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Minicap Educational Establishment
Secondary School N0 1 with
Thorough Learning of Foreign Languages
Central District, Chelyabinsk


              ''American Cinema''

Made by Bragina Kate
                                                   Class 10-4

                         Foreign Language Department

                                   The contents

Introduction.    2
American Cinema  3
The earliest history of film.     4
The earliest movie theatres. 4
The growth of the film industry.  5
Popcorn     7
The Oscar.  7
Hollywood.  7
Beverly Hills.   9
The major film genres. 9
Film Companies   10
Film Directors and Producers 10
Films.      12
Actors and Actresses.  12
Marilyn Monroe.  16
Walt Disney 18
Titanic.    19
Literature. 20
Vocabularly.     21


        I’m a cinema goer. And also I like watching films on TV or video.
But I think, that watching a good film is the best relaxation. It is
thought-provoking and entertaining. Now a growing number of people prefer
watching films on TV to attending cinemas. There are wonderful comedies,
love stories, science fiction, horror films, detective stories, and
historical films on. There’s a variety of films available today. It is
difficult to live without cinema. One fact is clear for everyone: cinema
makes our life better. Cinema helps us to forget different problems. When
people watch films, they have a rest. Some films take people into another
world. I think it is a pure world, where usual problems do not even exist.
Cinema is a great power, it helps us to understand our complex well. Cinema
can leave nobody indifferent. It is so powerful that it provokes complex
feelings. We meet a lot of people. Everyone has his own opinion about
something and like most of us I have my own opinion too, for example, about
cinema. Cinema is a necessary and important part of my life. It is my
essence, my mode of life and my happiness. Cinema helps me to cope with
difficulties and with incorrigible problems. So that’s why I have chosen
the topic ‘Cinema’.

                               American Cinema

    The world of American  cinema  is  so  far-reaching  a  topic  that  it
deserves, and  often  receives,  volumes  of  its  own.  Hollywood  (in  Los
Angeles, California), of course, immediately comes to mind, as do  the  many
great directors, actors and actresses it continues to attract  and  produce.
But then, one also thinks of the many  independent  studios  throughout  the
country, the educational and documentary series  and  films,  the  socially-
relevant tradition in cinema, and  the  film  departments  of  universities,
such as the University of  Southern  California  (USC),  the  University  of
California at Los Angeles (UCLA) or New York University.
    For over 50 years, American films have continued to grow in  popularity
throughout the world. Television has only increased this popularity.
    The great blockbusters of film entertainment that  stretch  from  "Gone
with the Wind" to "Star Wars" receive the most  attention.  A  look  at  the
prizes awarded  at  the  leading  international  film  festivals  will  also
demonstrate that as an art form,  the  American  film  continues  to  enjoy-
considerable prestige. Even when the theme  is  serious  or,  as  they  say,
"meaningful", American films remain "popular". In  the  past  decade,  films
which treated the danger of nuclear power and weapons, alcoholism,  divorce,
inner-city blight, .the effects of slavery, the plight of Native  Americans,
poverty  and  immigration  have  all  received  awards   and   international
recognition. And, at the same time, they have done well at the box-office.
    Movies (films), including those on  video-cassettes,  remain  the  most
popular art form in the USA. A book with 20,000 readers is considered to  be
a best-seller. A hit play may be seen by a  few  thousand  theatergoers.  By
contrast, about a billion movie tickets are sold at movie houses across  the
USA every year.
    There are three main varieties of movie theaters in  the  USA:  1)  the
"first-run" movie houses, which show new films;  2)  "art  theaters",  which
specialize  in  showing  foreign  films  and  revivals;   3)   "neighborhood
theaters", which run films — sometimes two at a time  —  after  the  "first-
run" houses.
    New York is a movie theater capital of the country. Many of the  city's
famous large movie theaters,  once  giving  Times  Square  so  much  of  its
glitter, have been torn down  or  converted  (in  some  cases  into  smaller
theaters), and a new generation of modem theaters has appeared to the  north
and east of the area.  Most  of  them  offer  continuous  performances  from
around noon till midnight. Less crowded  and  less  expensive  are  the  so-
called "neighborhood theaters", which show films  several  weeks  or  months
after the "first-run" theaters. There are several theaters  that  specialize
in revivals of famous old films and others that show only modernist,  avant-
garde films. Still others, especially those along 42nd Street,  between  the
Avenue of Americas and Eighth Avenue, run movies  about  sex  and  violence.
Foreign films, especially those of  British,  French,  Italian  and  Swedish
origin, are often seen in New York, and several  movie  theaters  specialize
in the showing of foreign-language films for the various  ethnic  groups  in
the city.

