said to have begun officially on Dec.

28, 1895, when the Lumieres presented a program of brief motion pictures to a

paying audience in the basement of a Paris cafe. English and German inventors

also copied and improved upon the Edison machines, as did many other

experimenters in the United States. By the end of the 19th century vast

numbers of people in both Europe and America had been exposed to some form of

motion pictures.^The earliest films presented 15- to 60-second glimpses of real

scenes recorded outdoors (workmen, trains, fire engines, boats, parades,

soldiers) or of staged theatrical performances shot indoors. These two early

tendencies--to record life as it is and to dramatize life for artistic

effect--can be viewed as the two dominant paths of film history.^Georges MELIES

was the most important of the early theatrical filmmakers. A magician by

trade, Melies, in such films as A Trip to the Moon (1902), showed how the

cinema could perform the most amazing magic tricks of all: simply by stopping

the camera, adding something to the scene or removing something from it, and

then starting the camera again, he made things seem to appear and disappear.

Early English and French filmmakers such as Cecil Hepworth, James Williamson,

and Ferdinand Zecca also discovered how rhythmic movement (the chase) and

rhythmic editing could make cinema's treatment of time and space more exciting.

American Film in the Silent Era (1903-1928)

A most interesting primitive American film was The Great Train Robbery (1903),

directed by Edwin S. PORTER of the Edison Company. This early western used

much freer editing and camera work than usual to tell its story, which included

bandits, a holdup, a chase by a posse, and a final shoot-out. When other

companies (Vitagraph, the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, Lubin, and

Kalem among them) began producing films that rivaled those of the Edison

Company, Edison sued them for infringement of his patent rights. This

so-called patents war lasted 10 years (1898-1908), ending only when nine

leading film companies merged to form the Motion Picture Patents Company.^One

reason for the settlement was the enormous profits to be derived from what had

begun merely as a cheap novelty. Before 1905 motion pictures were usually

shown in vaudeville houses as one act on the bill. After 1905 a growing number

of small, storefront theaters called nickelodeons, accommodating less than 200

patrons, began to show motion pictures exclusively. By 1908 an estimated 10

million Americans were paying their nickels and dimes to see such films. Young

speculators such as William Fox and Marcus Loew saw their theaters, which

initially cost but $1,600 each, grow into enterprises worth $150,000 each

within 5 years. Called the drama of the people, the early motion pictures

attracted primarily working-class and immigrant audiences who found the

nickelodeon a pleasant family diversion; they might not have been able to read

the words in novels and newspapers, but they understood the silent language of

pictures.^The popularity of the moving pictures led to the first attacks

against it by crusading moralists, police, and politicians. Local censorship

boards were established to eliminate objectionable material from films. In

1909 the infant U.S. film industry waged a counterattack by creating the first

of many self-censorship boards, the National Board of Censorship (after 1916

called the National Board of Review), whose purpose was to set moral standards

for films and thereby save them from costly mutilation.^A nickelodeon program

consisted of about six 10-minute films, usually including an adventure, a

comedy, an informational film, a chase film, and a melodrama. The most

accomplished maker of these films was Biograph's D. W. GRIFFITH, who almost

singlehandedly transformed both the art and the business of the motion picture.

Griffith made over 400 short films between 1908 and 1913, in this period

discovering or developing almost every major technique by which film

manipulates time and space: the use of alternating close-ups, medium shots,

and distant panoramas; the subtle control of rhythmic editing; the effective

use of traveling shots, atmospheric lighting, narrative commentary, poetic

detail, and visual symbolism; and the advantages of understated acting, at

which his acting company excelled. The culmination of Griffith's work was The

Birth of a Nation (1915), a mammoth, 3-hour epic of the Civil War and

Reconstruction. Its historical detail, suspense, and passionate conviction

were to outdate the 10-minute film altogether.^The decade between 1908 and 1918

was one of the most important in the history of American film. The full-length

feature film replaced the program of short films; World War I destroyed or

restricted the film industries of Europe, promoting greater technical

innovation, growth, and commercial stability in America; the FILM INDUSTRY was

consolidated with the founding of the first major studios in Hollywood, Calif.

(Fox, Paramount, and Universal); and the great American silent comedies were

born. Mack SENNETT became the driving force behind the Keystone Company soon

after joining it in 1912; Hal Roach founded his comedy company in 1914; and

Charlie CHAPLIN probably had the best-known face in the world in 1916.^During

this period the first movie stars rose to fame, replacing the anonymous players

of the short films. In 1918, America's two favorite stars, Charlie Chaplin and

Mary PICKFORD, both signed contracts for over $1 million. Other familiar stars

of the decade included comedians Fatty ARBUCKLE and John Bunny, cowboys William

S. HART and Bronco Billy Anderson, matinee idols Rudolph VALENTINO and John

Gilbert, and the alluring females Theda BARA and Clara BOW. Along with the

stars came the first movie fan magazines; Photoplay published its inaugural

issue in 1912. That same year also saw the first of the FILM SERIALS, The

Perils of Pauline, starring Pearl White.^The next decade in American film

history, 1918 to 1928, was a period of stabilization rather than expansion.

Films were made within studio complexes, which were, in essence, factories

designed to produce films in the same way that Henry Ford's factories produced

automobiles. Film companies became monopolies in that they not only made films

but distributed them to theaters and owned the theaters in which they were

shown as well. This vertical integration formed the commercial foundation of

the film industry for the next 30 years. Two new producing companies founded

during the decade were Warner Brothers (1923), which would become powerful with

its early conversion to synchronized sound, and Metro-Goldwyn (1924; later

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), the producing arm of Loew's, under the direction of Louis

B. MAYER and Irving THALBERG.^Attacks against immorality in films intensified

during this decade, spurred by the sensual implications and sexual practices of

the movie stars both on and off the screen. In 1921, after several nationally

publicized sex and drug scandals, the industry headed off the threat of federal

CENSORSHIP by creating the office of the Motion Picture Producers and

Distributors of America (now the Motion Picture Association of America), under

the direction of Will HAYS. Hays, who had been postmaster general of the

United States and Warren G. Harding's campaign manager, began a series of

public relations campaigns to underscore the importance of motion pictures to

American life. He also circulated several lists of practices that were

henceforth forbidden on and off the screen.^Hollywood films of the 1920s became

more polished, subtle, and skillful, and especially imaginative in handling the

absence of sound. It was the great age of comedy. Chaplin retained a hold on

his world-following with full-length features such as The Kid (1920) and The

Gold Rush (1925); Harold LLOYD climbed his way to success--and got the girl--no

matter how great the obstacles as Grandma's Boy (1922) or The Freshman (1925);

Buster KEATON remained deadpan through a succession of wildly bizarre sight

gags in Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator (both 1924); Harry Langdon was ever the

innocent elf cast adrift in a mean, tough world; and director Ernst LUBITSCH,

fresh from Germany, brought his "touch" to understated comedies of manners,

sex, and marriage. The decade saw the United States's first great war film

(The Big Parade, 1925), its first great westerns (The Covered Wagon, 1923; The

Iron Horse, 1924), and its first great biblical epics (The Ten Commandments,

1923, and King of Kings, 1927, both made by Cecil B. DE MILLE). Other films

of this era included Erich Von STROHEIM's sexual studies, Lon CHANEY's

grotesque costume melodramas, and the first great documentary feature, Robert

J. FLAHERTY's Nanook of the North (1922).

European Film in the 1920s

In the same decade, the European film industries recovered from the war to

produce one of the richest artistic periods in film history. The German

cinema, stimulated by EXPRESSIONISM in painting and the theater and by the

design theories of the BAUHAUS, created bizarrely expressionistic settings for

such fantasies as Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1919), F. W.

MURNAU's Nosferatu (1922), and Fritz LANG's Metropolis (1927). The Germans

also brought their sense of decor, atmospheric lighting, and penchant for a

frequently moving camera to such realistic political and psychological studies

as Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924), G. W. PABST's The Joyless Street (1925),

and E. A. Dupont's Variety (1925).^Innovation also came from the completely

different approach taken by filmmakers in the USSR, where movies were intended

not only to entertain but also to instruct the masses in the social and

political goals of their new government. The Soviet cinema used MONTAGE, or

complicated editing techniques that relied on visual metaphor, to create

excitement and richness of texture and, ultimately, to affect ideological

attitudes. The most influential Soviet theorist and filmmaker was Sergei M.

Eisenstein, whose Potemkin (1925) had a worldwide impact; other innovative

Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s included V. I. PUDOVKIN, Lev Kuleshov, Abram

Room, and Alexander DOVZHENKO.^The Swedish cinema of the 1920s relied heavily

on the striking visual qualities of the northern landscape. Mauritz Stiller

and Victor Sjostrom mixed this natural imagery of mountains, sea, and ice with

psychological drama and tales of supernatural quests. French cinema, by

contrast, brought the methods and assumptions of modern painting to film.

Under the influence of SURREALISM and dadaism, filmmakers working in France

began to experiment with the possibility of rendering abstract perceptions or

dreams in a visual medium. Marcel DUCHAMP, Rene CLAIR, Fernand LEGER, Jean

RENOIR--and Luis BUNUEL and Salvador DALI in Un Chien andalou (1928)--all made

antirealist, antirational, noncommercial films that helped establish the

avant-garde tradition in filmmaking. Several of these filmmakers would later

make significant contributions to the narrative tradition in the sound era.

The Arrival of Sound

The era of the talking film began in late 1927 with the enormous success of

Warner Brothers' The Jazz Singer. The first totally sound film, Lights of New

York, followed in 1928. Although experimentation with synchronizing sound and

picture was as old as the cinema itself (Dickson, for example, made a rough

synchronization of the two for Edison in 1894), the feasibility of sound film

was widely publicized only after Warner Brothers purchased the Vitaphone from

Western Electric in 1926. The original Vitaphone system synchronized the

picture with a separate phonographic disk, rather than using the more accurate

method of recording (based on the principle of the OSCILLOSCOPE) a sound track

on the film itself. Warners originally used the Vitaphone to make short

musical films featuring both classical and popular performers and to record

musical sound tracks for otherwise silent films (Don Juan, 1926). For The Jazz

Singer, Warners added four synchronized musical sequences to the silent film.

When Al JOLSON sang and then delivered several lines of dialogue, audiences

were electrified. The silent film was dead within a year.^The conversion to

synchronized sound caused serious problems for the film industry. Sound

recording was difficult; cameras had to shoot from inside glass booths; studios

had to build special soundproof stages; theaters required expensive new

equipment; writers had to be hired who had an ear for dialogue; and actors had

to be found whose voices could deliver it. Many of the earliest talkies were

ugly and static, the visual images serving merely as an accompaniment to

endless dialogue, sound effects, and musical numbers. Serious film critics

mourned the passing of the motion picture, which no longer seemed to contain

either motion or picture.^The most effective early sound films were those that

played most adventurously with the union of picture and sound track. Walt

DISNEY in his cartoons combined surprising sights with inventive sounds,

carefully orchestrating the animated motion and musical rhythm. Ernst Lubitsch

also played very cleverly with sound, contrasting the action depicted visually

with the information on the sound track in dazzlingly funny or revealing ways.

By 1930 the U.S. film industry had conquered both the technical and the

artistic problems involved in using sight and sound harmoniously, and the

European industry was quick to follow.

Hollywood's Golden Era

The 1930s was the golden era of the Hollywood studio film. It was the decade

of the great movie stars--Greta GARBO, Marlene DIETRICH, Jean HARLOW, Mae WEST,

Katharine HEPBURN, Bette DAVIS, Cary GRANT, Gary COOPER, Clark GABLE, James

STEWART--and some of America's greatest directors thrived on the pressures and

excitement of studio production. Josef von STERNBERG became legendary for his

use of exotic decor and sexual symbolism; Howard HAWKS made driving adventures

and fast-paced comedies; Frank CAPRA blended politics and morality in a series

of comedy-dramas; and John FORD mythified the American West.^American studio

pictures seemed to come in cycles, many of the liveliest being those that could

not have been made before synchronized sound. The gangster film introduced

Americans to the tough doings and tougher talk of big-city thugs, as played by

James CAGNEY, Paul MUNI, and Edward G. ROBINSON. Musicals included the witty

operettas of Ernst Lubitsch, with Maurice CHEVALIER and Jeanette MACDONALD; the

backstage musicals, with their kaleidoscopically dazzling dance numbers, of

Busby BERKELEY; and the smooth, more natural song-and-dance comedies starring

Fred ASTAIRE and Ginger ROGERS. Synchronized sound also produced SCREWBALL

COMEDY, which explored the dizzy doings of fast-moving, fast-thinking, and,

above all, fast-talking men and women.^The issue of artistic freedom versus

censorship raised by the movies came to the fore again with the advent of

talking pictures. Spurred by the depression that hit the industry in 1933 and

by the threat of an economic boycott by the newly formed Catholic Legion of

Decency, the motion picture industry adopted an official Production Code in

1934. Written in 1930 by Daniel Lord, S.J., and Martin Quigley, a Catholic

layman who was publisher of The Motion Picture Herald, the code explicitly

prohibited certain acts, themes, words, and implications. Will Hays appointed

Joseph I. Breen, the Catholic layman most instrumental in founding the Legion

of Decency, head of the Production Code Administration, and this awarded the

industry's seal of approval to films that met the code's moral standards. The

result was the curtailment of explicit violence and sexual innuendo, and also

of much of the flavor that had characterized films earlier in the decade.

Europe During the 1930s

The 1930s abroad did not produce films as consistently rich as those of the

previous decade. With the coming of sound, the British film industry was

reduced to satellite status. The most stylish British productions were the

historical dramas of Sir Alexander KORDA and the mystery-adventures of Alfred

HITCHCOCK. The major Korda stars, as well as Hitchcock himself, left Britain

for Hollywood before the decade ended. More innovative were the

government-funded documentaries and experimental films made by the General Post

Office Film Unit under the direction of John Grierson.^Soviet filmmakers had

problems with the early sound-film machines and with the application of montage

theory (a totally visual conception) to sound filming. They were further

plagued by restrictive Stalinist policies, policies that sometimes kept such

ambitious film artists as Pudovkin and Eisenstein from making films altogether.

The style of the German cinema was perfectly suited to sound filming, and

German films of the period 1928-32 show some of the most creative uses of the

medium in the early years of sound. When the Nazis came to power in 1933,

however, almost all the creative film talent left Germany. An exception was

Leni RIEFENSTAHL, whose theatrical documentary Triumph of the Will (1934)

represents a highly effective example of the German propaganda films made

during the decade.^French cinema, the most exciting alternative to Hollywood in

the 1930s, produced many of France's most classic films. The decade found

director Jean Renoir--in Grand Illusion (1937) and Rules of the Game (1939)--at

the height of his powers; Rene Clair mastered both the musical fantasy and the

sociopolitical satire (A Nous la liberte, 1931); Marcel PAGNOL brought to the

screen his trilogy of Marseilles life, Fanny; the young Jean VIGO, in only two

films, brilliantly expressed youthful rebellion and mature love; and director

Marcel CARNE teamed with poet Jacques Prevert to produce haunting existential

romances of lost love and inevitable death in Quai des brumes (1938) and Le

Jour se leve (1939).

Hollywood: World War II, Postwar Decline

During World War II, films were required to lift the spirits of Americans both

at home and overseas. Many of the most accomplished Hollywood directors and

producers went to work for the War Department. Frank Capra produced the "Why

We Fight" series (1942-45); Walt Disney, fresh from his Snow White (1937) and

Fantasia (1940) successes, made animated informational films; and Garson KANIN,

John HUSTON, and William WYLER all made documentaries about important battles.

Among the new American directors to make remarkable narrative films at home

were three former screenwriters, Preston STURGES, Billy WILDER, and John

Huston. Orson WELLES, the boy genius of theater and radio fame, also came to

Hollywood to shoot Citizen Kane (1941), the strange story of a newspaper

magnate whose American dream turns into a loveless nightmare.^Between 1946 and

1953 the movie industry was attacked from many sides. As a result, the

Hollywood studio system totally collapsed. First, the U.S. House of

Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities investigated alleged

Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry in two separate sets of

hearings. In 1948, The HOLLYWOOD TEN, 10 screenwriters and directors who

refused to answer the questions of the committee, went to jail for contempt of

Congress. Then, from 1951 to 1954, in mass hearings, Hollywood celebrities

were forced either to name their associates as fellow Communists or to refuse

to answer all questions on the grounds of the 5th Amendment, protecting

themselves against self-incrimination. These hearings led the industry to

blacklist many of its most talented workers and also weakened its image in the

eyes of America and the world.^In 1948 the United States Supreme Court, ruling

in United States v. Paramount that the vertical integration of the movie

industry was monopolistic, required the movie studios to divest themselves of

the theaters that showed their pictures and thereafter to cease all unfair or

discriminatory distribution practices. At the same time, movie attendance

started a steady decline; the film industry's gross revenues fell every year

from 1947 to 1963. The most obvious cause was the rise of TELEVISION, as more

and more Americans each year stayed home to watch the entertainment they could

get most comfortably and inexpensively. In addition, European quotas against

American films bit into Hollywood's foreign revenues.^While major American

movies lost money, foreign art films were attracting an enthusiastic and

increasingly large audience, and these foreign films created social as well as

commercial difficulties for the industry. In 1951, The Miracle, a 40-minute

film by Roberto ROSSELLINI, was attacked by the New York Catholic Diocese as

sacrilegious and was banned by New York City's commissioner of licenses. The

1952 Supreme Court ruling in the Miracle case officially granted motion

pictures the right to free speech as guaranteed in the Constitution, reversing

a 1915 ruling by the Court that movies were not equivalent to speech. Although

the ruling permitted more freedom of expression in films, it also provoked

public boycotts and repeated legal tests of the definition of

obscenity.^Hollywood attempted to counter the effects of television with a

series of technological gimmicks in the early 1950s: 3-D, Cinerama, and

Cinemascope. The industry converted almost exclusively to color filming during

the decade, aided by the cheapness and flexibility of the new Eastman color

monopack, which came to challenge the monopoly of Technicolor. The content of

postwar films also began to change as Hollywood searched for a new audience and

a new style. There were more socially conscious films--such as Fred

ZINNEMANN's The Men (1950) and Elia KAZAN's On The Waterfront (1954); more

adaptations of popular novels and plays; more independent (as opposed to

studio) production; and a greater concentration on FILM NOIR--grim detective

stories in brutal urban settings. Older genres such as the Western still

flourished, and MGM brought the musical to what many consider its pinnacle in a

series of films produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente MINNELLI,

Gene KELLY, and Stanley Donen.

The Film in Europe and Australia From 1950

The stimulus for defining a new film content and style came to the United

States from abroad, where many previously dormant film industries sprang to

life in the postwar years to produce an impressive array of films for the

international market. The European film renaissance can be said to have

started in Italy with such masters of NEOREALISM as Roberto Rossellini, in Open

City (1945), Vittorio DE SICA, in The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Umberto D

(1952), and Luchino VISCONTI, in La Terra Trema (1948). Federico FELLINI broke

with the tradition to make films of a more poetic and personal nature such as I

Vitelloni (1953) and La Strada (1954) and then shifted to a more sensational

style in the 1960s with La Dolce Vita (1960) and the intellectual 8 1/2 (1963).

Visconti in the 1960s and '70s would also adopt a more flamboyant approach and

subject matter in lush treatments of corruption and decadence such as The

Damned (1970). A new departure--both artistic and thematic--was evidenced by

Michelangelo ANTONIONI in his subtle psychosocial trilogy of films that began

with L'Aventura (1960). The vitality of a second generation of Italian

filmmakers was impressively demonstrated by Lina WERTMULLER in The Seduction of

Mimi (1974) and Seven Beauties (1976) and by Bernardo BERTOLUCCI, who in films

like Before the Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris

(1972), and 1900 (1977) fused radical social and political ideology with a

stunning aestheticism.^With the coming of NEW WAVE films in the late 1950s, the

French cinema reasserted the artistic primacy it had enjoyed in the prewar

period. Applying a personal style to radically different forms of film

narrative, New Wave directors included Claude CHABROL (The Cousins, 1959),

Francois TRUFFAUT (The 400 Blows, 1959; Jules and Jim, 1961), Alain RESNAIS

(Hiroshima Mon Amour, 1959), and Jean-Luc GODARD, who, following the success of

his offbeat Breathless (1960), became progressively more committed to a Marxist

interpretation of society, as seen in Two or Three Things I Know About Her

(1966), Weekend (1967), and La Chinoise (1967). Eric ROHMER, mining a more

traditional vein, produced sophisticated "moral tales" in My Night at Maud's

(1968) and Claire's Knee (1970); while Louis MALLE audaciously explored such

charged subjects as incest and collaborationism in Murmur of the Heart (1971)

and Lacombe Lucien (1974). The Spaniard Luis Bunuel, working in Mexico, Spain,

and France--and defying all categorization--continued to break new ground with

ironic examinations of the role of religion (Nazarin, 1958; Viridiana, 1961;

The Milky Way, 1969) and absurdist satires on middle-class foibles (The

Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972).^From Sweden Ingmar BERGMAN emerged in

the 1950s as the master of introspective, often death-obsessed studies of

complex human relationships. Although capable of comedy, as in Smiles of a

Summer Night (1955), Bergman was at his most impressive in more despairing,

existentialist dramas such as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries

(1957), Persona (1966), and Cries and Whispers (1972), in all of these aided by

a first-rate acting ensemble and brilliant cinematography.^British film,

largely reduced to a spate of Alec GUINNESS comedies by the early 1950s, was

revitalized over the next decade by the ability of directors working in England

to produce compelling cinematic translations of the "angry young man" novelists

and playwrights, of Harold PINTER's existentialist dramas, and of the

traditional great British novels. Britain regained a healthy share of the

market with films such as Jack Clayton's Room at the Top (1958); Tony

Richardson's Look Back in Anger (1959), The Entertainer (1960), A Taste of

Honey (1961), and Tom Jones (1963); Karel Reisz's Saturday Night and Sunday

Morning (1960) and Morgan (1966); Lindsay ANDERSON's This Sporting Life (1963);

Joseph LOSEY's The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967); Ken RUSSELL's Women in

Love (1969); and John Schlesinger'S Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971). The

popularity of the James Bond spy series, which began in 1962, gave the industry

an added boost.^The internationalism both of the film market and of film

distribution after 1960 was underscored by the emergence even in smaller

countries of successful film industries and widely recognized directorial

talent: Andrzej WAJDA and Roman POLANSKI in Poland; Jan KADAR, Milos FORMAN,

Ivan PASSER, and Jiri Menzel in Czechoslovakia; and, more recently, Wim

WENDERS, Werner HERZOG, and Rainer Werner FASSBINDER in West Germany. The

death (1982) of Fassbinder ended an extraordinary and prolific career, but his

absence has yet to be felt--particularly in the United States, where many of

his earlier films are being shown for the first time.^Australia is a relatively

new entrant into the contemporary world film market. Buoyed by government

subsidies, Australian directors have produced a group of major films within the

past decade: Peter WEIR's Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave (1977),

Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career (1979) and Star Struck (1982), Fred

Schepisi's The Devil's Playground and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978), and

Bruce Beresford's Breaker Morant (1980). Beresford, Weir, and Schepisi have

since directed films with U.S. backing; Beresford's Tender Mercies (1983) is

about that most American phenomenon, the country-western singer.

