Evolution of Film

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Many of us can share the love and excitement of walking into a dimly lit theater, of lying back in a squishy chair, of reaching with one hand into a bowl of butter-soaked popcorn; and of resting for two care-free hours to watch a movie meant to bring great emotion to the audience. Since their creation, movies have become a significant part of American culture. Today hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on creating movies and just as much is spent on viewing them. To keep up with popular demand, the industry is always changing and the equation to form a great movie is continually developing. While at one time the public ran to the nearest theater to view the latest silent slap stick comedy, today we reserve tickets through Fandango and watch blockbusters with multi-million dollar superstars. Beginning with short silent films, movies have evolved over the years in different stages including: the Golden Age, the political era, sequels, and what is now the age of special effects and high budget films. The industry today that creates movies costing unimaginable amounts of money began with the simplistic, silent film. Although many are forgotten today, these short films were a key part in developing motion pictures created over the ages. Beginning with The Great Train Robbery in 1903, the early nineteen hundreds started a new era of American life. Charlie Chaplin led the way with his comical tales of the tramp in his lovable favorites: Modern Times, The Kid, City Lights, and Limelight (“Silent Films”, 1). Another significant figure in the era of silent film was Mary Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart”. She left a lasting impression on the motion pictures business by co-founding the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which still continues to recognize great films with its annual award, the Oscar (“Mary Pickford”, 1). Pickford, AFI’s 24th greatest female star of all time, also shaped the Hollywood industry with her contract demands. Stars like these brought...
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