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Success of Hollywood Films despite Restrictive Conditions - Essay Example

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Success of Hollywood Films despite Restrictive Conditions Name Institution Course Date Success of Hollywood Films despite Restrictive Conditions Introduction In the early twentieth century, many Hollywood films had themes driven by romanticization of youth…
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Download file to see previous pages In response, Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association drafted a production movie code that censors material viewed as morally unfit. Despite this censorship, restrictions of the Production code (1930-1968) and HUAC political pressures, highly artistic and regarded films such as On the Waterfront, Citizen, and Scarface were produced. Films formulated in accordance with specific genres were produced at the height of Hollywood studio system’s commercial and artistic success. The success of these films is not an anomaly. The restrictive production code created a platform for creativity and art that prospered films of this era to success (Rosenbaum, 1998). The gangster genre established itself in the beginning of the 1930’s. Howard Hawks’s Scarface (1932) was far more powerful than many others. The popularity of gangster and horror pictures was a reason for concern for the Motion-Picture Producers and Distributors Association and the Catholic Legion of Decency. Therefore, a Production Code was formulated forbidding excessive cinematic violence and sex scenes. The most crucial film of the decade was Citizen Kane. It success was due to its stylized lighting, deep-focus photography, and overlapping dialogue among other valuable techniques. It is one of America’s most significant contributions to the development of the movie industry. Despite several restrictions by the Production Code, the movie was one of the best in the period (Rosenbaum, 1998). Films such as Scarface presented antagonists in a favorable light; making heroes out of everyday villains. The Production Code reinforced and redefined the American cinema in the 1930’s. The basis was that every form of art should have it laws, and if the laws are surpassed, the art is recognized as something different. The Code introduced strict rules for film producers to abide by. This highly affected the manner in which Hollywood narratives were structured, and it is evidenced by films which were re-released in order to abide by the Production Code. Scarface provided the first significant test of the new Production Code. It attracted the attention of Will Hays, the chief censor of the time. It was a typical gangster film that focused on the gangster life of Tony, and his rise and fall. The original film portrayed Tony in a favorable light throughout the film; thus there were concerns that the film glorified the gangster culture. The code demanded the unsympathetic portrayal of Tony and minimal detail be shown of the brutal crimes. In accordance with the general principles of plot laid down, Scarface violated the principle that no plot theme should openly side with evil and be against good. It also went against the principle that suggests that, in a plot, evil should not be presented alluringly (Code, 1934). In order to show how concerning and serious the gangster culture was, the Code demanded that certain scenes be eliminated. The title was altered, and a prologue added that suggests to the audience that Scarface is against the gangster culture. An entirely new scene was also incorporated into Scarface to address the Code’s concerns over people confronting the newspaper publisher, angered by the publicity gangsters received from the press. A technique that ensured the success of films at this time is the idea of the audience being active readers. In Scarface, scenes that hinted at Tony’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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