Postwar Film in Asia

Thriving film industries have existed in both Japan and India since the silent

era. It was only after World War II, however, that non-Western cinematic

traditions became visible and influential internationally. The Japanese

director Akira KUROSAWA opened a door to the West with his widely acclaimed

Rashomon (1950), an investigation into the elusive nature of truth. His

samurai dramas, such as The Seven Samurai (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), an

adaptation of Macbeth, Yojimbo (1961), and Kagemusha (1980), were ironic

adventure tales that far transcended the usual Japanese sword movies, a genre

akin to U.S. westerns. Kenzi MIZOGUCHI is known for his stately period films

Ugetsu (1953) and Sansho the Bailiff (1955). Yoshiro Ozu's poetic studies of

modern domestic relations (Tokyo Story, 1953; An Autumn Afternoon, (1962)

introduced Western audiences to a personal sensitivity that was both intensely

national and universal. Younger directors, whose careers date from the postwar

burgeoning of the Japanese film, include Teinosuke Kinugasa (Gate of Hell,

1953), Hiroshi Teshigahara (Woman of the Dunes, 1964, from a script by the

novelist ABE KOBO), Masahiro Shinoda (Under the Cherry Blossoms, 1975), Nagisa

Oshima (The Ceremony, 1971) and Musaki Kobayashi, best known for his nine-hour

trilogy on the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, The Human Condition (1959-61),

and Harakiri (1962), a deglamorization of the samurai tradition.^The film

industry in India, which ranks among the largest in the world, has produced

very little for international consumption. Its most famous director, Satyajit

RAY, vividly brings to life the problems of an India in transition, in

particular in the trilogy comprising Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956),

and The World of Apu (1958). Bengali is the language used in almost all Ray's

films. In 1977, however, he produced The Chess Players, with sound tracks in

both Hindi and English.

American Film Today

Throughout the 1960s and '70s, the American film industry accommodated itself

to the competition of this world market; to a film audience that had shrunk

from 80 million to 20 million weekly; to the tastes of a primarily young and

educated audience; and to the new social and sexual values sweeping the United

States and much of the rest of the industrialized world. The Hollywood studios

that have survived in name (Paramount, Warners, Universal, MGM, Fox) are today

primarily offices for film distribution. Many are subsidiaries of such huge

conglomerates as the Coca Cola Company or Gulf and Western. Increasingly,

major films are being shot in places other than Hollywood (New York City, for

example, is recovering its early status as a filmmaking center), and Hollywood

now produces far more television movies, series, and commercials than it does

motion pictures.^American movies of the past 20 years have moved more strongly

into social criticism (Doctor Strangelove, 1963; The Graduate, 1967; The

Godfather, 1971; One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1975; The Deer Hunter, 1978;

Norma Rae, 1979; Apocalypse Now, 1979; Missing, 1982); or they have offered an

escape from social reality into the realm of fantasy, aided by the often

beautiful, sometimes awesome effects produced by new film technologies (2001:

A Space Odyssey, 1968; Jaws, 1975; Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third

Kind, 1977; Altered States, 1979; E. T., 1982); or they have returned to

earnest or comic investigations of the dilemmas of everyday life (a troubled

family, in Ordinary People, 1980; divorce life and male parenting, in Kramer v.

Kramer, 1979; women in a male world, in Nine to Five, 1979, and Tootsie, 1982).

The most successful directors of the past 15 years--Stanley KUBRICK, Robert

ALTMAN, Francis Ford COPPOLA, Woody ALLEN, George LUCAS, and Steven

SPIELBERG--are those who have played most imaginatively with the tools of film

communication itself. The stars of recent years (with the exceptions of Paul

NEWMAN and Robert REDFORD) have, for their part, been more offbeat and less

glamorous than their predecessors of the studio era--Robert DE NIRO, Jane Fonda


STREEP.^The last two decades have seen the virtual extinction of animated film,

which is too expensive to make well, and the rebirth of U.S. documentary film

in the insightful work of Fred WISEMAN, the Maysles brothers, Richard Leacock

and Donn Pennebaker, and, in Europe, of Marcel OPHULS. Even richer is the

experimental, or underground, movement of the 1960s and 1970s, in which

filmmakers such as Stan BRAKHAGE, Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Hollis

Frampton, Michael Snow, and Robert Breer have worked as personally and

abstractly with issues of visual and psychological perception as have modern

painters and poets. The new vitality of these two opposite traditions--the one

devoted to revealing external reality, the other to revealing the life of the

mind--underscores the persistence of the dichotomy inherent in the film medium.

In the future, film will probably continue to explore these opposing

potentialities. Narrative films in particular will probably continue trends

that began with the French New Wave, experimenting with more elliptical ways of

telling film stories and either borrowing or rediscovering many of the images,

themes, and devices of the experimental film itself. GERALD MAST


Bibliography:GENERAL HISTORIES AND CRITICISM: Arnheim, Rudolf, Film as Art

(1957; repr. 1971); Bazin, Andre, What is Cinema?, 2 vols., trans. by Hugh

Gray (1967, 1971); Cook, David A., A History of Narrative Film, 1889-1979

(1981); Cowie, Peter, ed., Concise History of the Cinema, 2 vols. (1970);

Eisenstein, Sergei M., Film Form (1949; repr. 1969); Halliwell, Leslie,

Filmgoer's Companion, 6th ed. (1977); Jowett, Garth, Film: The Democratic Art

(1976); Kael, Pauline, Reeling (1976), and 5,000 Nights at the Movies: A Guide

from A to Z (1982); Kracauer, Siegfried, Theory of Film: The Redemption of

Physical Reality (1960); Mast, Gerald, A Short History of the Movies, 2d ed.

(1976); Mast, Gerald, and Cohen, Marshall, Film Theory and Criticism:

Introductory Readings (1974); Monaco, James, How to Read a Film (1977); Peary,

Danny, Cult Movies (1981); Robinson, David, The History of World Cinema

(1973).^ NATIONAL FILM HISTORIES: AMERICAN: Higham, Charles, The Art of

American Film, 1900-1971 (1973); Monaco, James, American Film Now: The People,

the Power, the Movies (1979); Sarris, Andrew, The American Cinema: Directors

and Directions, 1929-1968 (1968); Sklar, Robert, Movie-Made America

(1975).^AUSTRALIAN: Stratton, David, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film

Revival (1981).^BRITISH: Armes, Roy, A History of British Cinema (1978); Low,

Rachael, The History of British Film, 4 vols. (1973); Manvell, Roger, New

Cinema in Britain (1969).^FRENCH: Armes, Roy, The French Cinema Since 1946, 2

vols., rev. ed. (1970); Harvey, Sylvia, May '68 and Film Culture (rev. ed.,

1980); Monaco, James, The New Wave: Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette

(1976); Sadoul, Georges, French Film (1953; repr. 1972).^GERMAN: Barlow, John

D., German Expressionist Film (1982); Hull, David S., Film of the Third Reich:

A Study of the German Cinema, 1933-1945 (1969); Manvell, Roger, and Fraenkel,

Heinrich, The German Cinema (1971); Sandford, John The New German Cinema

(1980); Wollenberg, H. H., Fifty Years of German Film (1948; repr.

1972).^ITALIAN: Jarratt, Vernon, Italian Cinema (1951; repr. 1972); Leprohon,

Pierre, The Italian Cinema (1972); Rondi, Gian, Italian Cinema Today (1965);

Witcombe, Roger, The New Italian Cinema (1982).^JAPANESE: Mellen, Joan, The

Waves at Genji's Door: Japan Through Its Cinema (1976); Richie, Donald, The

Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965), and The Japanese Movie: An Illustrated History

(1966); Sato, Tadao, Currents in Japanese Cinema (1982).^RUSSIAN: Cohen, Louis

H., The Cultural-Political Traditions and Development of the Soviet Cinema,

1917-1972 (1974); Dickenson, Thorold, and De La Roche, Catherine, Soviet Cinema

(1948; repr. 1972); Leyda, Jay, Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet

Film (1960; repr. 1973); Taylor, Richard, Film Propaganda: Soviet Russia and

Nazi Germany (1979).^SWEDISH: Cowie, Peter, Swedish Cinema (1966); Donner,

Jorn, The Personal Vision of Ingmar Bergman (1964); Hardy, Forsyth, The

Scandinavian Film (1952; repr. 1972).

Porter, Cole

Cole Porter, b. Peru, Ind., June 9, 1892, d. Oct. 15, 1964, was an American

lyricist and composer of popular songs for stage and screen. A graduate of

Yale College, he attended Harvard School of Arts and Sciences for 2 years and

later studied under the French composer Vincent d'Indy. Both his lyrics and

music have a witty sophistication, technical virtuosity, and exquisite sense of

style that have rarely been paralleled in popular music. He contributed

brilliant scores to numerous Broadway musicals, such as Anything Goes (1934)

and Kiss Me, Kate (1948), and to motion pictures. His best songs have become

classics; these include "Begin the Beguine," "Night and Day," and "I Love


Bibliography: Eells, George, The Life that Late He Led: A Biography of Cole

Porter (1967); Kimball, Robert, ed., Cole (1971); Schwartz, Charles, Cole Porter


Griffith, D. W.

David Lewelyn Wark Griffith, b. La Grange, Ky., Jan. 23, 1875, d. July 23,

1948, is recognized as the greatest single film director and most consistently

innovative artist of the early American film industry. His influence on the

development of cinema was worldwide.

After gaining experience with a Louisville stock company, he was employed as an

actor and writer by the Biograph Film Company of New York in 1907. The

following year he was offered a director-producer contract and, for the next

five years, oversaw the production of more than 400 one- and two-reel films.

As his ideas grew bolder, however, he felt increasingly frustrated by the

limitations imposed by his employers. Griffith left Biograph in 1913 to join

Reliance-Majestic as head of production, and in 1914, he began his most famous

film, based on the novel The Clansman by Thomas Dixon. This Civil War

Reconstruction epic, known as The Birth of a Nation (1915), became a landmark

in American filmmaking, both for its artistic merits and for its unprecedented

use of such innovative techniques as flashbacks, fade-outs, and close-ups. The

film was harshly condemned, however, for its racial bias and glorification of

the Ku Klux Klan; several subsequent lynchings were blamed on the film. In

response to this criticism, Griffith made what many consider his finest film,

Intolerance (1916), in which the evils of intolerance were depicted in four

parallel stories--a framework that required a scope of vision and production

never before approached. Although Griffith made numerous other films up to

1931, none ranked with his first two classics. Among the best of these later

efforts were Hearts of the World (1918); Broken Blossoms (1919), released by

his own newly formed corporation, United Artists; Way Down East (1920); Orphans

of the Storm (1922); America (1924); Isn't Life Wonderful? (1924); and Abraham

Lincoln (1930). Of the many actors trained by Griffith and associated with his

name, Mary PICKFORD, Dorothy and Lillian GISH, and Lionel Barrymore (see

BARRYMORE family) are the most famous. In 1935, Griffith was honored by the

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a special award.

Bibliography: Barry, Iris, D. W. Griffith, American Film Master (1940);

Brown, Karl, Adventures with D. W. Griffith (1976); Geduld, Harry M., ed.,

Focus on D. W. Griffith (1971); Gish, Lillian, Lillian Gish: The Movies, Mr.

Griffith and Me (1969); Henderson, Robert M., D. W. Griffith: His Life and

Work (1972) and D. W. Griffith: The Years at Biograph (1970); O'Dell, Paul,

Griffith and the Rise of Hollywood (1970); Wagenknecht, Edward C., The Films of

D. W. Griffith (1975).

film industry

The first four decades of the film age (roughly 1908-48) saw the increasing

concentration of control in the hands of a few giant Hollywood concerns. Since

the late 1940s, however, that trend has been reversed; the monolithic studio

system has given way to independent production and diversification at all

levels of the industry.^Although in the silent era small, independent producers

were common, by the 1930s, in the so-called golden age of Hollywood, the

overwhelming majority of films were produced, distributed, and exhibited by one

of the large California studios. Led by M-G-M, Paramount, RKO,

20th-Century-Fox, Warner Brothers, Columbia, and Universal, the industry

enjoyed the benefits of total vertical integration: because the studios owned

their own theater chains, they could require theater managers to charge fixed

minimum admission rates, to purchase groups of pictures rather than single

releases ("block booking"), and to accept films without first previewing them

("blind buying"). For more than two decades the major studios completely

controlled their contracted stars, managed vast indoor and outdoor studio sets,

and in general profited from what amounted to a virtual monopoly of the

industry.^Shortly after World War II, three factors contributed to the loss of

the majors' hegemony. First, a number of federal court decisions forced the

studios to end discriminatory distribution practices, including block booking,

blind selling, and the setting of fixed admission prices; in 1948 the Supreme

Court ordered divestiture of their theater chains. Second, the House Committee

on Un-American Activities investigated the industry, which responded by

blacklisting several prominent screenwriters and directors--an action that

called into question the industry's reliability as a promoter of unfettered

creative talent. Third, television began to deprive Hollywood of large

segments of its audience, and the industry reacted timidly and late to the

possibilities for diversification presented by the new medium.^The effects of

these developments were immediate and long lasting. Weekly attendance figures

fell from 80 million in 1946 to just over 12 million by 1972. Box-ofice

revenues in the same period dropped from $1.75 billion to $1.4 billion--and

this despite constant inflation and admission prices that were often 10 times

the prewar average. The movie colony experienced unprecedented unemployment.

The number of films made yearly declined from an average of 445 in the 1940s to

under 150 in the 1970s, as the industry sought solvency in "blockbusters"

rather than in the solid but unspectacular products that had brought it a mass

audience before the age of television. Between 1948 and 1956 the number of

U.S. theaters fell from 20,000 to 10,000, and although 4,000 new drive-in

theaters somewhat offset this attrition, by the mid-1970s less than half of the

American spectator's amusement dollar was being spent on movies; in the 1940s

the yearly average had been over 80 cents.^By the late 1960s the major studios

had entered a grave economic slump, for many of their "big picture" gambles

fell through. In 1970, 20th-Century-Fox lost $36 million, and United Artists,

which as the industry leader had more to lose, ended up more than $50 million

in the red. In response to this devastation of its profits, the industry

underwent a profound reorganization. Following the 1951 lead of United

Artists, the majors backed away from production (since its cost had contributed

heavily to their decline) and restructured themselves as loan guarantors and

distributors. At the same time, most of them became subsidiaries of

conglomerates such as Gulf and Western, Kinney National Service, and

Transamerica and began to look to television sales and recording contracts for

the revenues that previously had come from the theater audience alone.^In

setting up these new contractual relationships the independent producer played

a central role. Such a figure, who by now has replaced the old studio mogul as

the industry's driving force, brings together the various properties associated

with a film (including actors, a director, and book rights) to create a

"package" often financed independently but distributed by a film company in

exchange for a share of the rental receipts. Working with the conglomerates

and accepting the reality of a permanently reduced market, these private

promoters have partially succeeded in revitalizing the industry.^The rise of

independent production has been accompanied by diversification of subject

matter, with close attention to the interests of specialized audiences. This

trend, which began in the 1950s as an attempt to capture the "art house"

audience and the youth market, is evident today in the success of martial-arts,

rock-music, pornographic, documentary, and black-culture films.

Simultaneously, production has moved away from the Hollywood sets and toward

location filming. For many producers, New York City has become the New

filmmakers' mecca, while shooting in foreign countries, where cheap labor is

often plentiful, has given the modern film a new international texture; foreign

markets have also become increasingly important. Both geographically and

financially, therefore, the film industry has begun to recapture some of the

variety and independence that were common in the days before studio control.


Bibliography: Balio, Tino, ed., The American Film Industry (1976); Brownlow,

Kevin, Hollywood: The Pioneers (1980); David, Saul, The Industry: Life in the

Hollywood Fast Lane (1981); Phillips, Gene D., The Movie Makers: Artists in an

Industry (1973); Stanley, Robert H., The Celluloid Empire (1978).


TEN TOP-GROSSING FILMS (as of Jan. 1, 1984)

Film Year Gross Earnings*

1. E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial 1982 $209,567,000

2. Star Wars 1977 193,500,000

3. Return of the Jedi 1983 165,500,000

4. The Empire Strikes Back 1980 141,600,000

5. Jaws 1975 133,435,000

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 115,598,000

7. Grease 1978 96,300,000

8. Tootsie 1982 94,571,613

9. The Exorcist 1973 89,000,000

10. The Godfather 1972 86,275,000

SOURCE: Variety (1984). *Distributors' percentage has been subtracted.

Sennett, Mack


A pioneer of slapstick film comedy, Mack Sennett, b. Michael Sinnott,

Richmond, Quebec, Jan. 17, 1880, d. Nov. 5, 1960, was an uneducated

Irish-Canadian who drifted into films as D. W. Griffith's apprentice. In

1912 he started his own comedy studio, called Keystone, where he developed the

Keystone Kops and discovered such major talents as Charlie Chaplin and Frank

Capra. With the advent of sound films, comedy shorts became less popular, and

in the 1930s Sennett, who failed to change with the times, lost his entire

fortune. Sennett is, however, still remembered as Hollywood's "King of Comedy"

and received a special Academy Award in 1937 for his contribution to cinema


Bibliography: Fowler, Gene, Father Goose (1934; repr. 1974); Lahue, Kalton C.,

and Brewer, Terry, Kops and Custards: The Legend of Keystone Films (1968);

Sennett, Mack, King of Comedy (1954; repr. 1975).

Chaplin, Charlie

Charles Spencer Chaplin, b. Apr. 16, 1889, d. Dec. 25, 1977, cinema's most

celebrated comedian-director, achieved international fame with his portrayals

of the mustachioed Little Tramp. As the director, producer, writer, and

interpreter of his many movies, he made a major contribution to establishing

film comedy as a true art form. Reared in poverty in London's slums, Chaplin,

like his parents, became a music hall performer, appearing as a clown in Fred

Karno's Mumming Birds company from 1906. While touring the United States in

1913, Mack SENNETT persuaded him to join his Keystone studio; Chaplin's first

slapstick, Making a Living (1914), followed. In Kid Auto Races at Venice

(1914), he originated the gentleman tramp routine--twirling cane, bowler, tight

jacket, and baggy pants--that became his trademark in dozens of two-reelers.

He also learned to direct his own short films.

During the next four years, Chaplin consolidated his growing international

reputation by a prolific output of shorts for Essanay, Mutual, and First

National studios. At the same time, he refined his tramp character into a

poetic figure that combined comedy and pathos, yet retained his meticulously

timed acrobatic skills. His films grew in length and subtlety with A Dog's

Life and Shoulder Arms (both 1918). After cofounding United Artists in 1919,

Chaplin began independent production of his best feature-length films in the

1920s: A Woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City

Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator (1940), his first

all-talking film, in which he abandoned the tramp to parody Hitler. Among his

later films, only the poignant Limelight (1952) achieved popularity; the

apparent cynicism of Monsieur Verdoux (1947) and A King in New York (1957)

alienated audiences, while his last effort, A Countess from Hong Kong (1966),

left little impression.

Although loved and appreciated throughout the world as the inimitable Charlot

or Charlie, Chaplin's personal life, including his four marriages, a 1944

paternity suit, and his refusal to accept U.S. citizenship, gained him adverse

publicity in America. In 1953, accused of Communist sympathies, he was denied

reentry into the country. Thereafter, he settled in Switzerland with his wife

Oona O'Neill, surrounded by luxury and a family of nine children. Initially

embittered by his rejection in the United States, he returned in triumph in

1972 to receive a special achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture

Arts and Sciences, followed in 1973 by an Academy Award for his score to

Limelight. In 1975, at age 86, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. Chaplin's

My Autobiography appeared in 1964, and a filmed biography, The Gentleman Tramp,


Bibliography: Chaplin, Charles, My Life in Pictures (1975); Hu ff, Theodore,

Charlie Chaplin (1951; repr. 1972); Manvell, Roger, Chaplin (1973); McCabe,

John, Charlie Chaplin (1978); Tyler, Parker, Last of the Clowns (1947; repr.


Pickford, Mary


Mary Pickford, stage name of Gladys Mary Smith, b. Toronto, Apr. 8, 1893, d.

May 29, 1979, became one of the world's first film stars after beginning her

cinema career in 1909 under the tutelage of D. W. Griffith. Together with

her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin, she founded United

Artists in 1919. Despite considerable business acumen, her career faltered

with the advent of talkies. Her best-known films include Rebecca of Sunnybrook

Farm (1917), Pollyanna (1920), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), and Little Annie

Rooney (1925). She received an Academy Award for Coquette (1929) and a special

Academy Award in 1976.

Bibliography: Pickford, Mary, Sunshine and Shadow (1955); Windeler, Robert,

Sweetheart (1974).

Hart, William S.

William S. Hart, b. Newburgh, N.Y., Dec. 6, 1870, d. June 23, 1946, was a

top box-office draw in American silent films, especially in Westerns. His

dour, commanding presence had the same kind of appeal found years later in

Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson. The Return of Draw Egan (1916), The Toll

Gate (1920), Travellin' On (1922), Wild Bill Hickok (1923), and Tumbleweeds

(1925) were among Hart's most popular films. LESLIE HALLIWELL

film serials

Film serials, the bulk of which were produced in Hollywood between 1913 and the

late 1940s, were interrupted melodramas or mysteries ("cliffhangers") that

typically consisted of 12 to 15 episodes varying in length from 18 to 30

minutes. Up to 1930, approximately 300 silent serials appeared--the first was

The Adventures of Kathlyn (1913), the most popular was Pathe's The Perils of

Pauline (1914), starring Pearl White. At least a part of their charm derived

from carefully timed dramatic sequences that substituted for a lack of

narrative depth. Among the best-known serials of the sound era, during which

Westerns, space stories, and other fantasy-oriented fare dominated, were The

Lone Ranger, Captain Video, Flash Gordon, Zorro, The Masked Marvel, and The

Green Hornet. BRUCE BERMAN

Bibliography: Barbour, Alan G., Cliffhanger (1977) and Serial Showcase (1968);

Lahue, Kalton C., Bound and Gagged (1968) and Continued Next Week (1964);

Stedman, Raymond W., The Serials, 2d ed. (1977).

