At the beginning of the Star Wars movies, that famous typographic walkway has always been essential to the experience. It both echoed the silent movie era and was filled with futuristic vision. How thrillingly disorientating to read “A long time ago …” while looking out at what was not yet possible.
Hollywood films are one of America’s most powerful “exports,” and the globalization of U.S. films, and their values, is a phenomenon both celebrated and lamented. Academic researchers have been doing increasing work in the business of film (for an overview, see “The Economics of Movies: A Literature Survey,” in the Journal of Economic Surveys.)
Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Mystery based movies have always been, and always will be,loved by movie fans. A good Hollywood mystery with a solid story line, a healthy dose of suspense, and an often violent portrayal of crime is almost guaranteed to provide the viewer with a heaping portion of thrills and chills.
Can you imagine watching a movie with no sound? That is like asking about the days the dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Saying that things have come a long way is the understatement of the decade. With amazing clarity and resolution, high definition or HD has shaken up the film industry and has become a force to be reckoned with.
The myth of the snuff film s a prime example of a cinematic urban legend. (The term "snuff" in reference to a specific genre of filmmaking where the actors are supposedly killed for the benefit of the viewer was coined by Ed Sanders in his book The Family-The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion . The term was used to describe unsubstantiated claims that Manson and his followers may have been involved in perpetrating such crimes.) Twenty-four years later, many people who have heard of -but have never seen- the movie Snuff, insists that it does contain actual footage of human death and mutilation.
Novelist Ian Fleming (1908-1964) claimed he based his smooth secret agent character James Bond on Cary Grant. But in 1957 the fifty-three-year old British actor turned down producers Albert"Cubby" Broccoli's and Harry Saltzman's offer to play the super spy on screen in a series of films. Grant was now to the point where he was getting paid seventy five percent of the gross revenues of each movie. Some in Hollywood said he was richer than NATO. He was willing to do one movie not five and the two producers realized they needed somebody cheaper.
Meeting famous people is often a surreal experience for both parties. In 1956 when Elvis Presley arrived in Hollywood he and his entourage stayed at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. One day he got into the elevator. "What floor?" asked the operator. "Tenth please." The operator looked at him with disdain. "You can't go up to the tenth floor. Elvis Presley is staying there. No one is allowed there." A bemused Presley said," I know. I'm Elvis." The hotel employee stared at him for a long moment then said," Well I don't care who you are, you can't go to the tenth floor." The amiable singer agreed to go to the eleventh floor and walked down the stairs to the tenth.