                        The earliest history of film.

    The illusion of movement was first noted in the early 19th century.  In
1824 the English physician  Peter  Mark  Roget  published  an  article  ‘the
persistence of vision with regard to moving  objects’.  Many  inventors  put
his theory to the test with pictures posted on coins that  were  flipped  by
the thumb, and with rotating disks of drawings. A  particular  favorite  was
the zoetrope, slotted revolving drum through which could be seen clowns  and
animals that seemed to leap. They were hand drawn on strips of paper  fitted
inside the drum. Other similar devices were the hemitrope, the  phasmatrope,
the phenakistoscope, and the praxinoscope. It is not possible  to  give  any
one person credit for having invented the motion picture. In the  1880s  the
Frenchman Etienne Jules Marey developed the rotating shutter with a slot  to
admit light, and George Eastman, of New York, developed  flexible  film.  In
1888 Thomas Edison, of New Jersey, his phonograph for recording and  playing
sound on wax cylinders. He tried to  combine  sound  with  motion  pictures.
Edison’s assistant, William Dickson, worked on the idea,  and  in  1889,  he
both appeared and spoke in a film. Edison did not turn his attention to  the
projected motion picture at first. The results were still not  good  enough,
and Edison did not think that films would not have large appeal. Instead  he
produced and patented the kinetoscope, which ran a continuous loop  of  film
about 15 meters (50 feet) long. Only one person could view it at a time.  By
1894, hand-cranked kinetoscope appeared  all  over  the  United  States  and
Europe. Edison demonstrated  a  projecting  kinetoscope.  The  cinematograph
based on Edison’s kinetoscope was  invented  by  two  Frenchmen,  Louis  and
Auguste  Lumiere.  This  machine  consisted  of  a  portable  camera  and  a
projector. In December 1895, The Lumiere brothers  organized  a  program  of
short motion pictures at a Parisian cafe.

                        The earliest movie theatres.

    Films were first thought of as experiment or toys. They were  shown  in
scientific laboratories and in the  drawing  rooms  of  private  home.  When
their commercial potential was realized they began to be screened in  public
to a paying audience. The first films  to  be  shown  publicly  were  short,
filmed news items  and  travelogues.  These  were  screened  alongside  live
variety acts form theatre shows, called vaudeville in United States.  Within
a few years fairground tents that slowed nothing but programs of films  were
common sights. In United States stores were converted  onto  movie  theatre,
which were known as ‘storefront theatre’. People would pay a nickel  to  see
about an hour’s  worth  of  film,  so  the  theatre  came  to  be  known  as
‘nickelodeons’. Early  film  audiences  needed  patience.  There  were  many
technical  problems.  Projectors  were  likely  to  breath  down  and  every
projectionist kept slides to reassure the audience:  ‘The  performance  will
resume shortly.’   Many projectors caused flickering on the screen,  earning
films the nickname of ‘the flicks’.

                      The growth of the film industry.