Arbuckle, Fatty

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, b. Mar. 24, 1887, d. June 29, 1933, was one of the

movies' first comedy stars. His boyish face, ample girth, and acrobatic skill

made him a natural comic in silent films. After achieving stardom at Mack

Sennett's studio, he went on to write, direct, and star in his own films. His

on-screen career was ruined by a 1921 scandal involving the death of a young

woman. Although cleared of manslaughter charges, Arbuckle was unable to work

again in films except as a writer-director in 1931-32, using the pseudonym

William Goodrich. LEONARD MALTIN

Bibliography: Maltin, Leonard, The Great Movie Comedians (1978); Yallop,

David, The Day the Laughter Stopped (1976).

Mayer, Louis B.


Louis Burt Mayer, b. Minsk, Russia, 1882 or 1885, d. Oct. 29, 1957, was a

Hollywood film mogul who for many years headed the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Corporation, ruling his studio like a patriarch in order to make "decent,

wholesome pictures for Americans." Initially a scrap-metal dealer, he made a

fortune as a New England movie-theater owner before forming the Louis B. Mayer

Pictures Corporation in 1918. Merging his company with Marcus Loew's Metro and

the Goldwyn Company to found MGM in 1924, he became vice-president of the new

company, acting as general manager of the Culver City studio until forced to

retire in 1951.

Bibliography: Crowther, Bosley, Hollywood Rajah (1960); Marx, Samuel, Mayer

and Thalberg: The Make-Believe Saints (1975).

Muybridge, Eadweard

(my'-brij, ed'-wurd)

The Englishman Eadweard Muybridge, b. Edward James Muggeridge, Apr 9, 1830, d.

May 8, 1904, one of the great photographers of the American West, became even

better known for his pioneering photographic studies of motion. Photographing

throughout California in the 1860s and '70s, he made the large, impressive

landscapes of the Yosemite wilderness that won him initial fame. In 1872,

Leland Stanford, the former governor of the state, bet a friend that once in

every stride all four legs of a running horse were simultaneously off the

ground. He hired Muybridge to settle the bet, and in 1877 Muybridge's

pictures, which recorded the horse's motion in sequential frames, proved

Stanford right. (The work took 5 years because it was interrupted while

Muybridge was tried and acquitted for the murder of his wife's lover.) In 1879,

Muybridge invented the zoopraxiscope, a machine that reconstructed motion from

his photographs and a forerunner of cinematography. After a European tour,

during which his work was acclaimed by artists and scientists alike, he

continued (1884-86) his photographic motion studies; Animal Locomotion (1887),

containing 781 groups of sequential frames, was the first of several such

publications, which also included The Human Figure in Motion (1901). PETER


Bibliography: Muybridge, Eadweard, Descriptive Zoopraxography (1893) and Animals

in Motion (1899, repr. 1957); Hendricks, Gordon, Eadweard Muybridge: The Father

of the Motion Picture (1975); Mozley, A. V., Eadweard Muybridge: The Stanford

Years, 1872-1882 (1972).

Eakins, Thomas


Although he received little recognition in his lifetime, Thomas Cowperthwaite

Eakins, b. July 25, 1844, d. June 25, 1916, has come to be regarded in the

20th century as the greatest realist in the history of American art. He was

born in Philadelphia, where he received his early training and later spent his

adult life. From 1866 to 1869 he was a pupil of Jean Leon GEROME at the Ecole

des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 1870 he visited Spain and was strongly

influenced by the works of Diego VELAZQUEZ and Jusepe de RIBERA. He became an

uncompromising realist, bringing to his work a close personal involvement with

his subjects and intense scientific interest in anatomy, light, and


After his return to Philadelphia in 1870, Eakins painted outdoor scenes that

included views of sportsmen on rivers and bays near the city, such as Max

Schmitt in a Single Scull (1871; Metropolitan Museum, New York City). In 1875

he painted a far more ambitious picture, now accepted as his masterpiece, a

large portrait of the eminent surgeon Dr. Samuel Gross, The Gross Clinic

(1875; Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia). Gross is shown scalpel in

hand, lecturing to his students about the operation he is performing, the

details of which, including an open incision, are clearly depicted. The

painting's bold realism appropriately reflects the clinical objectivity of Dr.

Gross's approach to medicine, but offended Eakins's prudish audience.

Eakins taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1876 to 1886, when

he was forced to resign after a dispute caused by his insistence that students

of both sexes be allowed to draw from nude models. He continued to teach

privately, and one of his most accomplished students, Susan Macdowell, became

his wife in 1884. During the 1880s, Eakins conducted photographic experiments

at the University of Pennsylvania into the movement of human bodies that

anticipated the invention of the motion picture and coincided with the

pioneering work of Eadweard MUYBRIDGE. After 1880 most of his works were

portraits, often of the scientists, physicians, scholars, and students of

Philadelphia who were his friends. He had little commercial success and was

largely ignored by the art world despite the fact that he was an outstanding

figure painter and the best portraitist in America since Gilbert STUART, whose

work was much narrower in scope. In 1902 he was belatedly elected to the

National Academy of Design, by which time his creative powers had begun to

wane. After 1910 he was in ill health and ceased to paint. His influence on

the so-called ASHCAN SCHOOL realists of the early 20th century was great,

although full recognition of his many achievements as an artist and teacher

came only in the 1930s.

Among Eakins's finest paintings is William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure

of the Schuylkill (1877; Philadelphia Museum of Art), a subject to which he

returned late in his career. (William RUSH was a Philadelphia wood-carver of

the Federal period whose use of a nude model aroused a controversy of the kind

that Eakins was often involved in.) The psychological penetration of his

portraits is evident in the mirthful spirit of his Walt Whitman (1888;

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) and the introspective serenity of Miss Van

Buren (c.1891; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.).

Eakins also worked as a sculptor, and his contributions to the art of

photography are also notable, but his paintings were his supreme achievement.

Along with those of his contemporary Winslow HOMER, they represent the

culmination of the development of American art in the 19th century. DAVID


Bibliography: Goodrich, Lloyd, Thomas Eakins: His Life and Work (1933; repr.

1970); Hendricks, Gordon, The Life and Works of Thomas Eakins (1974); Schendler,

Sylvan, Eakins (1967); Siegl, Theodor, The Thomas Eakins Collection (1978).

Hays, Will

William Harrison Hays, b. Sullivan, Ind., Nov. 5, 1879, d. Mar. 7, 1954,

was for many years the censor of the U.S. film industry. He served as

chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1918 to 1921 and was

postmaster general under President Warren G. Harding in 1921-22. From 1922 to

1945, Hays was president of the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors. In

1934 that association implemented a system of self-censorship, the so-called

Production Code, that came to be known as the Hays Code.

Lloyd, Harold


Harold Lloyd, b. Burchard, Nebr., Apr. 20, 1893, d. Mar. 8, 1971, was one

of the most popular screen comedians of the 1920s, a living symbol of the shy

but optimistic all-American boy. This ingratiating character started evolving

in the short subjects Lloyd made during the second decade of the 20th century,

but crystallized only after he became a major star in such 1920s silent feature

films as Grandma's Boy (1922) and The Freshman (1925). Lloyd's trademarks were

a straw hat and horn-rimmed glasses, but he is perhaps even better remembered

for the "thrill comedy" of films like Safety Last (1923), in which he scales

the side of a building. Snippets from his many early films appeared in two

1963 screen compilations: Harold Lloyd's World of Comedy and Harold Lloyd's

Funny Side of Life. His methodical, unpretentious approach to comedy received

wider attention after his "rediscovery" in the 1970s. LEONARD MALTIN

Bibliography: Lloyd, Harold, An American Comedy (1928; repr. 1971); Maltin,

Leonard, The Great Movie Comedians (1978); Reilly, Adam, Harold Lloyd: The King

of Daredevil Comedy (1977); Schickel, Richard, Harold Lloyd: The Shape of

Keaton, Buster


Joseph Francis "Buster" Keaton, b. Piqua, Kans., Oct. 4, 1895, d. Feb. 1,

1966, actor and director, was one of the giants of silent film comedy. Raised

in a vaudeville family, Keaton entered the film industry in 1917 as a protege

of Fatty Arbuckle and quickly mastered film technique on both sides of the

camera. A superb acrobat from youth, Keaton developed both a keen appreciation

for movie sight gags and the perfectionist's desire to execute them without

flaw. In 1921, under the banner of his own company, he began his solo starring

career and refined his unique deadpan character--a loner caught in the flurry

of modern life who somehow manages to triumph over even the most mind-boggling

disasters. Such classic shorts as One Week (1920), The High Sign (1921), The

Boat (1921), Cops (1922), and The Balloonatic (1923) led to feature films in

which he expanded his highly individual comic views: Our Hospitality (1923),

The Navigator (1924), Seven Chances (1925), The General (1926), and his

cinematic tour de force, Sherlock Jr. (1924). Bad business advice coupled

with personal problems sabotaged his career in the early 1930s. He continued

to work in films and television the rest of his life, but after his move to MGM

in 1928, he never again exercised the creative control he had enjoyed in the

silent era. His memoirs, My Wonderful World of Slapstick, appeared in 1960.


Bibliography: Anobile, Richard J., ed., The Best of Buster (1976); Blesh,

Rudi, Keaton (1966); Dardis, Tom, Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down

(1979); Maltin, Leonard, The Great Movie Comedians (1978); Moews, Daniel,

Keaton: The Silent Features Close Up (1977); Wead, George, and Lellis, George,

eds., The Film Career of Buster Keaton (1977).

Lubitsch, Ernst

(loo'-bich, airnst)

Ernst Lubitsch, b. Berlin, Jan. 28, 1892, d. Nov. 30, 1947, was a

German-American film director known for his sophisticated comedies of manners.

He had already achieved success as an actor and director in Europe when Mary

Pickford brought him to Hollywood to direct her in Rosita (1923); Lubitsch's

subsequent silent films--The Marriage Circle (1924), Forbidden Paradise (1924),

Lady Windermere's Fan (1925), and So This Is Paris (1926)--established his

reputation as a master of urbane, sardonic humor.

The "Lubitsch touch" survived the transition to sound. In the 1930s, beginning

with The Love Parade (1930), he directed musicals, often using the team of

Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. The cynical wit that was his

trademark was especially evident in Trouble in Paradise (1932); Ninotchka

(1939), starring Greta Garbo; and To Be Or Not To Be (1942), which satirized

Nazism. He departed from his usual brand of humor in The Shop around the

Corner (1940), another comedy directed at the Nazi threat.

Bibliography: Poague, Leland A., The Cinema of Ernst Lubitsch (1978); Weinberg,

Herman G., The Lubitsch Touch: A Critical Study (1968).


Film animation applies techniques of cinematography to the graphic and plastic

arts in order to give the illusion of life and movement to cartoons, drawings,

paintings, puppets, and three-dimensional objects. Beginning with crude and

simple methods, animation has become a highly sophisticated form of filmmaking,

involving the use of automation, computer, and even laser technology to achieve

its effects. Some animation techniques overlap with those used to produce

special effects in live-action cinematography. In watching such films as

2001--A Space Odyssey (1968) and Star Wars (1977), a person often finds it

difficult to tell whether a certain result has been achieved through animation

or through special effects.


Basic graphic animation is produced by a technique called stop-frame

cinematography. The camera records, frame by frame, a sequence or succession

of drawings or paintings that differ only fractionally from one another. The

illusion of progressive movement is created by projecting the series of frames

through a camera at the normal rate for sound film (24 frames a second). The

same method is used in puppet or object animation; the position of the figures

or objects is changed very slightly prior to each exposure. In graphic

animation, the drawings may vary from the simplest outlines, as in such

traditional animated films as Felix the Cat, to elaborately modeled and colored

paintings, such as those produced in Walt DISNEY's studios during the 1930s.

The first animated cartoons were produced before 1910 by pioneers such as Emile

Cohl of France and Winsor McCay of the United States, whose Sinking of the

Lusitania (1918) has been called the first animated feature film. In these

early productions, a simple drawing of a mobile figure was photographed against

an equally simple background, and a new drawing was required for each exposure.

Relief from the labor of drawing hundreds of pictures for each minute of action

came only when the figures could be made momentarily static. The evolution of

cel (for celluloid) animation after 1913 enabled animators to use a single,

more elaborate background for each shot or scene in the action. The mobile

figures in the foreground were inked in black silhouette on transparent

celluloid sheets and then superimposed in series on the background. With the

introduction of color filming early in the 1930s, animators began to use opaque

paints in place of black ink. Greater efficiency was achieved when artists

began to specialize in particular figures or other mobile elements of cartoons.

Such teams of animators collectively created drawings for feature-length films,

for example, Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Fantasia

(1940). Most animated films are recorded by an automated rostrum camera. The

many improvements made in this camera since the 1950s have contributed to the

increased technical capabilities of the medium. The adjustable camera is

suspended above the horizontal table on which the combination of cels, one upon

the other, have been superimposed on the background and locked or pegged into

position. The cels are then successively photographed to produce a precision

image offering a faultless illusion of movement. Such cinematic effects as

tracking, panning, and zooming may also be achieved.


Since the early, popular shorts involving such animals as Felix the Cat and

Mickey Mouse, the international history of animation has been characterized by

the almost constant introduction of ever more complex forms. Many advances

were made in Europe: Lotte Reiniger employed mobile silhouettes; Oskar

FISCHINGER and Len Lye experimented with abstract designs choreographed to

music; and George Pal of Holland created techniques of puppet animation. Since

World War II, animation was increasingly used in instructional films and in

television and cinema commercials. Advanced forms of graphic design, both in

black and white and in color, and new methods of puppet and object animation

have been developed. From the 1940s until the early 1980s, Norman MCLAREN, one

of the versatile of all animators, experimented with three-dimensional

animation and with other innovations as drawing images directly on film.

Beginning in the 1960s, films showing abstract color designs in motion were

programmed by means of computers that calculate intricate movements with

amazing precision. Today, computer animation has achieved the ability to

create moving images and backgrounds of great complexity. The basic tool,

usually called a PAINTBOX, is an electronic surface on which the artist draws

figures and backgrounds and selects colors. Other devices manipulate the

figures and change the backgrounds. The work is reproduced on a TV monitor and

stored on a computer disk. Computerized animation is widely used in television

commercials, titles, and in making music videos (see VIDEO, MUSIC), and

provides many of the special effects in the films of directors like George


Old-style cel animation continues to be the sole technique by which quality

animators, such as Disney Productions, create their characters. Backgrounds,

and the movement of objects within a scene, however, are often


Television, with its insatiable need for new material, introduced a type of

semianimation in its cartoon programs for children. Compared with traditional

animation, on television the movement of characters is primitive in its

rendition, colors are limited, and detail is stripped down to bare essentials.

The cost of an animated minute on television is one-tenth the cost of a Disney

minute; $10,000 to $100,000 or more. Disney's The Black Cauldron (1985) cost

about $30 million and was nine years in the making.

International animation film festivals, where the latest work is displayed, are

annual events in Europe. ROGER MANVELL


Bibliography: Feild, Robert Durant, The Art of Walt Disney (1942); Fox, D.,

and Waite, M., Computer Animation Primer (1984); Halas, John, ed., Computer

Animation (1974); Halas, John, and Manvell, Roger, Art in Movement: New

Directions in Animation (1970), Design in Motion (1962), and The Technique of

Film Animation, 3d ed. (1971); Rubin, S., Animation: The Art and the Industry

(1984); Stephenson, Ralph, Animation in the Cinema (1967); Thomas, F., and

Johnstone, O., Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life (1981).

Edison, Thomas Alva

Thomas Alva Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of the late 19th

century. He is most famous for his development of the first commercially

practical incandescent lamp (1879). Perhaps his greatest contribution,

however, was the development (1882) of the world's first central electric

light-power station. His early laboratories were forerunners of the modern

industrial research laboratory, where skilled researchers jointly solve

technological problems.^Edison was born in the village of Milan, Ohio, on Feb.

11, 1847, and his family later moved to Port Huron, Mich. His formal schooling

was limited to three months, at the age of seven, but thereafter his mother

tutored him, and he was an avid reader. At age 12 he became a train-boy,

selling magazines and candy on the Grand Trunk Railroad. He spent all he

earned on books and apparatus for his chemical laboratory. An accident at

about this time eventually led to a loss of hearing.^A station agent taught him

telegraph code and procedures, and at age 15 Edison became manager of a

telegraph office. His first inventions were the transmitter and receiver for

the automatic telegraph. At 21, Edison produced his first major invention, a

stock ticker for printing stock-exchange quotations in brokers' offices. With

the $40,000 he was paid for improvements in tickers, he established a

manufacturing shop and a small laboratory in Newark, N.J. Deciding to give up

manufacturing, he moved the laboratory to Menlo Park, N.J., where he directed

groups of employees working on various projects. The original Menlo Park

facility is now at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.^In 1878, Edison

began work on an electric lamp and sought a material that could be electrically

heated to incandescence in a vacuum. At first he used platinum wire in glass

bulbs at 10 volts. He connected these bulbs in series to utilize a higher

supply voltage; however, he realized that independent lamp control would be

necessary for home and office use. He then developed a three-wire system with

a supply of 220 volts. Each lamp operated at 110 volts, and the higher voltage

required a resistance greater than that of platinum. Edison conducted an

extensive search for a filament material to replace platinum until, on Oct.

21, 1879, he demonstrated a lamp containing a carbonized cotton thread that

glowed for 40 hours.^Edison installed the first large central power station on

Pearl Street in New York City in 1882; its steam-driven generators of 900

horsepower provided enough power for 7,200 lamps. The success of this station

led to the construction of many other central stations. Edison founded The

Edison Electric Light Company (1878), which eventually merged with other

companies into the General Electric Company (1892), one of the largest U.S.

manufacturers. He consistently opposed, however, switching the power stations

from direct current to alternating current, a change that would have increased

transmission voltages considerably.^During his experiments on the incandescent

bulb, Edison noted a flow of electricity from a hot filament across a vacuum to

a metal wire. This phenomenon, known as THERMIONIC EMISSION, or the Edison

effect, was the foundation of electronic inventions of the 20th century.^Edison

also invented (1877) the PHONOGRAPH, the invention he was most proud of; it

used tinfoil and wax cylinders to record the sound. His introduction of

flexible celluloid film and his invention of the movie projector aided the

development of motion pictures (see FILM, HISTORY OF). His other inventions

include the alkaline storage battery, a magnetic process to separate iron ore,

and the carbon microphone. After World War I he became interested in domestic

sources of rubber and investigated various plant species for rubber content.

By the time he died at West Orange, N.J., on Oct. 18, 1931, he had patented

over 1,000 inventions. J. D. RYDER

Bibliography: Clark, Ronald W., Edison: The Man Who Made the Future (1977);

Josephson, Matthew, Edison: A Biography (1959; repr. 1963); Silverberg,

Robert, Light for the World (1967); Wachhorst, Wyn, Thomas Alva Edison: an

American Myth (1981).

Chaney, Lon


Lon Chaney, b. Apr. 1, 1883, d. Aug. 26, 1930, Hollywood's "man of a

thousand faces," was a leading character actor specializing in macabre roles.

His ability to mime, to change physical appearance, and skill with makeup

served him well in such films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The

Phantom of the Opera (1925). LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Andersen, Robert Gordon, Faces, Forms, Films: The Artistry of

Lon Chaney (1971).

Fischinger, Oskar


The German animator Oskar Fischinger, b. July 22, 1900, d. Jan. 31, 1967,

made films that used abstract forms to interpret music. Examples are the

numbered series Studien 1-12 (1925-36), An American March (1940), and Motion

Painting No. 1 (1947). Fischinger also created special effects for Hollywood

films and invented the lumigraph light-producing device (1951).

Minnelli, Vincente

The Hollywood director whose name is most often associated with the most

imaginative musicals of the 1940s and 1950s is Vincente Minnelli, b. Chicago,

Feb. 28, 1913. Beginning with Cabin in the Sky in 1943, Minnelli set new

standards for the musical genre with such films as Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

and The Pirate (1948) both starring his then wife Judy GARLAND, An American in

Paris (1951), The Band Wagon (1953), and Gigi (1958), which won nine Academy

Awards. The visual dynamism and stylish decor of these films can also be seen

in such nonmusical Minnelli efforts as The Clock (1945), The Bad and the

Beautiful (1952), and Designing Woman (1957). His and Garland's daughter is

the performer Liza Minnelli (see MINNELLI, LIZA). His autobiography, I

Remember It Well, appeared in 1974. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Casper, Joseph, Vincente Minnelli and the Film Musical (197


Kelly, Gene

A dancer, singer, and actor whose cheerful manner and innovative dance

sequences enlivened some of Hollywood's most memorable musicals, Gene Kelly, b.

Eugene Curran Kelly, Pittsburgh, Pa., Aug. 23, 1912, turned choreography into

a virile, athletic American art. Synthesizing ballet with the tattoo of tap,

the rhythms of jazz, and a sense of fun and grace, he was at his best in The

Pirate (1948), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the

Rain (1952), and Brigadoon (1954). Kelly has also directed films, including

Hello Dolly (1969), and was a principal in the MGM reprises That's

Entertainment (1974), That's Entertainment Part Two (1976), and That's Dancing

(1985). He won the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement award in


Bibliography: Hirschhorn, Clive, Gene Kelly: A Biography (1975); Thomas, Tony,

Films of Gene Kelly (1974).

