Communism In 1930s Hollywood Films

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1930s Hollywood films served as a hopeful escape for the public that had fallen into the great depression. This was achieved by the constant manufacture of entertainment films that provided comfort through its mere familiarity. Using the established genres, it either served to create a fantasy world in which the audience were permitted to project their desires or a work of sheer optimism that reinforced the core values of American society. With the establishment of the Production Code in 1930, films were accessible to the entire family and accepted by the most prude and morally conscious. The establishment of Hollywood as the capital of filmmaking in the United States was partially to escape the clutches of the Motion Picture Patents Company…show more content…
Film, being a medium of storytelling, provided that, particularly with the introduction of so many genres. In the words of Hortense Powdermaker, “Hollywood is engage in the mass production of prefabricated dreams”. Musicals provided the cheerful notion of “ song and dance as the normal response to life.” (cite 109). Horror films like Frankenstein and Dracula, both released in 1931, reflected the overall feeling of the viewer at the time, yet still set in a fictional setting, safely away from reality. As was the case with Germany, “audiences respond especially to horror on screen during times of national instability.”(cite 110). Women’s pictures reinforced family ideals that were prevalent in that society, as though communicating to the viewer to endure and take care of each other until this hardship is over. In the film Queen Christina, the actress is told to “clear her mind of all thoughts so that viewers would read into their own desires” (cite 113), once again, allowing room for the audience to project and escape the harsh reality they had to endure at the time. Perhaps this point is made most evident with the example of the animated cartoon and later, in 1938, the first animated feature, Snow White. Animated cartoon, invented by Emile Cohl in 1908, due to their lack of grounding in reality acted as the perfect vessel for a fantasy escape.…show more content…
This decline gradually began to rise again eventually reaching a world attendance of two hundred and fifteen million per week. Though this is due to a number of factors, one relating to the production code is the room in let for innovation. Because of the strict code, filmmakers were forced work around those rules, often by using the power of suggestion and leaving those forbidden parts to the imagination. This can be far more powerful than a full display of the scene. It allowed for a mastery and understanding of the power of what is left out or unseen. This is exemplified in a scene of the film Trouble in Paradise, where a sexual encounter is suggested by showing the embrace before and the shot after the fact. This heightened the quality of film while making it accessible to more audiences. By censoring all films, then all films become suitable for all ages. There is no possibility of offending a prudish or sensitive individual thus widening the accessibility of

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