    From the start the film industry was eager to make and show films  that
people would want to see. The  most  popular  films  were  those  that  told
stories- narrative fiction films. Film  making  began  to  realize  that  by
using different camera angels,  locations,  lighting  and  special  effects,
film could tell a story in the way that live theatre couldn’t.
    The great Train Robbery, made in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter, was the first
American narrative fiction film. It included the basic  ingredients  of  the
Western: a hold-up, a chase, and a gunfight. It  used  a  great  variety  of
shots by showing the action at different distances  from  the  camera-  long
shots of action in the distance, but also medium shots of the  actors  shown
full-length, and chase-ups of the face and shoulders of  a  gunman  shooting
directly at the audience.
     Before World War I American film industry had logged behind  the  film
industries of Europe particularly those of France and Italy. But during  the
war, film making almost stopped in Europe, partly because  a  chemical  used
in celluloid was needed for making gunpowder.  The  American  film  industry
thrived during the war because there was money for making  films;  and  also
because of popular the genius of D. W. Griffith. In 1915 Griffith  made  The
Birth Of Nation, a film about the American Civil War and  in  1916  he  made
Intolerance.  These  three  hour’s  films  were  American’s  answer  to  the
spectacular Italian films such as Quo Vadis that had earlier astonished  the
world. For Intolerance Griffith had built a set  of  an  ancient  Babylonian
city, which was over a mile long, and  he  photograph  it  from  a  balloon.
Griffith was a genius, not just because he could  show  huge  and  thrilling
scenes  on  the  screen,  but  because  he  was  aware   of   the   artistic
possibilities of film.
    The actors in  the  old-sealers  had  mostly  been  unknown  and  their
performances very poor. Because the films were silent, actors  made  up  for
lack of speech by frantic and unnatural gestures and movements.  A  new  and
better style of acting was adopted by a young American actress called  Marry
Pickford who showed that a simple natural style was more  effective  on  the
screen than dramatic arm-waving and chest-thumping. Her fame  spread  across
the Atlantic. In 1918, she  signed  a  contract  for  more  than  a  million
dollars. The stars system was born.
    About the same time, some of the slapstick comedians  developed  unique
comedy styles, and also became  world-famous  stars.  Charlie  Chaplin,  the
little man with the derby hat,  cane,  and  boggy  pants,  became  the  most
famous (he, too, sealed a  million-dollar  contract).  But  others  such  as
Buster Heaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon were also  widely  acclaimed.
They were great artists whose work is  still  popular  today.  By  1920  the
cinema had became the most popular form  of  leisure  activity  outside  the
     Film studios such as Metro-Goldwin Meyer,  Paramount,  Warner’s,  20th
Century Fox, and United Artists developed a system for  producing  films  on
the same principle that Henry Ford used for  his  cars-  the  assembly  like
Hollywood, on the west coast of the United States, became the center of  the
film industry. Its climate, light and physical surroundings were  suited  to
the film industry, which shot  much  material  out  of  doors.  Film  making
thrived. In succeeding years, many  great  films  were  made  in  Hollywood,
beginning with the silent films,  followed,  in  the  mid-twenties,  by  the
first sound pictures.
    The first animated cartoon drawn in the United  States  especially  for
film was done in 1906 by J. Stuart Blackton. The first full-length  animated
feature film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made in 1937.
    The stars of  the  films  being  produced  in  Hollywood  became  known
throughout the world. Among them were famous Cagney,  Clark  Gable,  Marlene
Dietrich, who had first appeared in films  in  Germany,  the  Swedish  Greta
Garbo and the young Shirley Temple. Some  of  the  most  famous  stars  were
Mickey Mouse and characters from Walt Disney’s cartoon. Leading film  makers
included John Ford, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra and George Cukor.
     During World War II some of the best Americans  directors  in  the  US
were recruited by the War Department, because  films  were  needed  to  help
raise the morale of servicemen. Among the best  films  of  this  war  period
were  Frank  Capra’s  ''Why  We  Fight''  series  (1942-45).  Walt  Disney’s
animated films; and  documentaries  about  important  battlers  directed  by
Garson  Kanin,  John  Huston,  Billy  Wilder.  Orson  Welles’s   masterpiece
''Citizen Kane'' (1940) was the story of a newspaper tycoon. After  the  war
high-quality films  continued  to  pour  out  of  the  United  States.  They
included Charlie Chaplin’s ''Limelight''  (1952),  the  fine  Western  Shane
(1956), a drama of the New York docks called On The  Waterfront  (1954)  and
many high-spirited musicals  of  which  An  American  In  Paris  (1951)  was
outstanding. Alfred Hitchcock  made  his  best  films  during  this  period.
''Psycho'' with its famous murder-in-the-shower scene was probably the  most
successful. Despite these successes the great  studios  began  to  get  into
financial difficulties because of declining audiences.
    However, the late 1960s saw  a  turning  point  in  the  American  film
industry with the release of a  number  of  films  appealing  to  the  youth
market, which drew enormous audiences. The most famous of these were  Arthur
Penn’s ''Bonnie and  Clyde''  (1967)  and  Dennis  Hopper’s  ''Easy  Rider''
(1969). Realising that they  could  no  longer  rely  on  their  traditional
family audiences, film makers increasingly concentrated on films for the so-
called ‘teenage market’, science fiction  and  fantasy  ‘blockbusters’  with
computer enhanced special effects Dolby sound such as George Lucas’s  ''Star
Wars'' (1977) and Steven Spielberg’s ''Raiders  Of  The  Lost  Ark''  (1981)
became very popular.


