Vitagraph: America's First Great Motion Picture Studio [Hardback]

Andrew A. Erish (Author)

ISBN: 9780813181196 | Published by: University Press of Kentucky | Series: Screen Classics | Year of Publication: 2021 | Language: English 298p, H229 x W152 (mm) 46 b&w photos



Vitagraph: America's First Great Motion Picture Studio is the first comprehensive examination of the company most responsible for defining and popularizing the American movie. Vitagraph was among the five production companies established at the dawn of commercial cinema in America. From its initial studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn to its later base of operations in Hollywood, Vitagraph was America's leading producer of motion pictures for much of the silent era, and for several years was the nation's largest exhibitor. The company overcame resistance to multi-reel movies by establishing its own distribution network for feature films across North America, which thrived for more than half a century. Vitagraph's international distribution was even more profitable, reaching into every country where motion pictures were shown. In the process it cultivated a preference for American movies that endures into the present. Just as important to Vitagraph's prosperity and legacy was its role in developing the form and content of American movies, encompassing everything from framing, lighting and acting to emphasizing character-driven, action-packed comedy and drama. The company's commitment to expanding the boundaries of cinema resulted in the creation of the animated motion picture, and prefigured the style that came to be known as film noir. Vitagraph's success was due to the contributions of the talented people it employed. This is the story of these forgotten pioneers and some of the films they made, drawn from a treasure trove of primary sources that challenge fundamental notions and myths that have plagued motion picture history.

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Conclusion

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