Vigo, Jean

Jean Vigo, b. Apr. 26, 1905, d. Oct. 5, 1934, in spite of his tragically

short life, proved himself one of the great French filmmakers. The son of a

celebrated anarchist who was later murdered in prison, Vigo led a disordered

childhood. A Propos de Nice (About Nice, 1930) is a short, personal film essay

mixing sharp observation and adroit camera technique. His two major films,

Zero de conduite (Zero for Conduct, 1933) and L'Atalante (Atalanta, 1934), were

both commercial disasters, and at the time of his death at the age of 29, Vigo

remained almost unknown. His tiny output, however, now ranks as one of the

great achievements of French cinema. His work draws uniquely sensitive

pictures of private worlds (those of a group of schoolboys and a newly married

couple, respectively), combining a respect for reality with virtually

surrealist imagery. ROY ARMES

Bibliography: Sales Gomes, P. E., Jean Vigo (1972); Smith, John M., Jean Vigo


Carne, Marcel


The French film director Marcel Carne, b. Aug. 18, 1909, achieved fame in the

1930s when he worked with the poet Jacques Prevert on such classics as Quai des

brumes (Misty Quay, 1938) and Le Jour se leve (Day Begins, 1939), both starring

Jean Gabin. Carne learned his craft as assistant to Rene Clair and Jacques

Feyder before making (1936) his feature debut. During the German occupation of

France, Carne and Prevert produced two theatrical spectacles, Les Visiteurs du

soir (Evening Visitors, 1942) and Children of Paradise (1945). Although Carne

continues to exhibit a fine technical command, his recent films have been less

impressive than his earlier work. ROY ARMES

Pagnol, Marcel


A successful French dramatist of the late 1920s, Marcel Pagnol, b. Feb. 28,

1895, d. Apr. 18, 1974, turned to the cinema with the advent of sound and

created for himself a still more remarkable career as a writer-director. At

first, he merely adapted his own plays for others to direct; of the Marseille

trilogy, Marius (1931), Fanny (1932), and Cesar (1936), only the third was

directed by Pagnol himself. In 1934, however, he set up his own studios and,

surrounded by a company of actors that included Raimu and Fernandel, he began

to adapt the Provencal stories of Jean Giono into the films that constitute his

major achievements: Joffroi (1934), Angele (1934), Regain (1937), and The

Baker's Wife (1938). His last two films, Manon des sources (1952) and Lettres

de mon moulin (1954), are also the work of a master storyteller. ROY ARMES

Bibliography: Pagnol, Marcel, The Days Were Too Short (1960) and The Time of

Secrets, trans. by Rita Barisse (1962).

Korda, Sir Alexander


Alexander Korda, the professional name of Sandor Kellner, b. Sept. 16, 1893,

d. Jan. 23, 1956, was a major figure in British cinema for almost 25 years.

He began his producing and directing career in Hungary but left his native land

in 1919 to embark on an international career in Europe and Hollywood. After

establishing London Film Productions in Britain in 1932, Korda achieved world

recognition with The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Specializing in

historical films and using international directors, he turned out such

successes as Rembrandt (1936), The Four Feathers (1939), The Third Man (1949),

and Richard III (1956). He was knighted in 1942. ROY ARMES

Bibliography: Kulik, Karol, Alexander Korda: The Man Who Could Work Miracles


Hitchcock, Alfred


Probably no contemporary film director was better known to the general public

or more admired by his colleagues and critics than Alfred Hitchcock. Born in

London, Aug. 13, 1899, he began his directorial career in the silent era with

The Lodger (1927). Hitchcock's work during the next decade--Blackmail (1929),

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), and The Lady

Vanishes (1938)--established him worldwide as the preeminent director of witty

suspense thrillers. It also established his personal trademark: the seemingly

casual appearance in all his films of his own portly figure. Hitchcock, who

received a knighthood in 1980, died on Apr. 29 of that year.

His first film after moving to Hollywood in 1939 was the immensely successful

romantic thriller Rebecca (1940). Subsequently, Foreign Correspondent (1940)

successfully harked back to his British style. Although Shadow of a Doubt

(1943) won praise for its handling of an American setting and Notorious (1946)

was popular with critics and public alike, many of Hitchcock's admirers were

disappointed by other American works, such as Suspicion (1941), Saboteur

(1942), Lifeboat (1943), Spellbound (1945), and Rope (1948). The witty,

ingenious Strangers on a Train (1951), with its sensational merry-go-round

sequence, and North by Northwest (1959), which treated thriller conventions

humorously, were both praised as a return to form. The popularity of the

intervening films exceeded their critical esteem--Dial M for Murder (1954),

Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1953), and a remake of The Man Who Knew

Too Much (1956). What critics missed in them, while acknowledging their

technical mastery, was the wit and sense of milieu that had distinguished

Hitchcock's British suspense thrillers.

Increasingly, however, after the appearance of Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960),

and The Birds (1963), it was recognized that Hitchcock was going beyond

suspense to plumb greater depths of terror. Some critics have emphasized the

Catholic content of Hitchcock's work, others, the Freudian. Whether or not

such explications stand scrutiny, the critical ascendancy of American-period

Hitchcock now seems secure, and the director's technical wizardry remains

unassailable. Hitchcock also enjoyed success as the host (1955-65) of the

popular television suspense series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and as the

editor of such short-story collections as Stories To Be Read with the Lights On


Bibliography: Durgnat, Raymond, The Strange Case of Alfred Hitchcock (1974);

LaValley, Albert, ed., Focus on Hitchcock (1972); Spoto, Donald, The Art of

Alfred Hitchcock (1976); Taylor, John Russell, The Life and Work of Alfred

Hitchcock (1978); Truffaut, Francois, in collaboration with Helen G. Scott,

Hitchcock (1967); Wood, Robin, Hitchcock's Films (1965).

Disney, Walt

The creator of the cartoon character Mickey Mouse and a film innovator who won

a record 30 Academy Awards, Walter Elias Disney, b. Chicago, Dec. 5, 1901, d.

Dec. 15, 1966, was also among the most successful American entrepreneurs. The

entertainment empire he founded includes two giant amusement parks (Disneyland

and Walt Disney World) as well as his film studios. The licensing of

reproduction rights to Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters for use on

clothing, books, and innumerable other objects makes the Disney fantasies ever

present in American life and that of much of the rest of the world as

well.^Disney's childhood was spent in Marceline, Mo. (whose main street may

have inspired the nostalgia-laden main streets of the amusement parks), and in

Kansas City, Mo., where he met Ub Iwerks, who became a Disney collaborator.

When their Kansas City animation studio failed in 1923, Disney founded a new

studio in Hollywood, and Iwerks became chief artist and special-effects

designer.^By 1928, Disney and Iwerks had perfected the immortal Mickey Mouse,

who made history the same year in Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon with

sound. (Mickey's squeaky voice was supplied by Disney.) In succeeding Disney

cartoons--including the famous series Silly Symphonies--the characters moved to

the rhythm of a pre-recorded soundtrack, making possible a humorous and

ingenious match of motion to sound (see ANIMATION). By the mid-1930s all

Disney cartoons were made in color, and his stable of eccentric animal

characters (Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and the rest) was almost complete,

produced by a studio that came to employ hundreds of artists.^The world's first

feature-length animated film, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938),

proved a stunning financial success and was followed by a number of other

full-length animations, including Fantasia (1940), which combined classical

music with animated sequences, Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi

(1942). The Reluctant Dragon (1941) was the first of many Disney films to use

a sophisticated matte technique that allowed live and cartoon characters to

appear together.^In the 1950s, Disney turned to films with live characters,

such as Treasure Island (1950), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), and the

musical fantasy Mary Poppins (1964); to nature films whose fine photography was

marred for some critics by the sentimentality of approach; and to films

produced for television--the Davy Crockett series, for example. TV's "Mickey

Mouse Club" (1955-59, 1975-77) revived the old cartoon figures for a new

generation of children who would meet them again--more or less live--at

Disneyland and Disney World.

Bibliography: Canemaker, John, Treasures of Disney Animation Art, ed. by W.

Rawls (1982); Finch, Christopher, The Art of Walt Disney (1973); Maltin,

Leonard, The Disney Films (1973); Schickel, Richard, The Disney Version (1968);

Thomas, Bob, Walt Disney (1976).

Riefenstahl, Leni


Adolf Hitler's favorite film director, Leni Riefenstahl, b. Berlin, Aug. 22,

1902, achieved an international reputation on the basis of two extraordinary

documentaries. Her first film, the mystical Blue Light (1932), excited

Hitler's imagination, and following her short documentary of the Nazi party's

1933 Nuremberg rally, Victory of Faith (1934), he commissioned her to give

feature-length treatment to the same event in 1934. The result, Triumph of the

Will (1935), was an impressive spectacle of Germany's adherence to Hitler and

to National Socialist ideals, and a masterpiece of romanticized propaganda.

Equally famous, and far less controversial, was her coverage of the 1936

Olympic Games in Berlin, the four-hour epic Olympia (1938). Blacklisting by

the Allies (1945-52) and postwar ostracism ended Riefenstahl's career as a

filmmaker. She was subsequently acclaimed for The Last of the Nuba (1974), a

superb volume of photographs of Nuba tribal life in southern Sudan. ROGER


Bibliography: Infield, Glenn B., Leni Riefenstahl (1976); Sarris, Andrew,

Interviews with Film Directors (1967).

Stroheim, Erich von


A legendary figure in the Hollywood of the silent era, actor, director, and

scriptwriter Erich von Stroheim, b. Vienna, Sept. 22, 1885, d. May 12, 1957,

is celebrated both for his ruinous extravagances as a filmmaker and his screen

portrayals of stiff-necked German officers. As a director he demonstrated his

brilliance as well as his limitations. His only successfully completed

films--Blind Husbands (1919), the Devil's Passkey (1919), and Foolish Wives

(1921), in two of which he played the lead--bear the stamp of his wit,

sophistication, lavish attention to detail, and sometimes brutal realism.

Thereafter, his career was marked by frustration as his ambitious artistic

schemes for such films as Merry-Go-Round (1922), Greed (1923), and The Wedding

March (1926) repeatedly ran afoul of whistle-blowing producers at Universal,

MGM, and Paramount, who cut and distorted his work beyond recognition. His

most famous failure, Queen Kelly (1928), which was to star Gloria Swanson,

effectively ended his directorial hopes. Concentrating exclusively on acting

after 1936, von Stroheim gave his most distinguished performances in Jean

Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937) and in Billy Wilder's inspired film a clef,

Sunset Boulevard (1950), playing a former director opposite Gloria Swanson's

evocation of an aging, fantasy-ridden silent-film star. ELEANOR M. GATES

Bibliography: Curtiss, Thomas Q., Von Stroheim (1971); Noble, Peter, Hollywood

Scapegoat (1950; repr. 1972).

Chaney, Lon


Lon Chaney, b. Apr. 1, 1883, d. Aug. 26, 1930, Hollywood's "man of a

thousand faces," was a leading character actor specializing in macabre roles.

His ability to mime, to change physical appearance, and skill with makeup

served him well in such films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The

Phantom of the Opera (1925). LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Andersen, Robert Gordon, Faces, Forms, Films: The Artistry of Lon

Chaney (1971).

Flaherty, Robert Joseph


Robert Joseph Flaherty, b. Iron Mountain, Mich., Feb. 16, 1884, d. July 23,

1951, was a filmmaker whose originality and poetic vision helped create a

romantic tradition in documentary films. Before making Nanook of the North

(1922), a depiction of Eskimo life and his first and most famous film, Flaherty

explored Canada as a mapmaker. His interest in native cultures and the simple

agrarian life is reflected in later films--Moana (1926), Tabu (1931), Man of

Aran (1934), and Louisiana Story (1948).

Bibliography: Flaherty, Frances H., The Odyssey of a Film-maker: Robert

Flaherty's Story (1960; repr. 1972); Griffith, Richard, The World of Robert

Flaherty (1953; repr. 1972).



(literature, theater, and film)

Expressionism, a term applied to avant-garde German painting in 1911, rapidly

gained currency in literature, but does not describe a cohesive literary

movement. In poetry and drama, expressionism represented a reaction to the

sentimentality of late-19th-century romanticism. Expressionist poets, writing

in Germany and Austria between 1910 and 1924, were influenced by Freudian

theories of the subconscious, the antirationalism of Friedrich Nietzsche, and

the novels of Fyodor Dostoyevsky to probe their own imaginations for subject

matter. The poems of Johannes BECHER, Gottfried BENN, Georg HEYM, Ernst

TOLLER, Georg TRAKL, and Franz WERFEL are characterized by chaotic, frenzied

imagery and a vehement tone that threatens to overwhelm their literary form.

Expressionism reveals latent energies beneath the surface of appearances and

evokes extreme states of mind. Certain qualities of expressionism are also

found in the prose of Franz KAFKA, but the movement was strongest in the

theater. The dramas of August STRINDBERG and Frank WEDEKIND provided a strong

impetus to later writers such as Georg Kaiser, Carl Sternheim, Fritz von Unruh,

Reinhard Sorge, and Walter Hasenclever, whose works are characterized by terse

dialogue, disturbing incident, and intensely subjective emotion presented in a

succession of scenes or "stations." After 1917 expressionist drama dominated

the German theater for about 6 years--during which time production styles also

cultivated expressive exaggerations and distortion--and left its mark on the

silent cinema, especially in the films of Fritz LANG and Robert Wiene.

Expressionism left an important legacy of technique to many later writers. The

aims of the expressionist movement were assimilated by DADA, and can also be

discerned in Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones (1921) and The Hairy Ape

(1922), and in Elmer Rice's The Adding Machine (1923).

Bibliography: Furness, R. S., Expressionism (1973); Krispyn, Egbert, Style and

Society in German Literary Expressionism (1964); Willett, John, Expressionism




The Bauhaus (full name staatliches Bauhaus, "state building house") was the

most famous school of architecture and design of the 20th century. Founded by

Walter GROPIUS at Weimar, Germany, in 1919, the Bauhaus was originally a

combined school of fine art and school of arts and crafts. In his opening

manifesto, Gropius issued a call for the unification of all the creative arts

under the leadership of architecture. He declared that a mastery of materials

and techniques was essential for all creative design. Students were to have

two teachers in every course, one an expert craftsman, the other a master

artist. The preliminary course, organized by Johannes Itten, introduced

students to rudiments of design, freed from historic associations: size,

shape, line, color, pattern, texture, rhythm, and density. This course has

become the foundation for design education in many countries. It was followed

in the curriculum by advanced work with form and materials, including workshops

in stone, wood, metal, pottery, glass, painting, and textiles. Industrial

design became a major focus at the Bauhaus, which hoped to improve radically

the quality of all manufactured goods.

Teachers appointed in the early years included Lyonel FEININGER, Gerhard

Marcks, Johannes Itten, and Adolf Meyer (1919); Georg Muche (1920); Paul KLEE

and Oskar SCHLEMMER (1921); Wassily KANDINSKY (1922); and Laszlo MOHOLY-NAGY

(1923). From the beginning, the striking newness of the concepts developed at

the Bauhaus and the liberal beliefs of many of the people associated with it

aroused strong opposition.

In 1925 political pressures forced the removal of the school from Weimar to

Dessau, where Gropius designed a new complex of buildings for it, including

classrooms, shops, offices, and dwellings for faculty and students. This group

of buildings in Dessau came to symbolize the Bauhaus to the rest of the world.

Although Gropius repeatedly insisted that it was never his intention to codify

a Bauhaus style or dogma, the need for a new architectural image appropriate to

a technological age caused the Bauhaus to be adopted as a model for what came

to be known as the INTERNATIONAL STYLE, or, more generally, MODERN


Gropius left the Bauhaus for private practice in 1928 and was succeeded as

director by Hannes Meyer. Strong political pressures continued. In 1930

Ludwig MIES VAN DER ROHE took over as director, moved the school to Berlin in

1932, and finally closed and disbanded it under pressure from the Nazis in

1933. Among the former students who became important teachers at the Bauhaus

were Joseph ALBERS, Marcel BREUER, and Herbert Bayer. The Bauhaus became

influential around the world as a result of the continued active teaching and

designing by former faculty and students, including many Americans. In the

United States, Gropius became dean of the School of Architecture at Harvard

University, Mies van der Rohe became dean of architecture at Illinois Institute

of Technology, and Moholy-Nagy founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago.

The work and principles of the Bauhaus have been further disseminated by many

publications and exhibitions that have circulated internationally. A major

Bauhaus Archive, founded at Darmstadt in 1961, was moved in the 1970s to

Berlin. Another Bauhaus Archive is kept at Harvard University. The design

philosophy of the Bauhaus continues pervasive to the present day. RON


Bibliography: Franciscono, Marcel, Walter Gropius and the Creation of the

Bauhaus in Weimar (1971); Wingler, Hans, The Bauhaus (1969).

Eastman, George

George Eastman, b. Waterville, N.Y., July 12, 1854, d. Mar. 14, 1932,

founded (1892) the Eastman Kodak Company. While working as a bank clerk, he

became interested in PHOTOGRAPHY. He refined the process for making

photographic plates, which he soon began to manufacture, and in 1884 he

introduced flexible FILM. He produced his Kodak box CAMERA in 1888, marketing

it on a mass basis for amateur photographers. Large investments in research

led to further innovations in cameras and equipment, including daylight-loading

film and pocket cameras. Eastman gave enormous sums to educational

institutions, and in his company introduced the first employee profit-sharing

system in the United States.

Bibliography: Coe, Brian, George Eastman (1976).

Lang, Fritz

A long and distinguished career in Germany made Fritz Lang, b. Vienna, Dec.

5, 1890, d. Aug. 2, 1976, probably the most famous of the many European film

directors who fled Hitler for Hollywood during the 1930s. Lang's early studies

of painting and architecture clearly influenced the expressionist style and

grand scale of such films as Destiny (1921), the two-part Nibelung Saga (1924),

and his celebrated depiction of a futuristic slave society, Metropolis (1927).

During the same period Lang was also making smaller-scaled studies of criminal

society in Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922) and The Spy (1928), which, with The

Last Will of Dr. Mabuse (1932), strongly suggested his anti-Nazi sentiments.

Lang's interest in the criminal mind produced his masterpiece--the chilling

portrait of a child killer, M (1931), Lang's first sound film, starring Peter

Lorre. Lang left Germany for France in 1933.

Lang made a highly successful American debut with Fury (1936), an indictment of

mob violence, followed by a plea for social justice in You Only Live Once

(1937). These films gave way to a succession of melodramas, most notably The

Ministry of Fear (1944), The Woman in the Window (1944), and Scarlet Street

(1945), that painted a picture of society less in terms of social issues than

of a nameless, oppressive sense of dread. These expressionist nightmares,

along with M, constitute the height of Lang's achievement. Thereafter,

although he directed an offbeat Western in Rancho Notorious (1952), a

first-rate police thriller in The Big Heat (1953), and a stylish costume drama

in Moonfleet (1955), his films were of diminishing interest. A distinctive

stylist despite the multiplicity of genres in which he worked, Lang was much

admired by the French New Wave directors of the 1960s. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Bogdanovich, Peter, Fritz Lang in America (1968); Eisner, Lotte,

Fritz Lang (1977); Jensen, Paul M., The Cinema of Fritz Lang (1969).

Murnau, F. W.


Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, originally surnamed Plumpe, b. Dec. 28, 1888,

directed films during the German cinema's most experimental period and was

perhaps the greatest of all filmmakers of the 1920s. Fewer than half of his 22

films have been preserved, but what remains is proof that he excelled in every

genre he tried: the horror film, as in Nosferatu (1922); realistic lowlife

drama, as in The Last Laugh (1924); and classical adaptation, as in Faust

(1926). His command of lighting and composition, together with his fluent

moving camera style, are also apparent in his Hollywood films--especially his

masterpiece, Sunrise (1927), which transmutes melodrama into the purest

cinematic poetry. Murnau was killed in a car crash near Monterey on Mar. 11,

1931, a week before the opening of his romantic South Seas narrative, Tabu.


Bibliography: Eisner, Lotte H., Murnau (1973).

Pabst, G. W.


A major contributor to the German cinema during its experimental silent and

early sound eras, director George William Pabst, b. Bohemia, Aug. 27, 1885,

d. May 30, 1967, is especially identified with the straightforward portrayal

of human degradation, as in two of his greatest films, Joyless Street (1925)

and Pandora's Box (1929). In these he combined realism and social commentary,

although he was equally adept at working in naturalistic and expressionist

genres. Equally well known are Pabst's first sound films, the pacifist

Westfront 1918 (1930) and Kameradschaft (1931)--whose appeal to

internationalist sentiment displeased the Nazis--and his version of Brecht and

Weill's Dreigroschenoper (Threepenny Opera, 1931). His Don Quixote (1933),

made in France, starred the renowned Russian singer Chaliapin in his only film

role. Following World War II, Pabst made The Trial (1947) and Ten Days to Die

(1955), an account of Hitler's end.

Kracauer, Siegfried

(krah'-kow-ur, zeek'-freet)

Siegfried Kracauer, b. Feb. 8, 1889, d. Nov. 26, 1966, was an influential

German-Jewish film historian and theoretician best known for his championship

of realism as the truest function of cinema. Cultural affairs editor (1920-33)

of the Frankfurter Zeitung, Kracauer left Germany after the rise of Adolf

Hitler, and during World War II he conducted research into Nazi propaganda

films for New York's Museum of Modern Art. His From Caligari to Hitler (1947)

was an exploration of the roots of Nazism in the German cinema of the 1920s.

Kracauer's most important work, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical

Reality (1960), argues--with more intensity than consistency--for a cinema

devoted to the presentation of real-life people in real-life situations in a

style from which all theatrical or aesthetically formal elements would be


Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich

(ize'-en-shtine, sir-gay' mee-ky'-loh-vich)

Sergei Eisenstein, b. Jan. 23 (N.S.), 1898, d. Feb. 11, 1948, was a seminal

figure in the history of FILM, known for his stylistic innovations and theory

of MONTAGE. His theoretical and practical work are still intensely studied.

Of a well-to-do family from Riga, now in the USSR, Eisenstein studied

engineering and architecture in Petrograd, where he witnessed both the February

and October revolutions of 1917. His service in the Red Army during Russia's

Civil War led him to design (1920) for a front-line mobile theater troupe.

Following the war, Eisenstein worked in Moscow's experimental theaters and

studied under Vsevolod Meyerhold. As a designer and director for the

Proletcult Theatre, Eisenstein and the experimental group he gathered around

him staged Aleksandr Ostrovsky's Even a Wise Man Stumbles (1923) as a circus,

incorporating into the production a short film interlude. This foreshadowed

Eisenstein's subsequent theater work, all of which contained significant

cinematic elements. Placed in charge of Proletcult's first large film project,

Towards the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, envisioned as a series of seven

historical films, Eisenstein began work on Strike (1925); combining exaggerated

theatrical elements with some of the most realistic footage ever filmed by

Eisenstein, this was recognized for its artistic and political power.

Eisenstein's next film, a treatment of the June 1905 naval mutiny on the

battleship Potemkin, received international acclaim after it was shown in

Berlin. The Battleship Potemkin (1925) demonstrated abroad that the USSR could

produce an original film masterpiece and also demonstrated Eisenstein's use of

montage, a revolutionary film editing technique. October (1928), also known as

Ten Days That Shook the World, was similarly innovative, introducing sequences

that tested Eisenstein's theory of an "intellectual cinema," which aimed at

nothing less than the communication of abstract thought by visual means. A

propaganda film (The General Line) on behalf of the collectivization of Soviet

agriculture was released in 1929 under the title Old and New. Between 1929 and

1932 Eisenstein studied foreign sound-film systems in western Europe; signed a

contract with Paramount Pictures (later canceled); and, with the financial

backing of Upton Sinclair, began filming an epic of Mexican culture to be

called Que Viva Mexico!, all footage of which was seized by the Sinclairs after

production was halted (1932).

