studio system


studio system
System whereby U.S. movie companies controlled all aspects of production, distribution, and exhibition.

In the 1920s film studios such as Paramount and MGM acquired theatre chains to strengthen their vertical control of the industry, and Warner Brothers, RKO, and Twentieth Century-Fox built similar empires soon thereafter. Studio heads exerted control over the types of movies to be made and the directors and actors to be hired; only a few directors maintained some independent control over their films. The studio system also developed the "star system," by which certain actors and actresses were groomed for stardom, with studio executives choosing their roles, publicizing their glamorized offscreen lives, and keeping them under control through long contracts. The system declined after a 1948 Supreme Court decision forced the large studios to sell their theatre chains and increasing competition from television forced studios to limit their staffs, and by the 1960s it had effectively ended.

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Universalium. 2010.

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