The Golden Age of Hollywood: Crash Course Film History #11


It’s time for the glitz and the glamour of big motion pictures that helped keep American spirits up during and after the Great Depression. Sound was a huge change to motion pictures, but there were still a few technological innovations to come, like color and aspect ration. Today, Craig walks us through the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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  1. I know this is already three years old, but someone needs to point out that Mr. Benzine leaves out the most common film aspect ratio used for fifty years (pre-digital), while incorrectly asserting that most movies were made in the widescreen/anamorphic/2.35:1 aspect ratio. This is simply not true. That shape (and the lenses it requires) was reserved for spectacles and big action films (with slightly bigger budgets), while all the dramas and comedies (constituting the majority of studio releases) were being made in the most common aspect ratio of all, the one that's never mentioned here: 1.85:1. Early on Benzine refers to 16:9, but not only is this a term that was never referred to before the late nineties/early 2000s, its equivalent is 1.77:1, which is not a film format at all. It is, however, close enough to 16:9 that movies shot in 1.85:1 either lose a little bit of image on the right and left, gain a very thin letterbox top and bottom, or (say it ain't so!) get slightly squeezed. But given the dominance of 1.85:1 material out there, it strikes me as bad form to never mention it.

  2. How come you show film strips as "horizontal" at 5:55 and 7:56? Wasn't it just VistaVision that ran the film stock horizontally through the camera? And shouldn't you say the "point" when you refer to 2.55:1 and 2.35:1 aspect ratios (at 8:04 and 8:20)?

  3. Just a slight correction, Technicolor was actually replaced in the 50s with 1 roll color film, that uses 3 layers of color/light sensitive material on 1 role, not 3 separate ones. Which would mean that you can put it in the same camera as you use for black and white film, which was waaaay smaller than a Technicolor camera. And THAT technology was used until digital.

  4. methinks this foolish fellow may not be as knowledgalbe in the cinamatic arts as he claims – Homer out =(8^(|)

  5. I think the 70s and 80s should be called "the golden age", all the best movies came out in those decades. all the classics and big franchises. it's like movies peaked in the 70s and 80s.

  6. what about Columbia pictures?? I know they made the stooges shorts….. but were they not a competing studio??

  7. What happened to Columbia Picture Studios who produced such hits as: ' Born Yesterday', ' Picnic' and 'The Bridge on the River Kwai'. They also had mega star's: William Holden, Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford under contract???


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