Trouble also plagued Eisenstein's projects in the USSR, where, in the 1930s,

Stalin's socialist realism supplanted earlier Soviet experimentalism. The

historical drama Alexander Nevsky (1938) temporarily restored Eisenstein to

favor, besides showing what he could do in sound film (in collaboration with

composer Sergei Prokofiev). His last film, made in Kazakhstan during World War

II, was Ivan the Terrible (1944-46), of which only Part I was seen in uncensored

form. Eisenstein's thoughts on film theory and practice can be found in

translations of his The Film Sense (1942), Film Form (1949), Notes of a Film

Director (1959), and Film Essays (1968). JAY LEYDA

Bibliography: Barna, Yon, Eisenstein (1974); Moussinac, Leon, Sergei Eisenstein

(1970); Montagu, Ivor, With Eisenstein in Hollywood (1968); Nizhniy, Vladimir,

Lessons with Eisenstein (1962); Seton, Marie, Sergei M. Eisenstein (1952).


(film, literature, theater)

Surrealism, meaning above realism, is an antiaesthetic movement that grew out

of the nihilistic DADA movement of the years during and immediately after World

War I. Its range being that of human thought itself, surrealism is limited in

scope and application only by the human capacity for self-expression, which

surrealists aim to expand. Writing, painting, film, sculpture, or any other

art form assumes significance for the surrealist when it expresses a surrealist

state of mind.

Surrealism began as a revolt against the control exercised by rationality over

accepted modes of communication. The first surrealists attacked inherited

preconceptions about the nature and function of word poems. In 1919, Andre

BRETON and Philippe Soupault produced the first specifically surrealist text,

Les Champs magnetiques (Magnetic Fields, 1921), by so-called automatic writing,

in which the surrealist banishes deliberate intent, leaving the pen free to

express on paper the uncensored images that well up from the subconscious.

Seeking to embrace all forms of creative expression in their liberative effort

to attain what Breton in his 1924 Manifeste du surrealisme (Manifesto of

Surrealism) called "the true functioning of thought," the surrealists set about

attacking, on the broadest possible front, conventions, prescribed rules, and

consecrated values--cultural as well as aesthetic. This explains, for

instance, their enthusiasm for the films of Luis BUNUEL, whose L'Age d'or (The

Golden Age, 1930) surpassed in violent iconoclasm even his first movie, Un

Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog, 1928).

In its negative attitude toward literary and artistic tradition, and in its

opposition to the heritage of Western culture, surrealism superficially

resembled Dada, the movement with which some of its earliest members, including

Louis ARAGON, Roger VITRAC, Breton, Soupault, and its greatest poet, Benjamin

Peret, all had been affiliated. However, surrealism marked a stage beyond the

nihilism that had inevitably brought Dada to self-destruction. Surrealism was

truly international, and exponents of its revolutionary principles shared an

unshakable faith in the power of the imagination to revitalize poetry and art,

and to compensate for the sociopolitical and religious forces that they found

so oppressive and stultifying in contemporary society. J. H. MATTHEWS

Bibliography: Alquie, Ferdinand, The Philosophy of Surrealism (1965); Breton,

Andre, What Is Surrealism? (1978); Gascoyne, David, A Short Survey of

Surrealism (1935); Matthews, J. H., An Introduction to Surrealism (1965);

Nadeau, Maurice, The History of Surrealism (1965); Read, Herbert, ed.,

Surrealism (1936; repr. 1971).

Kazan, Elia

{kuh-zan', eel'-yuh}^An American stage and film director, Elia Kazan

(originally Kazanjoglous), b. Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 7, 1909, to Greek

parents, became a director after a brief career as an actor with New York's

Group Theater in the 1930s. His greatest success was directing plays by Arthur

Miller and Tennessee Williams, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1947, film,

1951) and Death of a Salesman (1949). He directed the Academy Award-winning

films Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On The Waterfront (1954), as well as

East of Eden (1955), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Splendor in the Grass (1961),

and The Last Tycoon (1976). His two autobiographical novels, America, America

(1962) and The Arrangement (1967), were turned into films in 1963 and 1968.

Bibliography: Koszarski, Richard, Hollywood Directors, 1941-1976 (1977).

Jolson, Al


The singer Al Jolson, b. Asa Yoelson in Lithuania, c.1886, d. Oct. 23, 1950,

immigrated with his family to Washington, D.C., around 1895. After a long

apprenticeship as a singer in burlesque, minstrel shows, and vaudeville, he won

(1911) his first important role in the Broadway show La Belle Paree. Jolson's

style was notable for its vigor and volume, its blatant sentimentality, and for

his use of blackface, a leftover theatrical convention from the already

moribund minstrel show. His work--especially his film roles, beginning with

The Jazz Singer (1927), the first major sound picture--won him a large audience

during his lifetime. Jolson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Merit

posthumously for his many overseas tours of wartime army camps, the last at the

beginning of the Korean War in 1950.

Bibliography: Friedland, Michael, Jolson (1972). Discography:Best of Al

Jolson: Steppin' Out and California, Here I Come (1911-29).

Duchamp, Marcel


Marcel Duchamp, b. July 28, 1887, d. Oct. 2, 1968, was a French painter and

theorist, a major proponent of DADA, and one of the most influential figures of

avant-garde 20th-century art. After a brief early period in which he was

influenced chiefly by Paul CEZANNE and Fauve color (see FAUVISM), Duchamp

developed a type of symbolic painting, a dynamic version of facet CUBISM

(similar to FUTURISM), in which the image depicted successive movements of a

single body. It closely resembled the multiple exposure photography documented

in Eadward MUYBRIDGE's book The Horse in Motion (1878).

In 1912, Duchamp painted his famous Nude Descending A Staircase, which caused a

scandal at the 1913 ARMORY SHOW in New York City. In the same year he

developed, with Francis PICABIA and Guillaume APOLLINAIRE, the radical and

ironic ideas that independently prefigured the official founding of Dada in

1916 in Zurich. In Paris in 1914, Duchamp bought and inscribed a bottle rack,

thereby producing his first ready-made, a new art form based on the principle

that art does not depend on established rules or on craftsmanship. Duchamp's

ready-mades are ordinary objects that are signed and titled, becoming

aesthetic, rather than functional, objects simply by this change in context.

Dada aimed at departure from the physical aspect of painting and emphases in

ideas as the chief means of artistic expression.

In 1915, Duchamp moved to New York City, where he was befriended by Louise and

Walter Arensberg and their circle of artists and poets, which constituted New

York Dada. That same year he began his major work, The Large Glass, or The

Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915-23), a construction of wire

and painted foil fitted between plates of transparent glass. In 1918 he

completed his last major painting, Tu m', a huge oil and graphite on canvas, a

unique combination of real and painted objects and illusionistic and flat

space. Following his maxim never to repeat himself, Duchamp "stopped" painting

(1923) after 20 works and devoted himself largely to the game of chess.

Nevertheless, by 1944 he had secretly begun sketches on a new project, and

between 1946 and 1949 created his last work, the Etant Donnes (Philadelphia


Bibliography: Alexandrian, Sarane, Duchamp (1977); d'Harnoncourt, Anne, and

McShine, Kynaston, eds., Marcel Duchamp (1973); Duchamp, Marcel, From the Green

Box, trans. by George H. Hamilton (1957); Golding, John, Duchamp (1973);

Schwarz, Arturo, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, 2d ed. (1970); Tomkins,

Calvin, The World of Marcel Duchamp (1966).

Renoir, Jean


One of the greatest and best-loved of all French filmmakers, Jean Renoir, b.

Sept. 15, 1894, d. Feb. 13, 1979, the second son of the impressionist

painter Auguste Renoir, exercised a major influence on French cinema for almost

50 years. From his beginnings in the silent era, aspects of his mature film

style were apparent: a love of nature, rejection of class values, and a

mixture of joy and sorrow. Some of his earliest films were made with his wife

Catherine Hessling as star, among them an interpretation of Zola's Nana (1926),

and The Little Match Girl (1928).

During the 1930s Renoir was at the top of his form in two celebrations of

anarchy, La Chienne (The Bitch, 1931) and Boudu sauve des eaux (Boudu Saved

from Drowning, 1932). A new social concern appeared in Toni (1935), Le Crime

de Monsieur Lange (1936), and especially La Vie est a nous (People of France,

1936), made for the French Communist party during the heyday of the Popular

Front. Renoir's reputation, however, rests mainly on A Day in the Country

(1936, completed 1946), based on a bittersweet de Maupassant story; a free

adaptation of Gorki's The Lower Depths (1936); and the widely acclaimed Grand

Illusion (1937). Two very different masterpieces written and directed by

Renoir, the tightly structured The Human Beast (1938) and the largely

improvised Rules of the Game (1939)--which perfectly captured the mood of

France before its collapse in 1940--crowned this prolific period.

Renoir spent the war years in Hollywood, but even the best of his films made in

the United States, such as The Southerner (1945) and The Diary of a Chambermaid

(1946), lack the excitement of his prewar work. He found a new approach and a

new philosophy in India, where he made his first color film, The River (1950),

before returning to Europe to make the colorful and relaxed films of his

maturity: The Golden Coach (1952), French Can Can (1954), and Paris Does

Strange Things (1956). Always an innovator, Renoir used television techniques

in the 1959 filming of Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier and Picnic on the

Grass, the latter strongly evocative of the sun-filled landscapes beloved by

his father. For his last film, The Elusive Corporal (1962), set in World War

II, he returned to themes earlier explored in Grand Illusion and The Lower

Depths. Renoir's considerable influence on the French New Wave directors of

the late 1950s can be seen especially in the films of Francois Truffaut. ROY


Bibliography: Bazin, Andre, Jean Renoir, ed. by Francois Truffaut (1973);

Braudy, Leo, Jean Renoir--The World of His Films (1972); Durgnat, Raymond, Jean

Renoir (1974); Gilliatt, Penelope, Jean Renoir: Essays, Conversations, and

Reviews (1975); Renoir, Jean, My Life and My Films (1974).

Melies, Georges

{may-lee-es'}^A major contributor to the development of world cinema in its

formative years, the Frenchman Georges Melies, b. Paris, Dec. 6, 1861, d.

Jan. 21, 1938, began his career as a conjurer. He was attracted to the cinema

immediately after seeing the first Lumiere showings in 1895 and soon developed

his own distinctive studio-based style. Melies was fascinated by the spectacle

and trickery possible in the cinema, and his hundreds of little films, mostly

dealing with fantastic subjects, are full of dancing girls and acrobatic

devils, awe-inspiring disasters and miraculous transformations. For 10 years

after 1896, Melies's Star Film company was a dominant force in the film

industry, producing such inventive and amusing short subjects as A Trip to the

Moon (1902) and New York-Paris by Automobile (1908). His production methods

and conception of film action as a sequence of tableaux, however, gradually

became outdated. He ceased production in 1912 and was reduced to poverty. ROY


Bibliography: Hammond, Paul, Marvellous Melies (1974).


Neorealism as an Italian literary movement can be said to have begun in 1929

with Alberto MORAVIA's Time of Indifference (Eng. trans., 1932), a novel that

unflinchingly addressed highly sensitive moral, social, and political issues

during the early repressive years of Mussolini's dictatorship. The movement

developed slowly, however, until the overthrow of the fascist regime in 1943.

Neorealist novels of the next 12 years by such disparate writers as Vasco

PRATOLINI, Domenico Rea, and Italo CALVINO focused on the plight of

working-class people and thus represented a break with the elitist tradition

that had characterized Italian literature for centuries. Neorealism, both as a

style and as a political outlook, became even better known internationally

through the 1940s and postwar films of Italian directors Luchino VISCONTI

(Ossessione, 1942; La Terra Trema, 1948), Roberto ROSSELLINI (Open City, 1945;

Paisan, 1947), and Vittorio DE SICA (Shoeshine, 1946; The Bicycle Thief, 1948;

Umberto D., 1952). SERGIO PACIFICI

De Sica, Vittorio

(day see'-kah)

The Italian film director and actor Vittorio De Sica, b. July 7, 1901, d.

Nov. 13, 1974, achieved international recognition after World War II for his

important contributions to Italian neorealistic cinema as well as for his

numerous, mostly comic, starring roles. Trained in the 1920s for the stage, De

Sica won success as a film actor in the 1930s and directed his first film, Rose

Scarlette, in 1940. The Children Are Watching Us (1942) marked the beginning

of his long collaboration with the screenwriter and theorist of neorealism

Cesare Zavattini. Fame came with Shoeshine (1946), a harsh social commentary

on war-ravaged Italy that exemplified the neorealist style. This was followed

by Bicycle Thieves (1948), the story of an unemployed man's search for work;

the fantasy Miracle in Milan (1951); and Umberto D (1952), a haunting portrayal

of a poor and hopeless old man.

During the 1950s, De Sica appeared in more than 50 films, playing his most

memorable role as the scoundrel-turned-hero of General della Rovere (1959). In

the 1960s he concentrated on commercial successes, two of which--Two Women

(1960) and Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1963)--won Academy Awards. With The

Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1971), about the plight of Jews in Fascist Italy,

De Sica returned to the social commentary, but not the style, of his earlier

films. His last picture was A Brief Vacation (1973). GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Losey, Joseph

{loh'-zee}^Although forced to abandon his career in the United States when

blacklisted in the 1950s, Joseph Losey, b. La Crosse, Wis., Jan. 14, 1909, d.

June 22, 1984, went on to become an important director in the British film

industry. After extensive stage experience, Losey made his first feature film,

The Boy with Green Hair, in 1948. This was followed by several taut

melodramas--The Lawless (1950), The Prowler (1951), M (1951; a remake of Fritz

Lang's classic), and The Big Night (1951)--that some still consider his best

work. In 1952, during a period in which he was forced to work pseudonymously,

he moved to London. There Losey gained international recognition with The

Servant (1963), a film that marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration

with playwright Harold PINTER, later resumed in Accident (1967) and The

Go-Between (1971). The charged atmospherics of these films also characterized

such subsequent Losey efforts without Pinter as The Romantic Englishwoman

(1975) and Mr. Klein (1977). WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Hirsch, Joseph, Joseph Losey (1980); Leahy, James, The Cinema of

Joseph Losey (1967); Losey, Joseph, Losey on Losey, ed. by Tom Milne (1968).

Visconti, Luchino

An aristocrat by birth and a Marxist by inclination, Italian filmmaker Luchino

Visconti, b. Nov. 2, 1906, d. Mar. 17, 1976, is known both for his

contributions to NEOREALISM and his frank aestheticism. After working with

Renoir, he directed his first film, Ossessione (1942), an antecedent, and

arguably one of the masterpieces, of neorealist cinema. In the film

self-destructive sexual passions are played out against a landscape of

extraordinary beauty. Visconti used documentary techniques in his next film,

La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles, 1948), to describe the lives of peasants in

a Sicilian fishing village. One of his favorite themes was the tension between

family solidarity and the destructive power of family relationships, best

expressed in Rocco and His Brothers (1960) and The Damned (1969). Visconti's

first film in color, Senso (1953), brilliantly portraying political and sexual

conflicts during the Austro-Italian war of 1866, displayed the lavish attention

to detail and love for period reconstructions that would become his hallmarks

in such literary adaptations as The Leopard (1963), The Stranger (1967), Death

in Venice (1971), and The Innocent (1978). GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Bibliography: Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey, Luchino Visconti (1973); Stirling,

Monica, Screen of Time: A Study of Luchino Visconti (1979).

Fellini, Federico

{fel-lee'-nee, fay-day-ree'-koh}^Federico Fellini, Italy's most famous

filmmaker, b. Jan. 20, 1920, has worked with equal enthusiasm and

undiminished energy as an exponent of neorealism, as the creator of symbolic

fantasies, and as a popularizer of the flamboyant and grotesque. His personal

signature is nowhere more evident than in the cinematic classics La Strada and

La Dolce Vita.^After starting in Rome as a cartoonist and sketch writer,

Fellini turned in 1939 to script writing, collaborating with Roberto Rossellini

on such neorealist films as Open City (1945) and The Miracle (1948)--in which

he also acted--before emerging as a director on his own. The White Skeikh

(1952), his first solo effort, showed his inventiveness as a comic director,

and I Vitelloni (1953), an evocation of the Rimini of his youth, demonstrated

his insight into the provincial bourgeoisie. La Strada (1954), starring his

wife Giulietta Masina, secured his position as a major director and won a 1956

Academy Award as the best foreign film. With its comedy and pathos, stunning

visual effects, and haunting musical score, it prodded the viewer into an

awareness of the quixotic nature of life that remains for Fellini a central

truth. This mood was continued in Nights of Cabiria (1956).^In later films

Fellini began to explore more fully the relationship between reality and dream.

La Dolce Vita (1960), a sensational indictment of the indolence and decadence

of modern Rome, was followed by the more openly symbolic 81/2 (1963), in which

Fellini used Pirandellian techniques to comment on his creative problems as an

artist, and Juliet of the Spirits (1965). Critics were less happy with the

exaggerations and thematic repetitiveness of Satyricon (1969), Roma (1972), and

Casanova (1976). All Fellini's strengths--and few of his excesses--coalesced

in Amarcord (1974), a brilliantly nostalgic portrait of his boyhood in Rimini

during the early years of the fascist era. This and his television film, The

Clowns (1970), reveal the essentially autobiographical wellsprings of Fellini's

art. City of Women (1981) returned to his dream theme. His later films

include And the Ship Sails On (1984) and Ginger and Fred (1986), which reunited

Fellini and Masina on the screen.

Bibliography: Bonadella, Peter, ed., Federico Fellini: Essays in Criticism

(1978); Fellini, Federico, Fellini on Fellini, trans. by Isabel Quigley (1976);

Murray, Edward, Fellini the Artist (1976); Rosenthal, Stuart, The Cinema of

Federico Fellini (1976).

Antonioni, Michelangelo

{ahn-toh-nee-oh'-nee, mee-kel-ahn'-jel-oh}^Michelangelo Antonioni, b. Sept.

29, 1912, is an Italian director best known for a trilogy of films begun in

1959 that created a sense of despair through the juxtaposition of haunting

visual imagery, elliptical, mysterious plots, and the portrayal of neurotic,

empty lives. He began his career in the cinema as a film critic and

scriptwriter and, after working with Roberto Rossellini and Marcel Carne, made

his debut as a director in 1943 with the documentary Gente del Po (The People

of the Po Valley). Cronaca di un Amore (Chronicle of a Love, 1950), his first

feature, represented a break with the neorealist tradition. Two later films,

Le Amiche (The Friends, 1955) and Il Grido (The Cry, 1957), were slow-paced and

deliberately obscure in narrative structure. Antonioni's distinctive style

reached its highest expression in the trilogy L'Avventura (The Adventure,

1959), La Notte (Night, 1960), and L'Eclisse (The Eclipse, 1962). In these

films, and in the machine-dominated Deserto Rosso (Red Desert, 1964), his first

color film, mystery and eroticism merge in landscapes of compelling beauty.

Antonioni's subsequent English-language films, Blow-Up (1966), Zabriskie Point

(1970), and The Passenger (1975), and Identification Of A Woman (1982) had less

success with the critics despite their stylistic interest.

Bibliography: Cameron, Ian, and Wood, Robin, Antonioni (1969); Sarris, Andrew,

ed., Interviews with Film Directors (1968).

Wertmuller, Lina

{wairt'-muhl-ur}^A highly original and controversial Italian filmmaker, Lina

Wertmuller, b. c.1926, specializes in melodramatic tragicomedies characterized

by an idiosyncratic blend of wit, irony, socialist dialectics, and sheer

grotesquerie. She has taken on such themes as economic exploitation and the

inability of the striving worker to rise above it in The Seduction of Mimi

(1972), an anarchist's abortive attempt to assassinate Mussolini in Love and

Anarchy (1973), the subordination of natural love to class interests in Swept

Away (1975), and the insanities to which chauvinism--male or national--can lead

in Seven Beauties (1976). In 1977 she directed her first English language

film, The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in A Night Full of Rain. Her other

films include Blood Feud (1978), A Joke of Destiny (1983), and Sotto Sotto

(1985). She directed an off-Broadway play entitled Love and Magic in Mama's

Kitchen (1983) and wrote the novel The Head of Alvise (1982). Wertmuller has

demonstrated rare ingenuity in mixing the tragic with the farcical but is more

successful in communicating her love for human nature than any political


Bibliography: Ferlita, Ernest, and May, John R., Parables of Lina Wertmuller


Guinness, Sir Alec

(gin'-es) Alec Guinness, b. Apr. 2, 1914, is an English stage and screen

actor known particularly for his character roles and comic impersonations. He

was a respected member of the Old Vic when roles in film adaptations of two

Dickens novels--Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946) and Fagin in Oliver

Twist (1948)--brought him a larger public. He became better known through

bravura performances in such British film comedies as Kind Hearts and Coronets

(1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), The Man in the White Suit (1951), and The

Ladykillers (1955).

Guinness received an Oscar for his performance in The Bridge on the River Kwai

(1957) and was knighted in 1959. Guinness subsequently gave distinguished

dramatic performances in Tunes of Glory (1960), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and

Star Wars (1977).

Since 1980, Guinness has made several television appearances that further

attest to his versatility as a character actor, including his highly acclaimed

performances as George Smiley in the television miniseries "Tinker, Tailor,

Soldier, Spy" (1980) and its sequel, "Smiley's People" (1981)--both based on

John LECARRE novels.

Bibliography: Tynan, Kenneth, Alec Guinness: An Illustrated Study of His Work

for Stage and Screen, 3d ed. (1961).

Kurosawa, Akira

{koo-roh'-sah-wah, ah-kee'-rah}^The best-known Japanese film director, Akira

Kurosawa, b. Mar. 23, 1910, first achieved international recognition with

Rashomon (1950)--a brilliant study of a crime of violence told from four

different points of view--which won the 1951 Venice grand prize. His

reputation within Japan, however, was based on a series of chambara

(sword-fight) epics set in feudal times, such as Sugata Sanshiro (1943), The

Seven Samurai (1954), and Yojimbo (1961). Kurosawa has also dealt sensitively

with contemporary themes in Ikiru (1952), about a lonely old man dying of

cancer; High and Low (1963), a taut crime drama set in modern Yokohama; and Red

Beard (1965), an indictment of social injustice. Known for his use of multiple

cameras, extended takes, and tight editing, Kurosawa has made screen

adaptations of Dostoyevsky's The Idiot (1951), Gorky's The Lower Depths (1957),

and Shakespeare's Macbeth (Throne of Blood, 1957). Dersu Uzala (1976), which

won an Academy Award, was made in the USSR. With Kagemusha (1980), he returned

to Japan and to the medieval drama he has exploited so successfully in the

past. His samurai adaptation of King Lear, Ran (1985), was both a critical and

popular success. Kurosawa's reminiscenses (Something Like an Autobiography,

trans. by Audie E. Bock) were published in 1982.

Bibliography: Mellen, Joan, Voices from the Japanese Cinema (1975); Richie,

Donald, The Films of Akira Kurosawa (1965). Sato, Tadao, Currents in Japanese

Cinema (1982).

Pinter, Harold

{pin'-tur}^Harold Pinter, b. Oct. 10, 1930, one of England's leading

contemporary playwrights, studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

and began his theatrical career as an actor. He wrote his first play, The

Room, in 1957, but first established himself as a highly original talent in

1960 with The Caretaker, a characteristic Pinteresque drama in its evocation of

terror amid farcical "business" and sometimes fanciful dialogue. Typically,

Pinter's solipsistic characters seek security, self-identification, and

verification of truth but find communication virtually impossible. Instead,

there are pathetic games, cliches, long silences, and sinister threats, all

presented in suspenseful yet comic plots. Akin to the theater of the absurd,

Pinter's plays have more accurately been called "comedies of menace."^In

Pinter's first full-length play, The Birthday Party (1958), for instance, two

gangsters interrogate and terrorize a nervous young pianist. The Caretaker

(1960) centers on an old derelict who intrudes on two mysterious brothers and

is ultimately thrown out by them. Pinter's reputation as an allusive and

controversial dramatist grew significantly with The Homecoming (1965), in which

a married couple visits the lower-class father and brothers of the husband, now

a philosophy professor in the United States, and the wife finally remains in

England to serve the family as a prostitute. Two later plays, Old Times (1971)

and No Man's Land (1975), deal, respectively, with a middle-aged couple, their

mysterious visitor (who once knew the wife), and the power of memory to wound;

and the curious relationship between two elderly men of letters, one a success,

the other a failure.^A less typical, lyrical Pinter double bill consists of the

solitary reminiscences of a sentimental wife and her bluff but unimaginative

mate (Landscape, 1968) and of a woman and two men with whom she once kept

company (Silence, 1969). More characteristic of Pinter are the one-act plays

The Dumb Waiter (1960), The Lover (1963), Tea Party (1965), and The Basement

(1967).^Pinter has written screenplays for his own The Caretaker (1962) and The

Birthday Party (1969) as well as for three films directed by Joseph Losey: The

Servant (1963), Accident (1967), and The Go-Between (1971). The controversial

screenplay for the movie The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981; John Fowles's

novel) was also by Pinter. He also adapted Russell Hoban's novel Turtle Diary

(1985) for the screen. Since 1967 Pinter has also directed such plays as Simon

Gray's Butley (1971; film, 1973) and Otherwise Engaged (1975). His most recent

plays are Betrayal (1979; film, 1983, from Pinter's screenplay), and Family

Voices (1981). In 1985 he directed Lauren Bacall in a London production of

Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. MYRON MATLAW

Bibliography: Dukore, Bernard F., Where Laughter Stops: Pinter's Tragicomedy

(1976); Esslin, Martin, The Peopled Wound: The Work of Harold Pinter (1970);

Gale, Steven H., Butter's Going Up: A Critical Analysis of Harold Pinter's Work

(1977); Hayman, Ronald, Harold Pinter (1973); Hinchliffe, Arnold, Harold Pinter


Mizoguchi, Kenji

(mee'-zoh-goo-chee, ken'-jee)

The Japanese film director Kenji Mizoguchi, b. May 16, 1898, d. Aug. 24,

1956, is best known for his jidai-geki, or "period dramas," with their

portrayal of the horrors of war, the lives of courtesans, and male-female

relationships. His films (about 80) are wrought with a beauty and clarity

unparalleled in Japanese cinema. Early productions dealt with the sufferings

of women; his later efforts, such as Saikaku Ichidai Onna (The Life of Oharu,

1952), Ugetsu Monogatari (1953), and Chikamatsu Monogatari (1954), reflect his

meditative style, which is characterized by long takes, a virtually immobile

camera, few close-ups, and slow dissolves. GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Bibliography: Anderson, Joseph L., and Richie, Donald, The Jap anese Film


Ray, Satyajit

{ry, suht'-yuh-jit}^Satyajit Ray, b. May 2, 1922, is India's foremost film

director. A versatile craftsman who has worked in several film genres, Ray is

known best outside India for his moving depictions of Indian family life. His

acknowledged masterpiece, the neorealist trilogy made up of Pather Panchali

(1955), Aparajito (1956), and The World of Apu (1959), lyrically chronicles the

day-to-day activities of a rural Bengali family and the coming of age of the

boy Apu. Two other outstanding Ray films, Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958) and

Mahanagar (The Big City, 1963), deal with the changing nature of contemporary

Indian life, whereas Charulata (1964) is a graceful adaptation of Rabindranath

Tagore's classic portrait of the Indian middle classes in the Victorian era.

In later films such as Aranyer din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest, 1970),

Pratidwandi (The Adversary, 1970), and Seemabadha (Company Ltd., 1971), Ray has

focused on political and social themes without losing his humanistic

perspective. He composed the music for many of his films, including the Ghare

baire (Home of the World, 1984), based on Tagore's novel about the Bengal in

the early 20th century. GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Bibliography: Seton, Marie, Portrait of a Director: Satyajit Ray (1971).

Bergman, Ingrid

Ingrid Bergman, b. Aug. 29, 1915, d. Aug. 29, 1982, was a popular stage and

film actress in her native Sweden before going to Hollywood, where she made an

English-language version of her Swedish hit Intermezzo (1939). Bergman was

probably best known for her roles in Casablanca (1942); For Whom the Bell Tolls

(1943); Gaslight (1944), for which she received her first Academy Award; The

Bells of St. Mary's (1945); and two Alfred HITCHCOCK films, Spellbound (1945)

and Notorious (1946). She returned to Europe after the scandalous publicity

surrounding her affair with Italian director Roberto ROSSELLINI (whom she later

married and divorced) during the filming of Stromboli (1950). But she returned

to Hollywood and triumphed in Anastasia (1956), for which she received another

Oscar. She received a third for her role in Murder on the Orient Express

(1974). She also starred in Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata (1978). Her last

role was in the television film A Woman Called Golda (1981).

Bibliography: Bergman, Ingrid, and Burgess, Allan, Ingrid Bergman: My Story

(1980); Quirk, Lawrence J., The Films of Ingrid Bergman (1970; repr. 1975).

Bergman, Ingmar

Ingmar Ernst Bergman, b. July 14, 1918, is a major Swedish filmmaker who for

over 20 years has sustained a reputation as an artist of international stature.

The son of a Lutheran pastor, Bergman attended Stockholm University and began

his directing career in the theater, where he continues to work as extensively

as he does in films. He wrote the screenplay for the director Alf Sjoberg's

internationally acclaimed Torment in 1944, and the next year he directed his

first film, Crisis.^Although Bergman's Illicit Interlude (1950) was moderately

successful and the lighthearted Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) even more so,

it was only after The Seventh Seal (1957), which made an extraordinarily

powerful impression with its despairing philosophy and stark medieval imagery,

that a widespread interest developed in such earlier Bergman films as The Naked

Night (1953) and A Lesson in Love (1956). With The Seventh Seal, Bergman

definitively established the theme that was to characterize virtually all his

subsequent work--the individual's quasi-religious search for faith in a context

of anguished doubt. This is central to such varied films as Wild Strawberries

(1957), The Magician (1958), The Virgin Spring (1960), and his "chamber"

trilogy: Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1963), and The Silence

(1963).^By the mid-1960s Bergman had assembled a group of actors into a now

familiar stock company, among them Max VON SYDOW, Liv ULLMANN, Harriet

Andersson, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand, and Ingrid Thulin. In 1966 he

undertook a greater formal experimentation with Persona, an intriguing

psychological study of two women that is considered by many one of his most

important works. This was followed by a less successful Gothic exercise, Hour

of the Wolf (1968); an antiwar allegory, Shame (1968); and a more realistic

film, The Passion of Anna (1969). In the searing Cries and Whispers (1972),

Bergman again used Gothic and dreamlike elements, this time in an intense

exploration of the relationship among three sisters, but that film was followed

by the naturalistic simplicity of Scenes from a Marriage (1974), a great

popular success. Critics were less pleased with some of Bergman's later work,

finding the subject matter of Face to Face (1975) overly familiar and rating

his English-language The Serpent's Egg (1977) an overall failure. Autumn

Sonata (1978) and From the Life of the Marionettes (1980) were critical

successes, however, although the latter failed at the box office. Fanny and

Alexander (1983), a rich and fantastic portrait of childhood in a theatrical

family, was regarded as one of his finest films and won an Academy Award for

best foreign language film of 1983. Subsequently, Bergman directed After the

Rehearsal (1984), his meditation on a life in the theater. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Bergman, Ingmar, Bergman on Bergman (1973); Cowie, Peter, Ingmar

Bergman: A Critical Biography (1982); Marker, Lise-Lone and Frederick J., Ingmar

Bergman; Four Decades in the Theater (1982); Mosley, Philip, Ingmar Bergman: The

Cinema as Mistress (1981); Petrie, Vlada, ed., Film and Dreams: An Approach to

Bergman (1981); Simon, John, Ingmar Bergman Directs (1972); Wood, Robin, Ingmar

Bergman (1969).

New Wave

The term New Wave (in French, Nouvelle Vague) is used to identify the movement

and style of a group of French film directors, including Claude CHABROL, Jean

Luc GODARD, Alain RESNAIS, and Francois TRUFFAUT, who made their first feature

films between 1958 and 1961. Most wrote for the film journal CAHIERS DU CINEMA

and helped develop the auteur (director-oriented) theory of film criticism.

Rejecting traditional French film directing, they advocated instead the more

personal and autobiographical approach used in such films as Truffaut's The 400

Blows (1959). They also emulated American genre films, such as the detective

movie, and favored low-budget location shooting over studio filming. Visually,

they quoted from one another and employed mobile camera techniques and rapid

jump cuts, such as those found in Godard's Breathless (1959).

Bibliography: Graham, Peter J., comp., The New Wave: Critical Landmarks (1968).

Resnais, Alain 0re-nay'0

Known for his innovative literary approach to film, Alain Resnais, b. June 3,

1922, became one of the leading directors of French NEW WAVE cinema when it

emerged in the late 1950s. Before his feature debut Resnais had spent 11 years

making brilliant documentary films on subjects ranging from the painter Van

Gogh (1948) and Picasso's Guernica (1950) to the manufacture of polystyrene

(1958) and the French National Library (1956). His most celebrated

documentary, however, remains Night and Fog (1955), an unforgettable look at

the Nazi extermination camp system.

All Resnais's full-length films are marked by a profound social concern and

precise visual style. Each has been made in collaboration with a writer who is

also a novelist or playwright of note, and each is characterized both by a

totally novel structure and by a fascination with the exploration of time and

memory, illusion and reality. Resnais's impact is shown by the way in which

all of his early collaborators--Marguerite Duras on Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959),

Alain Robbe-Grillet on Last Year at Marienbad (1961), Jean Cayrol on Muriel

(1963), and Jorge Semprun on La Guerre est finie (1966)--have gone on to direct

their own feature films. After a long break from filmmaking in the early

1970s, Resnais returned with two cool but exquisitely shot films, Stavisky

(1974) and Providence (1977). Mon Oncle d'Amerique (1981), made in

collaboration with screenwriter Jean Gruault, was critically and commercially

his most successful film since La Guerre est Finie. Resnais again teamed with

Gruault for La Vie Est un Roman (1983; trans. as Life Is a Bed of Roses). ROY


Bibliography: Armes, Roy, The Cinema of Alain Resnais (1968); Monaco, James,

Alain Resnais (1978); Ward, John, Alain Resnais or the Theme of Time (1968).

Chabrol, Claude

{shah-brawl'}^Claude Chabrol, b. June 24, 1930, is one of the original film

directors of French NEW WAVE cinema. He is best known for his thriller films

made in homage to Alfred Hitchcock, about whom he coauthored Hitchcock (1957).

Chabrol has also been a critic for the influential film journal Cahiers du

Cinema, and his first picture, Le Beau Serge (1958), is generally credited with

establishing the New Wave style. Other works of this skilled and prolific

filmmaker include Les Cousins (1958), Les Biches (1968), La Femme infidele

(1968), Le Boucher (1969), Juste avant la nuit (1971), Ophelia (1973), Folies

Bourgeoise (1977), Blood Relatives (1979), and Le Sang des Autres (1983).

Bibliography: Wood, Robin, and Walker, Michael, Claude Chabrol (1970).

Bertolucci, Bernardo


The Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci, b. Mar. 16, 1940, is

internationally known for such films as The Conformist (1970), a searing

portrait of fascism, and the controversial Last Tango in Paris (1972). He was

greatly influenced by his mentor, Pier Paolo PASOLINI. The later influence of

Jean-Luc GODARD is seen in Partner (1968) and that of Alain RESNAIS in The

Spider's Strategy (1970). Bertolucci's remarkable use of setting and his

precise camera movements, radical political viewpoint, and stringent

emotionalism have culminated in such other films as his 6-hour-long epic 1900

(1975). In Luna (1979), however, critics saw his camera moves as

overdeliberate, contrasting with the visually restrained moves of Tragedy of a

Ridiculous Man (1982). GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Bibliography: Gelmis, Joseph, The Film Director as Superstar (1970).

Godard, Jean Luc

{goh-dahr', zhawn luek}^One of the most influential film directors of the

1960s, Jean Luc Godard, b. Paris, Dec. 3, 1930, of Swiss parents, is best

known for his innovative NEW WAVE films and for his increasingly radical

approaches to politics and art. His experimental use of the hand-held camera,

jump cuts, and flash-shots; his disregard for cinematic continuity; and his

recourse to question-and-answer sessions within films to illustrate

philosophical dialectics did much to revolutionize cinema.^A lively and

controversial contributor to the important journal Cahiers du Cinema from 1952

on, Godard made several shorts before directing his first feature, Breathless

(1959). In Le Petit Soldat (The Little Soldier, 1960), on the Algerian War,

and other films, Godard combined documentary with fictional footage in an

attempt to arrive at a truth beyond art or reality.^Godard's early films dealt

with the nature and contradictions of modern society. Of particular interest

to him was the place of women in society. Une Femme est une femme (A Woman is

a Woman, 1961), a film on male-female relationships with a happy ending, was

followed by the more biting and ironic My Life to Live (1962), on prostitution,

Une Femme mariee (A Married Woman, 1964), Masculin-Feminin (1966), and Two or

Three Things I Know About Her (1966). Their themes rested on the notion of

woman as object, but his approach brought into question the entire

commodity-advertising nexus of today's consumer society--as did his more

blatant attacks on materialism, Alphaville (1965) and Weekend (1968).^In the

late 1960s and early 1970s, Godard's work became increasingly experimental and

noncommercial. In such films as Made in USA (1966), La Chinoise (1967),

Sympathy for the Devil (1968), starring the Rolling Stones, and the

autobiographical Tout va bien (Everything's Fine, 1972), Godard subordinated

considerations of plot and pared down his visual imagery to a few static

tableaux and became increasingly devoted to Marxist polemics. Later, however,

Godard returned to commercial filmmaking with his Every Man for Himself (1981),

Passion (1983), First Name Carmen (1984) and Detective (1985). His treatment

of religious themes in Hail Mary (1985) generated much controversy. GAUTAM


Bibliography: Barr, Charles, et al., The Films of Jean-Luc Godard (1970); Brown,

Royal S., ed., Focus on Godard (1972); Collet, Jean, Jean-Luc Godard, trans. by

Ciba Vaughan, rev. ed. (1970); Kawin, Bruce F., Mindscreen: Bergman, Godard, and

the Language of First-Person Film (1978); Kriedl, John Francis, Jean-Luc Godard


Malle, Louis


Louis Malle, b. Oct. 30, 1932, is a French film director known for his

eclecticism, unconventional themes, and willingness to experiment. After

serving as an assistant to Jacques Cousteau and Robert Bresson, Malle in 1957

directed his first film, Frantic (French title: L'Ascenseur pour l'echafaud),

which introduced actress Jeanne Moreau and photographer Henri Decae to the

cinema-going public. With such later films as The Lovers (1958) and Zazie in

the Metro (1960), Malle came to be recognized as a director with an acute eye

for detail and characterization. The Fire Within (1963), a penetrating study

of an alcoholic, was followed by a musical-comedy romp set in revolutionary

Mexico, Viva Maria (1965), starring the surprising duo of Moreau and Brigitte

Bardot. Malle's refusal to indulge in psychology and his love of extremes in

human nature have prompted him to tackle--successfully and with humor--an

incestuous relationship between mother and son in Murmur of the Heart (1971)

and--with somewhat mixed results--child prostitution in Pretty Baby (1978).

Considered his finest film, the controversial Lacombe, Lucien (1974)

sympathetically portrays the life of a teenaged French collaborator with the

German army of occupation.

Malle has continued to demonstrate his versatility with such films as the

anti-heroic black comedy Atlantic City (1981; screenplay by John GUARE), about

has-beens who have lived their lives in a resort town and hopefuls who arrive

because of the casino boom. My Dinner with Andre (1982) consisted of two men

philosophizing over dinner about spirituality and the artist's role in society.

Crackers (1983) depicted a bumbling group of down-and-out thieves in San

Francisco. In 1982, Malle directed an off-Broadway production of Guare's play

Lydie Breeze. Malle has also made several highly regarded films on India.


Davis, Bette

Bette Davis is the stage name of Ruth Elizabeth Davis, b. Apr. 5, 1908, for

many years one of Hollywood's most popular actresses. Known for her striking,

determined looks, distinctive voice, and outspoken press comments, Davis won

the Academy Award as best actress in Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938).

Particularly acclaimed among Davis's many performances are her roles in Dark

Victory (1939), Elizabeth and Essex (1939), The Little Foxes (1941), Watch on

the Rhine (1943), All About Eve (1950), and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

(1962), in which she played an insane, aging child star. In recent years she

has primarily appeared in television films such as Little Gloria . . . Happy

at Last and A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (both 1982), and the pilot of the series

Hotel (1983). Davis received the Life Achievement Award of the American Film

Institute in 1976. LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Hyman, B. D., My Mother's Keeper (1985); Ringgold, Gene, Films of

Bette Davis (1970); Stine, Whitney, Mother Goddam (1974); Vermilye, Jerry, Bette

Davis (1973)

Grant, Cary

Cary Grant is the professional name of English-born Alexander Archibald Leach,

b. Jan. 18, 1904, who won world fame in dozens of Hollywood movies as the

quintessentially debonair, self-confident sophisticate. Appearing in films

from 1932 on, he played roles particularly suited to his talents in The Awful

Truth (1937) and My Favorite Wife (1940) opposite Irene Dunne, in The

Philadelphia Story (1940) with Katharine Hepburn, and in such Alfred Hitchcock

thrillers as Suspicion (1941), Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955), and

North by Northwest (1959). Grant retired in 1970.

Bibliography: Deschner, Donald, The Films of Cary Grant (1973); Govoni, Albert,

Cary Grant (1971).

Cooper, Gary

Gary Cooper, b. Helena, Mont., May 7, 1901, d. May 13, 1961, was the stage

name of Frank James Cooper, one of the most famous of Hollywood's film stars.

Known especially for his portrayals of strong, silent heroes, he won Academy

awards for two such characterizations: Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon

(1952). Cooper played variations on this role in films such as The Virginians

(1929), A Farewell to Arms (1933), The Plainsman (1937), Beau Geste (1939), For

Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955).

His lighter comic and romantic films include Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and

Love in the Afternoon (1957). LESLIE HALLIWELL

Gable, Clark

Such was the brash charm of American film actor Clark Gable, b. Feb. 1, 1901,

d. Nov. 16, 1960, that for 30 years he was the undisputed king of Hollywood.

As a fast-talking he-man, he was noted for the force of his personality more

than for acting talent. Gable appeared in such classic films as Red Dust

(1932); It Happened One Night, for which he won the Academy Award (1934);

Mutiny On The Bounty (1935); San Francisco (1936); and, most notably, as Rhett

Butler in Gone With The Wind (1939). His postwar films were popular but far

less memorable. He died during the filming of The Misfits (1961). LESLIE


Bibliography: Tornabene, Lyn, Long Live the King (1977).

Sternberg, Josef von

The films of Austrian-American director Josef von Sternberg, pseudonym of Jonas

Stern, b. Vienna, May 29, 1894, d. Dec. 22, 1969, are perhaps the supreme

example of the narrative film's pursuit of visual beauty at the expense of

dramatic values. Sternberg had his first popular success with Underworld

(1927), which was followed by The Docks of New York (1928) and Thunderbolt

(1929). Sternberg then went to Germany to direct The Blue Angel (1930), a

sensational success that inaugurated the director's long association with his

"discovery," Marlene DIETRICH. Their early films together--Morocco (1930),

Dishonoured (1931), and Shanghai Express (1932)--displayed the visual dynamism

that distinguished Sternberg's previous work, but this gradually gave way in

The Scarlet Empress (1934) and The Devil Is a Woman (1935) to increasingly

static and purely decorative glorifications of Dietrich's mystique. Following

the increasingly unpopular Dietrich cycle, Sternberg worked rarely, and, of his

later films, only The Shanghai Gesture (1941) and Anatahan (1953) are notable.

His autobiography, Fun in a Chinese Laundry, appeared in 1965. WILLIAM S.


Bibliography: Baxter, John, The Cinema of Josef von Sternberg (1971); Sarris,

Andrew, The Films of Josef von Sternberg (1966); Weinberg, Herman, Josef von

Sternberg (1967).

Hawks, Howard

In a career that stretched back to silent movies, the film director Howard

Hawks, b. Goshen, Ind., May 30, 1896, d. Dec. 26, 1977, contributed notably

to virtually every movie genre: the gangster film in Scarface (1932),

screwball comedy in Bringing Up Baby (1938) and His Girl Friday (1940), the war

film in The Dawn Patrol (1930) and Air Force (1943), action-adventure in To

Have and Have Not (1944), the private-eye film in The Big Sleep (1946), the

Western in Red River (1948), and the musical in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

(1953). Whether Hawks's films live up to the largest claims of his admirers,

few other directors have better exemplified the virtues of the Hollywood

professional. Although his films typically concentrate on a group bound by

professionalism in some common endeavor, their enduring pleasure results less

from their subjects or themes than from a resolute unpretentiousness and brisk,

direct style. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: McBride, Joseph, ed., Focus on Howard Hawks (1972); Willis,

Donald, The Films of Howard Hawks (1975); Wood, Robin, Howard Hawks (1968).

Capra, Frank

The American film director Frank Capra, b. May 18, 1897, virtually created a

genre with his popular 1930s film comedies. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) was

the prototype for Capra's most characteristic films, in which an idealistic

innocent is pitted against the forces of corruption in an apparently hopeless

but ultimately victorious battle. Capra won Academy Awards for best direction

with It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds (1936), and You Can't Take It

With You (1938). With an ever-increasing stylistic virtuosity, he went on to

make Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), and It's A

Wonderful Life (1946). His Lost Horizon (1937) and Arsenic and Old Lace (1942)

also proved popular. He was in charge of the U.S. government's war

documentary series Why We Fight (1942-45). His autobiography, The Name Above

the Title, appeared in 1971. In 1982 he was given the Lifetime Achievement

Award of the American Film Institute.^ WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Glatzer, Richard, and Raeburn, John, eds., Frank Capra: The Man

and His Films (1975); Poague, Leland A., The Cinema of Frank Capra (1975);

Willis, Donald C., The Films of Frank Capra (1974).

Ford, John


John Ford, b. Apr. 17, 1586, d. c.1630, was an English playwright, generally

considered the best of the late Stuart dramatists (1625-40). After writing

several nondramatic pieces, Ford collaborated with Thomas Dekker on The Witch

of Edmonton (1621). Among the seven intense, pessimistic tragedies he wrote on

his own are: The Lovers's Melancholy (1628), The Broken Heart (1633), 'Tis

Pity She's a Whore (1633), and Perkin Warbeck (1634). Influenced by Robert

Burton and contemporary Neoplatonism, Ford's drama deals with a variety of love

relationships. Although sometimes prurient, the plays in general are carefully

balanced in their presentation of questionable moral stances. W. L. GODSHALK

Bibliography: Anderson, Donald K., Jr., John Ford (1972); Leech, Clifford, John

Ford and the Drama of His Time (1957); Stavig, Mark, John Ford and the

Traditional Moral Order (1968).

Ford, John

(film director)

John Ford was the name adopted by Sean Aloysius O'Feeny, b. Feb. 1, 1895, d.

Aug. 31, 1973, an American film director whose works are noted for their

sustained creativity, breadth of vision, and pictorial beauty. Ford began

directing Westerns in 1917, but his first great success was not until The Iron

Horse (1924), followed by another, Three Bad Men (1926). Thirteen more years

passed, however, before Ford, whose name became associated with the Western

film, would make another, Stagecoach (1939), still regarded as a classic of the

genre. In the intervening years he directed such varied works as Judge Priest

(1934), The Informer (1935), Steamboat Round the Bend (1935), and The Hurricane


Stagecoach was followed by an outpouring of major works--Young Mr. Lincoln

(1939), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Long

Voyage Home (1940), and How Green Was My Valley (1941). These films celebrated

community life and were imbued with an elegiacal sense of the past. The war

years resulted in the first American war documentary, The Battle of Midway

(1942), and another of Ford's enduring works, They Were Expendable (1945).

After the war, Ford returned to the Western with the lyrical My Darling

Clementine (1946); a loose trilogy of cavalry life--Fort Apache (1948), She

Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Rio Grande (1950); and an innovative blending

of song and story in Wagonmaster (1950).

During the six years before Ford's next Western, he directed The Quiet Man

(1952)--a touching and humorous story of an Irish-American's return to his

homeland--and several other films. Returning to the Western with The Searchers

(1956), Ford revealed a new ambiguity in his vision of the American past.

Increasingly, in such later works as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

and Cheyenne Autumn (1964), the exaltation of the civilizing of the West that

was seen in his earlier films was darkened by a regret over the loss of freedom

brought by civilization. During his career, Ford established and repeatedly

used a stock company of actors, including Henry Fonda, James Stewart, John

Wayne, and Ward Bond. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Bogdanovich, Peter, John Ford (1968); McBride, Joseph, and

Wilmington, Michael, John Ford (1975); Place, J. A., The Western Films of John

Ford (1974) and The Non-Western Films of John Ford (1979); Sarris, Andrew, The

John Ford Movie Mystery (1975); Sinclair, Andrew, John Ford (1979).

Cagney, James

A fast-talking Irish-American film actor who danced brilliantly and frequently

on screen, James Cagney, b. July 17, 1899, d. March 30, 1986, achieved fame

in Hollywood as a cocky gangster in Public Enemy (1931) and became stereotyped

for several years thereafter. His best roles, which reflect his punchy,

cheerful personality, were in Footlight Parade (1933), Lady Killer (1933),

G-Men (1935), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Boy Meets Girl (1938), Angels

With Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), White Heat (1949), Love

Me or Leave Me (1955), Man of a Thousand Faces (as Lon Chaney, 1957), and One

Two Three (1961). He won an Academy Award for his performance as George M.

Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). At the age of 82, Cagney emerged from 20

years of retirement to make an acclaimed appearance in the film Ragtime (1981),

and the television film Terrible Joe Moran (1984). LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Bergman, Andrew, James Cagney (1973); Cagney, James, Cagney by

Cagney (1976); McGilligan, Patrick, Cagney (1975).

Muni, Paul

{myoo'-nee}^Paul Muni, b. Muni Weisenfreund in Lemberg, Austria (now Lvov,

USSR), Sept. 22, 1985, d. Aug. 25, 1967, was a character actor who became a

top Hollywood star in the 1930s. He went to the United States with his family

in 1907. As a young man, Muni gained experience touring with the Yiddish Art

Theatre company; he first brought his conscientious approach and animated

acting style to the screen in 1928. His powerful performances in films include

Scarface (1932), I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), The Story of Louis

Pasteur (1936; Academy Award), The Good Earth (1937), The Life of Emile Zola

(1937), Juarez (1941), and The Last Angry Man (1959).

Robinson, Edward G.

Edward G. Robinson, stage name of Emanuel Goldenberg, b. Romania, Dec. 12,

1893, d. Jan. 26, 1973, became one of the major figures of Hollywood films of

the 1930s. Short and dynamic, with a distinctive voice, he specialized in

gangster parts but later proved equally adept at comedy or in benevolent

character roles. His most important films include Little Caesar (1930), A

Slight Case of Murder (1938), Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940), Double

Indemnity and The Woman in the Window (both 1944), and Key Largo (1948).


Bibliography: Robinson, Edward G., and Spigelgass, Leonard, All My Yesterdays


Chevalier, Maurice


Maurice Chevalier, b. Sept. 12, 1888, d. Jan. 1, 1972, was a debonair

French singer, actor, and dancer who for more than 50 years was a popular

international cabaret artist. He had two Hollywood careers: as a romantic

lead in such films as The Love Parade (1930), Love Me Tonight (1932), and

Folies Bergere (1935), and as an elderly character actor in Gigi (1958), Fanny

(1961), and In Search of the Castaways (1962). LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Ringgold, Gene, and Bodeen, DeWitt, Chevalier: The Films and

Career of Maurice Chevalier (1973; 2d ed., 1975).

Berkeley, Busby

{burk'-lee} Busby Berkeley was the pseudonym of William Berkeley Enos, b. Los

Angeles, Nov. 29, 1895, d. Mar. 14, 1976, a choreographer known for the

grandiose spectacles he created in the Hollywood musical extravaganzas of the

1930s. From success on the Broadway stage, Berkeley took his dance-directing

techniques to movies. The Berkeley trademark--kaleidoscopic patterns of massed

dancers filmed from above--is most strikingly displayed in the Eddie Cantor

vehicle Whoopee (1930) and in 42nd Street (1933), the Gold Diggers series

(1933, 1935, 1937, 1938), Roman Scandals (1933), Footlight Parade (1933), and

Babes in Arms (1939). His lead dancer was Ruby KEELER. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Martin, Dave, and Pike, Bob, The Genius of Busby Berkeley (1973);

Terry, Jim, and Thomas, Tony, The Busby Berkeley Book (1973).

Astaire, Fred

Fred Astaire is the stage name of Frederick Austerlitz, b. Omaha, Nebr., May

10, 1899, who brought new distinction to musical comedy with his elegant and

witty song and dance routines. First teamed with his sister Adele on the

stage, Astaire turned to Hollywood on her retirement from show business, making

his initial screen appearance in Dancing Lady (1933). His greatest success

came when he was paired with Ginger ROGERS in a series of romantic comedies

featuring their dance numbers. Flying Down to Rio (1933) was followed by The

Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta and Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet and Swing

Time (1936), Shall We Dance? (1937), and The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

(1939). In 1949 they were reunited in The Barkleys of Broadway. With other

partners, Astaire starred in such musicals as Daddy Longlegs (1955) and Funny

Face (1957). He also appeared in dramatic roles. A perfectionist who often

choreographed his own dances, he received a special Academy Award in 1949 for

"raising the standards of all musicals." LESLIE HALLIWELL

Bibliography: Astaire, Fred, Steps in Time (1959); Croce, Arlene, The Fred

Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book (1972; repr. 1978); Freedland, Michael, Fred

Astaire: An Illustrated Biography (1977); Green, Stanley, and Goldblatt, Burt,

Starring Fred Astaire (1S973).

Rogers, Ginger

Singer, actress, and dancer Ginger Rogers, b. Virginia McMath, Independence,

Mo., July 16, 1911, is best known for the movie musicals she made with Fred

ASTAIRE. After playing vaudeville as a teenager, she made her debut on

Broadway in 1929 and entered feature films in 1930.

The famous Rogers and Astaire dance team first starred in Flying Down to Rio

(1933) and developed their now classic routines in The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top

Hat (1935), and Swing Time (1936). Rogers, who also appeared in dramatic

roles, won an Academy Award for Kitty Foyle (1940). She made numerous films

during the next two decades and returned to the musical comedy stage in Hello,

Dolly (1965) and Mame (1969).

Bibliography: Croce, Arlene, The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book (1978).

Huston, John

{hue'-stuhn}^The son of actor Walter Huston, film director, writer, and actor

John Huston, b. Nevada, Mo., Aug. 5, 1906, made his dazzlingly auspicious

directorial debut with The Maltese Falcon (1941). For years, Huston's

reputation as one of the most strongly individualistic of American directors

was sustained through such films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948),

The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The African Queen (1951), and Beat the Devil (1954).

Thereafter, he succumbed to pretentiousness and slipped into a decline. Signs

of his old form could occasionally be seen in such films as The Misfits (1961),

Fat City (1972), and Wise Blood (1979). Huston directed the film version of

the musical Annie (1982), and Prizzi's Honor (1985). As an actor, Huston was

notable in The Cardinal (1963), Chinatown (1974), Winter Kills (1979), and

Under the Volcano (1984). WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Huston, John, An Open Book (1980); Kaminsky, Stuart M., John

Huston: Maker of Magic (1978).

Wyler, William

A three-time winner of the Academy Award for best director during the 1940s and

'50s, William Wyler, b. Alsace, July 1, 1902, d. July 27, 1981, was generally

regarded as the foremost craftsman among Hollywood directors. Wyler's long

association with producer Samuel Goldwyn resulted in a number of films based on

literary texts, including Dodsworth (1936), Dead End (1937), Wuthering Heights

(1939), and The Little Foxes (1941). Mrs. Miniver (1942) won Wyler his first

Academy Award, a success capped by that of the award-winning The Best Years of

Our Lives (1946), whose depiction of returning war veterans was praised for

having brought a new maturity to American films. Subsequent Wyler films of

note include The Heiress (1949), Detective Story (1951), Roman Holiday (1953),

Ben-Hur (1959), for which he received a third Academy Award, and Funny Girl

(1968). In recent years, however, Wyler had been criticized for the anonymity

of his style. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Madsen, Axel, William Wyler (1973).

Sturges, Preston


For a time in the 1940s, Preston Sturges, pseudonym of Edmund P. Biden, b.

Chicago, Aug. 29, 1898, d. Aug. 6, 1959, held a position of creative

preeminence in Hollywood as a writer-director who was acclaimed by critics and

public alike. Sturges directed his first film, The Great McGinty, in 1940, and

followed it with a string of successes that included The Lady Eve (1941),

Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), and Hail the

Conquering Hero (1944), breakneck farces that shrewdly satirized American life.

But Sturges's touch seemed to falter with the semiserious The Great Moment

(1944), and the only time he returned to form afterwards, in the black comedy

Unfaithfully Yours (1948), the public failed to respond. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Ursini, James, The Fabulous Life and Times of Preston Sturges


Wilder, Billy

{wyl'-dur}^Whether comedies or melodramas, the films of American

writer-director Billy Wilder, b. Vienna, June 22, 1906, have been

distinguished by their cynicism and sophistication. Wilder established his

talent for farce with the first Hollywood film he directed, The Major and the

Minor (1942), and his mastery of film noir with the corrosive thriller Double

Indemnity (1944). Subsequent films in the acidulous Wilder mode include the

Academy Award-winning The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), and Ace

in the Hole (1951). Wilder's later work includes such popular comedies as Some

Like It Hot (1959) The Apartment (1960), Irma La Douce (1963), The Fortune

Cookie (1966), The Front Page (1974), and Buddy Buddy (1981). In 1986 he

received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award. WILLIAM S.


Bibliography: Madsen, Axel, Billy Wilder (1969).

Welles, Orson

Although the American actor-director Orson Welles, b. Kenosha, Wis., May 6,

1915, d. Oct. 10, 1985, worked on the stage and i n films for nearly 50

years, his fame rests principally on two projects he completed before he was 30

years of age. The first, his 1938 radio adaptation for the Mercury Theatre of

H.G. Wells's T he War of the Worlds, created a panic among listeners who

believed it was a report of an actual Martian invasion. The second was his

first and greatest film, the extraordinary Citizen Kane (1941). A character

study loosely modeled on the life of publisher William Randolph HEARST, it

embroiled Welles in legal battles, won Acade my Awards for him and cowriter

Herman Mankiewicz, and established h is reputation as Hollywood's boy wonder.

Beginning as an actor with Dublin's Gate Theatre (1931), Welles soon turned to

writing and directing, producing a notable all-black version of Macbeth in 1936

before founding the Mercury Theatre w ith John Houseman in 1937. After the

double triumph of War of the Worlds and Citizen Kane, he directed The

Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1948), and a new Macbeth

(1948) before moving to Europe, where many of his subsequent films, beginning

with Mr. Arkadin (1955), were made. Touch of Evil (1 958) is a shadowy

American FILM NOIR. The Trial (1962) is a bleak adaptation of Kafka. Chimes

at Midnight (1966), a study of Falstaff, and the unfinished Don Quixote

(1957-66) reflect Welle s's fascination with extravagant, outsize characters,

many of whom he himself played to perfection.

Welles starred in many of his own films, but his screen credits also include

distinguished performances in Jane Eyre (1944), The Thir d Man (1949), Moby

Dick (1956), A Man for All Seasons (1966), and Catch-22 (1970). His career,

marked by grandiose projects and inimitable posturing, was honored in 1975 by

the American Film Institute, which presented him its Life Achievement Award.


Bibliography: Bazin, Andre, Orson Welles: A Critical View, tra ns. by

Jonathan Rosenbaum (1978); Brady, Frank, Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson

Welles (1987); Cowie, Peter, The Cinema of O rson Welles (1978); Gottesman,

Ronald, ed., Focus on Orson Welles (1976); Higham, Charles, The Films of Orson

Welles (1970); Leaming, Barbara, Welles: A Biography (1985).

Hollywood Ten, The

The Hollywood Ten were a group of producers, writers, and directors called

before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (see UN-AMERICAN

ACTIVITIES, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON) in October 1947 as "unfriendly" witnesses

during the investigation of Communist influence in Hollywood. Alvah Bessie,

Lester Cole, John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, Ring Lardner, Jr., Herbert

Biberman, Adrian Scott, Samuel Ornitz, Albert Maltz, and Edward Dmytryk refused

to state whether or not they were Communists. All served prison sentences and

were blacklisted in the film industry.

Bibliography: Goodman, Walter, The Committee: Extraordinary Career of the House

Committee on Un-American Activities (1968); Hellman, Lillian, Scoundrel Time

(1976); Kahn, Gordon, Hollywood on Trial: The Story of the Ten Who Were Indicted

(1948; repr. 1972).

Polanski, Roman

{poh-lan'-skee}^The Polish film director and actor Roman Polanski, b. Paris,

Aug. 18, 1933, was brought up in Krakow by foster parents after the internment

of his parents in a Nazi concentration camp. After World War II he became a

student (1954-59) at the Polish State Film School at Lodz. His first feature

film, Knife in the Water (1962), a subtle treatment of sexual tension, presaged

more explicit treatments of sexuality in Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-Sac

(1966). With Rosemary's Baby (1968), Polanski established himself as a master

of macabre horror. After the 1969 murder of his wife, the actress Sharon Tate,

by the Charles Manson gang, he moved to France to become a French citizen, but

returned to the United States to make Chinatown (1974). In 1977 he was

indicted in Los Angeles for a sexual offense but has since lived in France,

where he made Tess (1979). In 1981 he directed and played the title role in

his own Warsaw production of Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus. His autobiography

Roman was published in 1984.

Bibliography: Butler, Ivan, The Cinema of Roman Polanski (1970).

Wajda, Andrzej

{vy'-dah, an'-jay}

The distinguished Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, b. Mar. 6, 1927, rose to

fame with a trilogy--A Generation (1954), Kanal (1956), and Ashes and Diamonds

(1958)--that vividly reflected the experience of an entire generation in

postwar Poland. Although Wajda evinced versatility in later films, his most

powerful work is historical-political. Man of Marble (1977) and Man of Iron

(1981) use historical contexts to inveigh against such contemporary oppressions

as the secret police, the Communist party, and factory bosses. Danton (1983)

views the French Revolution through the personalities of its leaders. A Love

in Germany (1984) explores the madness of sexual passion within the context of

the political madness of Nazi Germany.

Bibliography: Michatek, B., The Cinema of Andrzej Wajda (1973); Paul, D. ed.,

Politics, Art, and Commitment in East European Cinema (1984).

Forman, Milos

The Czech-born film director Milos Forman, b. Feb. 18, 1932, is noted for his

powers of observation and his subtle, ironic humor. He won the 1975 Academy

Award as best director for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, adapted from the

1962 novel by Ken Kesey. He won the 1984 Academy Award for Amadeus. Even

though both of Forman's parents died in German concentration camps, his work

shows a remarkable optimism. Forman's other films include the Czech-made Peter

and Pavla (1964) and Loves of a Blonde (1965) and the American-made Taking Off

(1971), Hair (1979), and Ragtime (1981). ROY ARMES

Bibliography: Whittemore, Don, et. al., Passport to Hollywood (1976).

Herzog, Werner


Werner Herzog is the professional name of Werner H. Stipetic, b. 1942, a

German filmmaker known for his eye for remote, exotic scenery and his

attraction for extremes of character: the mad Amazon explorer Aguirre

(Aguirre, the Wrath of God, 1973); the mute isolate Kasper Hauser (The Mystery

of Kasper Hauser, 1975); dwarfs and midgets (Even Dwarfs Started Small, 1970);

or men in the grip of obsession (Fitzcarraldo, 1982). Herzog writes the

screenplays for all of his films. His large output includes a number of

documentaries, the most admired of which have been Land of Silence and Darkness

(1971), about the life of a blind, deaf woman; and La Soufriere (1977), a

portrait of an abandoned region near a smoldering volcano in Guadaloupe.

Bibliography: Eder, Richard, "New Visionary in German Films," New York Times

Magazine, July 10, 1977.

Fassbinder, Rainer Werner

{fahs'-bin-dur, ry'-nur vair'-nur}^Rainer Werner Fassbinder, b. May 31, 1946,

d. June 10, 1982, was one of Germany's greatest and most prolific film

directors as well as a stage and screen actor and scriptwriter. He joined the

Munich Action Theater in 1967 and began making films two years later, using a

permanent ensemble of experienced actors. Fassbinder's work reflects the

influence of Bertolt Brecht and Karl Marx, and of Freudian psychology; his

choice of material was influenced by the American filmmaker Douglas Sirk. His

subject matter ranges from the failure of friends to communicate, as portrayed

in Katzelmacher (1969), to the dullness of daily existence, depicted in Warum

lauft Herr R. Amok? (Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?, 1969) and Die bittren

Tranen der Petra von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, 1972).

Particularly admired are the bittersweet Der Handler der vier Jahreszeiten

(Merchant of the Four Seasons, 1971), the stylish Effi Breist, and Ali: Angst

essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, 1974), a study in adversity.

Fassbinder's Faustrecht der Freiheit (1975), released in English as Fox and his

Friends, created a new wave of interest in his films in both the United States

and Europe. In 1978, Fassbinder released his first English language film,

Despair, starring Dirk Bogarde. His most commercially successful films were

The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Veronika Voss (1982), Querelle (released

1983), and the 15 hour Berlin Alexanderplatz (released 1983) which portrays

life in Berlin between the World Wars. GAUTAM DASGUPTA

Weir, Peter

the work of the Australian film director Peter Lindsay Weir, b. June 21, 1944,

is part of a new wave of Australian filmmaking. Couched in a style that is

easily associated with American filmmaking--well-crafted plots, convincing

characters, and naturalistic dialogue--Weir's films have gained international

recognition. Weir, who was the director of Film Australia from 1969 to 1973,

sees himself primarily as a storyteller. He has directed such imaginative and

highly provocative films as Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), The Last Wave

(1977), and The Plumber (1978). With the successes of these earlier films,

Weir has directed larger budgeted productions, including Gallipoli (1980) and

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), which was filmed mostly outside of

Australia. Witness (1985), set among the Pennsylvania Amish, was filmed on


Kubrick, Stanley

{koob'-rik}^Stanley Kubrick, b. New York City, July 26, 1928, is an American

film writer, director, and producer with a virtually legendary status as an

idiosyncratic master. While working as a photojournalist for Life magazine,

Kubrick made an inconspicuous entrance into filmmaking with Fear and Desire

(1953) and Killer's Kiss (1955). After his crime thriller The Killing (1956),

critics began to take notice of his taut, brilliant style and bleakly cynical

outlook. Paths of Glory (1957) solidified his reputation as a filmmaker

interested in depicting the individual at the mercy of a hostile world. In

Spartacus (1960), Kubrick met the challenge of bringing a costume spectacle to

the screen. Lolita (1962), based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov, received

mixed reviews. But Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and

Love the Bomb (1963), was enthusiastically hailed for its black-comedy vision

of atomic-age apocalypse. His 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork

Orange (1971), both made in England where Kubrick has worked since 1961,

engendered intense critical controversy, but the former has now become widely

accepted as a landmark in modern cinema. Although Barry Lyndon (1975) failed

to attract as large an audience as the previous two films, the Kubrick legend

of obsessive perfectionism and reclusive genius remains undiminished. In 1980

he directed the film version of Stephen King's The Shining. WILLIAM S.


Bibliography: Kagan, Norman, The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick (1972); Nelson,

Thomas Allan, Kubrick: Inside A Film Artists Maze (1982); Phillips, Gene,

Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey (1975); Walker, Alexander, Stanley Kubrick

Directs, rev. ed. (1972).

Altman, Robert B.

Robert B. Altman, b. Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 20, 1925, won widespread

recognition as the trend-setting directorial stylist in American films of the

1970s. He did extensive work in television and directed four little-known

features before making M*A*S*H (1970), the film that first brought him critical

and popular acclaim. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973),

and California Split (1974) drew increasing attention for their textural

richness, multilayered soundtracks, and improvisatory flow. Prominent too was

Altman's debunking of the myths of various film genres, from the Western to the

private eye. With Nashville (1975) Altman had his second commercial success.

Critics saw less quality in such films as Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976),

3 Women (1977), and Quintet (1979) but praised Thieves Like Us (1974) and

Health (1980). Altman's recent films have been adaptations of plays: Come

Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), which he had directed on

Broadway; and Streamers (1983), David Rabe's drama. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Bibliography: Kass, Judith, Robert Altman: American Innovator (1978).

Coppola, Francis Ford

{koh'-puh-luh}^Francis Ford Coppola, b. Detroit, Apr. 7, 1939, directed the

highly successful film The Godfather (1972). He had previously directed

Dementia 13 (1962), You're a Big Boy Now (1966), Finian's Rainbow (1968), and

The Rain People (1969), a sensitive study of a runaway wife, which some

consider his best film. Coppola departed from the florid style of The

Godfather, for the spareness of The Conversation (1974), then enlarged on his

earlier hit with a sequel, The Godfather, Part II (1974). For five years

Coppola worked amid controversy and speculation on Apocalypse Now (1979), a

realistically violent depiction of the Vietnam War. Another Coppola film

generating controversy was the romantic comedy One From the Heart (1982). The

$26-million film was a financial and artistic failure. In 1983, Coppola

received mixed critical reactions to the Outsiders and Rumble Fish, both based

on stories by S. E. Hinton. The Cotton Club (1984), was a lavish production

set in New York City in the 1920s. WILLIAM S. PECHTER

Allen, Woody

Woody Allen is the stage name of Allen Stewart Konigsberg, b. Brooklyn, N.Y.,

Dec. 1, 1935. He is considered America's best living film comedian and one of

its finest film directors. Alle n's highly personal work focuses on the fears

and insecurities experienced in contemporary society. His persona is that of a

bespectacled neurotic analyzing the recurrent themes of life, de ath, love,

religion and psychology. While a teenager, Allen worked a s a gag writer for a

public relations agency. He dropped out of col lege in 1953 and became a

principal writer for celebrities such as Si d Caesar and Garry Moore. His

switch to stand-up comedy in the ea rly 1960s led to celebrity status from

television appearances and th ree popular record releases. Allen made his

screen debut as an actor-screenwriter in What's N ew, Pussycat? (1965). His

first film project as director-writer-st ar was Take the Money and Run (1969).

His other movies include Ban anas (1971), Sleeper (1973), Love and Death

(1975), Annie Hall (1977) , which received four Academy Awards in 1978,

Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), A Midsummer

Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), The Pur

ple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Radio Da ys (1987).

Allen's comic and satirical writings have been collecte d in three anthologies,

Getting Even (1971), Without Feathers (1975), and Side Effects (1980). He has

also written several Broadway plays , the successful Don't Drink the Water

(1966; film, 1969) and Pla y It Again, Sam (1969; film, 1972), and the

unsuccessful The Floatin g Lightbulb (1981). FRANK MANCHEL

Bibliography: Allen, Woody, Four Films of Woody Allen (1982); Hirsh, Foster,

Love, Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life: Woody

Allen's Comedy (1981); Jacobs, Diane, But We Need the Eggs: Th e Magic of

Woody Allen (1982).

Lucas, George

The American film director, screenwriter, and producer George Lucas, b.

Modesto, Calif., May 14, 1944, is best known for his trilogy of space fantasy

films Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1981), and Return of the Jedi

(1983). Following the adventures of such characters as Luke Skywalker,

Princess Leia, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader, as well as the

anthropomorphic robots R2-D2 and C-3PO, the trilogy spawned a multibillion

dollar industry of Star Wars-related products, including video games, dolls,

toys, books, and clothing.^After attending Modesto Junior College, Lucas

studied film at the University of Southern California, where a film he made won

first prize in the Third National Student Film Festival (1965). Lucas reworked

that film, a science-fiction fantasy that portrayed a grim, dehumanized world,

as his first feature, THX-1138 (1971). Lucas enjoyed his first major success

with American Graffiti (1973), a nostalgic look at American adolescence in the

early 1960s, which he both directed and coauthored. As executive producer and

coauthor of the original story, Lucas teamed with director Steven SPIELBERG to

make Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequel, Indiana Jones and the

Temple of Doom (1984).

Spielberg, Steven

Steven Spielberg, b. Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 18, 1947, the director of E.T.:

The Extra-Terrestrial (see E.T.)--the most successful box-office attraction in

Hollywood history--has had a streak of movie blockbusters, establishing him as

one of the most popular American film directors. As a student at Long Beach

State College, Spielberg made a 16-mm short, Amblin' (1969), that won awards at

the Venice and Atlanta film festivals. After working in television for several

years, he made his first feature film, The Sugarland Express (1974). The movie

was a limited success, but the following year Spielberg made Jaws (1975), which

set box-office records. It was followed by Close Encounters of the Third Kind

(1977), a science-fiction fantasy, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), an

outlandish adventure tale, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), a

sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. In 1985 he directed the film version of

Alice Walker's The Color Purple, and produced (as well as directed) episodes of

the television series "Amazing Stories".

Newman, Paul

Paul Newman, b. Shaker Heights, Ohio, Jan. 26, 1925, is an actor whose charm

and wit made him one of the most popular film personalities of the 1960s and

'70s. After training at the Yale School of Drama, he achieved success on the

stage in Picnic (1953) and screen stardom in The Long Hot Summer (1958). His

most notable screen roles have been in The Hustler (1961), Sweet Bird of Youth

(1962), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

(1969), The Sting (1973), Absence of Malice (1981), and The Verdict (1982).

Newman has directed several films including The Effect of Gamma Rays on

Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972), The Shadow Box, and Harry and Son (1984)

which he also wrote and produced. He is married to actress Joanne Woodward.

After his son Scott died (1978) from a drug overdose, he established (1980) the

Scott Newman Foundation, which produces such educational films as Doin' What

the Crowd Does (1982). He is also active in the antinuclear movement and child


Bibliography: Godfrey, Lionel, Paul Newman, Superstar (1979).

Redford, Robert

One of Hollywood's most popular leading men, Charles Robert Redford, Jr., b.

Santa Monica, Calif., Aug. 18, 1937, had his first success on Broadway in Neil

Simon's Barefoot in the Park (1963; film, 1967).^Redford's reputation soared

with such movies as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting

(1973), in which he portrayed roguish but lovable crooks. His other films

include Jeremiah Johnson and The Candidate (both 1972), The Way We Were (1973),

The Great Gatsby (1974), All the President's Men (1976), The Electric Horseman

(1979), The Natural (1984), and Out of Africa (1985). He made his debut as a

director in 1980 with the film Ordinary People, which won three Academy Awards,

one of which went to Redford as best director. Redford is also active in

environmentalist causes.

De Niro, Robert

Robert De Niro, b. New York City, Aug. 17, 1943, is an American film actor

known especially for his roles in the films of director Martin SCORSESE. These

include Mean Streets (1973); Taxi Driver (1976); the musical New York, New York

(1977); Raging Bull (1980), for which De Niro won an Academy Award; and the

King of Comedy (1982). He played the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather,

Part II (1974) and won an Academy Award for his performance. Among his other

important films are Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), The Deer Hunter (1978), True

Confessions (1981), Falling In Love and Once Upon A Time In America (both

1984), and Brazil (1985).

Scorcese, Martin

{skawr-say'-zee}^The director Martin Scorcese, b. Queens, N.Y., Nov. 17,

1942, has won wide critical acclaim both for his controversial films portraying

violent themes and for his films focusing on lighter, entertaining subjects.

Scorcese, who grew up in Manhattan's Lower East Side, studied and later taught

filmmaking at New York University. He wrote and directed his first feature

film, Who's That Knocking at My Door?, in 1968. He worked on Street Scenes,

Woodstock, and other counterculture films before turning out a second feature,

a low-budget thriller called Boxcar Bertha (1972). His next film, however,

Mean Streets (1973), a grim story of mob involvement in Little Italy, won

critical acclaim. It also brought him studio support for Alice Doesn't Live

Here Anymore (1975) and Taxi Driver (1976). Scorcese next directed a frothy

musical, New York, New York (1977), and a rock documentary, The Last Waltz

(1978), in which he appeared. After Raging Bull (1980), in which Robert

DENIRO--with whom Scorsese has worked closely--portrayed prizefighter Jake

LaMotta, Scorcese turned to satire with The King of Comedy (1983) starring

DeNiro and Jerry Lewis. In 1985 he directed After Hours, a black comedy that

takes place in New York City.

Hoffman, Dustin

The American actor Dustin Hoffman, b. Los Angeles, Aug. 8, 1937, one of the

most versatile film stars of his generation, was a modestly successful Broadway

and television actor until his appearance in Mike Nichols's film The Graduate

(1967). Since then he has created an extraordinary range of characterizations,

including a derelict in Midnight Cowboy (1969), a convict in Papillon (1973),

the comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny (1974), and the journalist Carl Bernstein in

All the President's Men (1976). He won a 1980 Academy Award for best actor for

his performance in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and an Academy Award nomination

for his spirited and sensitive rendition of an unemployed actor who assumes the

identity of a woman in order to land a role (Tootsie, 1982). In 1984 he

returned to the stage as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman

(television play, 1985).

Nicholson, Jack

Jack Nicholson, b. Neptune, N.J., Apr. 22, 1937, is an actor, director, and

producer whose raffish, cynical wit made him a popular offbeat hero in numerous

films. After gaining recognition for his performance as an alcoholic civil

liberties lawyer in Easy Rider (1969), he starred in such films as Five Easy

Pieces (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Last Detail (1974), Chinatown

(1974), The Passenger (1975), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1976), which won

him an Academy Award for best actor, The Shining (1980), and The Postman Always

Rings Twice (1981). His portrayal of Eugene O'Neill in Reds (1981) was highly

acclaimed, and for his rendition of an aging, alcoholic astronaut in the 1983

film Terms of Endearment he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor.

His performance as a Mafia "hit man" in Prizzi's Honor (1985) also won praise.

Bibliography: Braithwaite, Bruce, The Films of Jack Nicholson, ed. by David

Castell (1978).

Pacino, Al

{puh-chee'-noh}^Alfred Pacino, b. New York City, Apr. 25, 1940, in a

relatively short time established himself solidly as an actor on both stage and

screen. His role in The Indian Wants the Bronx earned him a 1968 Obie Award,

and his Broadway debut in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1969) brought him a

Tony Award. Highly regarded for his 1972 film portrayal of the young Michael

Corleone in The Godfather, Pacino followed with successful film performances in

Serpico (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Bobby

Deerfield (1977), And Justice for All (1979), Cruising (1980), Author! Author!

(1982), Scarface (1983), and Revolution (1986). In 1981, and again in 1983,

Pacino won high acclaim for his performance in the off-Broadway revival of

American Buffalo.

Streep, Meryl

The American actress Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep, b. Summit, N.J., June 22,

1949, is a versatile performer who has won acclaim in stage, film, and

television productions. Streep earned a master of fine arts at Yale

University, where she appeared at the Yale Repertory Theatre, and since 1975

has appeared in New York Shakespeare Festival productions. Other stage roles

include a highly acclaimed performance on Broadway in the Tennessee Williams

play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (1976). Among her television credits is the

miniseries "Holocaust" (1978), for which she won an Emmy Award. Streep made

her film debut in Julia (1977) and appeared next in the award-winning movie The

Deer Hunter (1978), Manhattan (1979), The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), The

French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), and Still of the Night (1982). She has won

two Academy Awards, one as best supporting actress for her performance in

Kramer vs. Kramer (1980) and another as best actress for her portrayal of the

tragic heroine in Sophie's Choice (1982), based on the William Styron novel.

Streep played the title role in Silkwood (1983), which was based on the true

story of Karen Silkwood whose attempted expose' of the dangers of a plutonium

plant was ended by her mysterious death. In 1984 she co-starred with Robert De

Niro in Falling In Love, followed by two films in 1985; Plenty and Out of

Africa, a film based on the memoirs of Danish writer Karen Blixen, who assumed

the pen name Isak Dinesen.

Wiseman, Fred

A former lawyer and professor, Frederick Wiseman, b. Boston, Jan. 1, 1930,

makes controversial documentary films about public, tax-supported institutions,

through which he reveals the more general attitudes of U.S. society.

Wiseman's free-form, nonnarrative method involves filming hours of footage in

which no one is told how to act and subsequently creating a structure through

extensive editing. Wiseman made his first film, Titicut Follies (1967), at a

Massachusetts institution for the criminally insane; his later films include

High School (1968), Law and Order (1969)--which portrays the police--Hospital

(1970), and Welfare (1975).

Bibliography: Atkins, Thomas R., ed., Frederick Wiseman (1976); Levin, G. Roy,

Documentary Explorations (1971).

Ophuls, Marcel


Marcel Ophuls, b. Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 1, 1927, is a French film director

known for his lengthy, probing documentaries. The son of director Max Ophuls,

he grew up in Germany, France, and Hollywood, where in the 1950s he learned

filmmaking from his father and John Huston. After making a comic feature,

Banana Peel, in 1963, he turned his attention to documentary, achieving

critical success with The Sorrow and the Pity (1969), a moving 4 1/2-hour-long

examination of French attitudes during the Nazi occupation; the movie was

originally banned by the de Gaulle government from French television because of

its controversial content. In the United States it received a special award

from the National Society of Film Critics. A Sense of Loss focused on the war

in Northern Ireland, and in 1976, Ophuls presented The Memory of Justice, an

investigation of ideals of justice in the context of the Nuremberg war crimes

trials and the war in Vietnam.

Bibliography: Wood, M., "Decent Man, Indecent Subject," New York Times Magazine,

October 17, 1976.

Brakhage, Stan


Stan Brakhage, b. Jan. 14, 1933, is an American experimental filmmaker whose

lyric films have contributed radically to the nonnarrative form. In such

essays as "Metaphors on Vision" published in Film Culture (1963), he explained

his concern with the drama of subconscious seeing. Brakhage's usually silent

films use multiple superimpositions, rapid montage, and fragmentary editing.

Other works include Anticipation of the Night (1958), Mothlight (1963), and his

major work, Dog Star Man (1961-65). LESLIE CLARK



Lumiere, Louis and Auguste


Louis Jean Lumiere, b. Oct. 5, 1864, d. June 6, 1948, and Auguste Marie Lumiere,

b. Oct. 19, 1862, d. Apr. 10, 1954, were French inventors of an early

motion-picture projector and pioneer filmmakers. The two brothers took over

management of their father's photographic supply factory in Lyons in 1893. There

Louis developed (1895) the Cinematographe, a single machine that functioned both

as camera and projector. Its unique feature was a system of claws that moved the

film mechanically but held each frame long enough for viewers to perceive the


The Cinematographe was first demonstrated before a paying audience in Paris on

Dec. 28, 1895, with the showing of 10 of the brothers' films, including Workers

Leaving a Factory and a comic sequence, The Sprinkler Sprinkled. The public

exhibition marked the beginning of cinema history. In the next few years the

Lumieres continued to produce short, 2-minute films that were records of

everyday life; they also made documentaries, newsreels, and a historical film,

The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1897).

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Bibliography: Quigley, Martin, Jr., Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of

Motion Pictures (1969).



Rossellini, Roberto


One of the principal founders of Italian neorealism, film director Roberto

Rossellini, b. May 8, 1906, d. June 3, 1977, first achieved prominence with Open

City (1945), filmed during and after the German evacuation of Rome and

portraying Italian resistance groups and Gestapo reprisals. The film had an

unprecedented immediacy, owing in large part to Rossellini's use of authentic

settings and of the physical presences of such fine performers as Anna Magnani

and Aldo Fabrizzi. Rossellini's success continued with the anecdotal Paisan

(1946), the stark Germany Year Zero (1947), and the controversial The Miracle

(1948). After Stromboli (1949), which carried his reliance on realistic settings

to excess, Rossellini made only one film of note during the next decade--Saint

Francis (1950). He returned to his former brilliance with General della Rovere

(1959). Since 1962, Rossellini worked exclusively in theater and television.


Bibliography: Guarner, Jose L., Roberto Rossellini, trans. by Elisabeth Cameron





Pornography, or obscenity (which is the legal term), is any material, pictures,

films, printed matter, or devices dealing with sexual poses or acts considered

indecent by the public. Traditionally, the distribution and sale of pornography

has been illegal in most countries. Only in Denmark have all restrictions on

pornography been withdrawn (since 1969).

Although Massachusetts had antiobscenity laws in colonial times, federal

antipornography legislation in the United States was not passed until 1842.

Sending such matter through the mails became illegal in 1865. Late in the

century enforcement of the laws was vigorous, due largely to the efforts of

Anthony COMSTOCK and the Committee for the Suppression of Vice. In Great

Britain the first antipornography legislation, the Obscene Publications Act, was

passed in 1857.

Defining pornography has from the beginning proved to be a complex legal problem

because public attitudes change; materials considered pornographic in Victorian

society may not be considered remarkable today. Thus the enforcement of the

antipornography laws has involved suppression of several works of literature

currently regarded as masterpieces, including the novels Ulysses, by James

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Joyce, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D. H. Lawrence. Several obscenity

cases have been brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. In ROTH V. UNITED

STATES (1957), the Court affirmed for the first time the traditional position

that pornography was "not within the area of constitutionally protected speech."

The Court attempted, however, to establish legal guidelines for defining

obscenity. A three-part definition of obscenity evolved with reference to Roth:

matter that appeals to prurient interests, offends current standards, and has no

redeeming social value. In 1973 (in MILLER V. CALIFORNIA and four companion

cases) the Court reversed earlier decisions; it ruled that the matter could be

left to the discretion of individual states where "contemporary community

standards" were to be applied in judging whether or not material is


In 1982 the Supreme Court upheld a New York statute prohibiting the production

and sale of materials depicting children in sexually explicit situations. Child

pornography was thus added to the category of "speech" that is not protected by

the First Amendment.

Bibliography: Clor, Harry M., Obscenity and Public Morality (1969);

Donnerstein, Edward, Linz, Daniel, and Penrod, Steven, The Question of

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Pornography (1987); Eysenck, Hans J., and Nias, D. K. B., Sex, Violence and

the Media (1978); Griffin, Susan, Pornography and Silence (1981); Lewis,

Felix, F., Literature, Obscenity and the Law (1976); Rembar, Charles, The End

of Obscenity (1968); Sobel, Lester A., ed., Pornography, Obscenity, and the Law



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Comstock, Anthony

Anthony Comstock, b. Mar. 7, 1844, d. Sept. 21, 1915, was an American morals

crusader against obscene literature. In 1873 he founded the New York Society for

the Suppression of Vice and also secured stricter U.S. postal laws against

obscene materials. The playwright George Bernard Shaw coined the word

comstockery to describe opposition to realism in art and literature.

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Last page !SE FILM NOIR


film noir

(film nwar)

Film noir, a term meaning "dark cinema," was first used by French critics to

describe a genre of American suspense film of the 1940s and '50s whose urban,

often nighttime settings and fatalistic themes suggested an unstable world full

of danger and moral corruption. The oblique lighting and off-balance

compositions typical of the visual style of such films reflected the ambience of

disillusionment and bitter realism. Famous examples of film noir include The

Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), and The Big Heat (1953).

Bibliography: Silver, Alain, and Wald, Elizabeth, eds., Film Noir: An

Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style (1978).

Last page !SE PUDOVKIN


Pudovkin, Vsevolod I.

(poo-dawf'-kin, fsev'-uh-luht)

Excited by D. W. Griffith's Intolerance when it was shown in Moscow in 1919,

Soviet filmmaker Vsevolod Pudovkin, b. Feb. 28 (N.S.), 1893, d. June 30, 1953,

abandoned a career in chemistry for the cinema. In 1922 he joined the

experimental film workshop of Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970). The first films Pudovkin

directed were Chess Fever (1925), a short, witty comedy; Mechanics of the Brain

(1925-26), an instructional film on Pavlov's experiments; and Mother (1926), a

worldwide success that dealt with the 1905 revolution. His best-known works were

the admirably photographed and edited The End of St. Petersburg (1927) and Storm

over Asia (1928).

Pudovkin's transition to sound was not a happy one, Soviet sound equipment in

the early 1930s not being sophisticated enough for the experiments he had

planned. Although his later films on historical subjects were popular,

Pudovkin's fame abroad rests largely on his silent films and on his manual, Film

Technique and Film Acting (1929; Eng. trans., 1933). JAY LEYDA

Bibliography: Leyda, Jay, Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film (1973).

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12 Meleager

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Dovzhenko, Alexander


Alexander Dovzhenko, b. Sept. 11 (N.S.), 1894, d. Nov. 25, 1956, was an

important early Soviet filmmaker. The son of peasants, he worked as a school

teacher, diplomat, and political cartoonist before turning to filmmaking in

1926. The first notable film he directed was the political allegory Zvenigora

(1928). Thereafter, his work was strictly censored. His principal films include

Arsenal (1929), dealing with the Civil War in the Ukraine; Earth (1930), on the

national struggle over collectivization; and the lyrical Shchors (1939). During

World War II, Dovzhenko produced such distinguished documentaries as Liberation

(1940) and Ukraine in Flames (1945).

Bibliography: Carynnyk, Marco, ed. and trans., Alexander Dovzhenko: The Poet as

Filmmaker (1973).

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Zinnemann, Fred


Best known for his Western High Noon (1952) and the Academy Award-winning From

Here to Eternity (1953), film director Fred Zinnemann, b. Vienna, Apr. 29, 1907,

built his post-World War II reputation on careful craftsmanship and the humanist

concerns exhibited in such "social-problem" films as The Search (1948), The Men

(1950), and Teresa (1951). He also proved himself a sensitive adapter of

literary texts in The Member of the Wedding (1952), and The Nun's Story (1959).

A Man for All Seasons (1966) earned him a second Oscar, and Julia (1977),

another Oscar nomination. The talent for thrillers Zinnemann displayed in Act of

Violence (1948) was, however, largely absent in The Day of the Jackal (1973).


Bibliography: Kozarski, R., Hollywood Directors, 1941-1976 (1977).

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