        Today Americans still continue the custom of eating popcorn at the
movies. Americans use 500,000 pounds of popcorn every year. All corn does
not pop. A seed or kernel of corn must have 14 percent water in it to pop.
Other kinds of pop have less water and do not pop. When you put a kernel of
corn on a fire, the water inside makes the corn explode. This makes a ‘pop’
noise. That is why we called it popcorn. The American Indians popped corn a
long time ago. The Indians knew there were three kinds of corn.  There was
sweet corn for eating, corn for animals, and corn for popping. The Indians
introduced corn to the first settlers, or Pilgrims, when they come to
America in 1620. One year after they came, the Pilgrims had a Thanksgiving
dinner. They invited the Indians. The Indians brought food with them. One
Indian brought popcorn. Since that time Americans continued to pop corn at
home. But in 1945 there was a new machine that changed the history of
popcorn. This electric machine popped corn outside the home. Soon movie
theatres started to sell popcorn to make more money. Popcorn at the movies
became more and more popular. Many people like to put salt and melted
butter on their popcorn. Some people eat it without salt or butter. Either
way - Americans love their popcorn!

                                 The Oscar.

        The Oscars are awarded every year by the American Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Science. These statuettes are awarded to actors, film
directors, screenwriters and so on for outstanding contributions to the
film industry. The Oscars were first awarded in 1927. The first winners
were chosen by five judges. Nowadays all of the members of the Academy
vote. The ceremony is attended by most Hollywood stars, although some
famous stars, such as Woody Allen, refuse to go, even if they win an award.
The oldest winner of an Oscar was 80-year- old Jessica Tandy for her
performance in the film “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990. The youngest was
Shirley Temple when she was only five years old. The statuette is of
soldier standing on a reel of film. Nobody is really sure why it is called
an Oscar, although some people say that it is because when the first
statuette was made, a secretary said, “It reminds me of Uncle Oscar!”


    When people think about of Hollywood, they probably think of film stars
like Marilyn Monroe, Gary Grant and James Dean. Hollywood is the  center  of
the international movie industry and American  movies  are  distributed  all
over the world. They are  made  in  English  but  often  dubbed  into  other
languages. In some countries 90 percent of the movies that  people  see  are
US production. Sometimes, a film is not very  popular  with  Americans,  but
people in other countries like it. The first films were  made  in  Hollywood
in 1911. Between 1930-1945, the five largest  Hollywood’s  studios  produced
most of the movies and owned most  of  the  movie  theatres  in  the  United
States. Making films is expensive. On  the  average,  it  costs  36  million
dollars to produce a movie. Some of this goes to pay  the  salary  of  well-
known movie stars and large sums  can  be  spent  on  special  effects  like
computer-generated imagery (CGI). Marketing the  movie  to  the  public  may
cost another  17  million  dollars  or  more.  To  cover  these  costs  film
companies receive money for movie theatre tickets and the sale or rental  of
videos. They also sell CDs of the soundtrack and  toys,  books,  or  clothes
associated with the movie. Indeed, there was a time when Hollywood  was  the
most famous place in the USA, if not the world.
    The Hollywood story begins at the end of the last century.
    1887. A man called Harvey Wilcox bought a large  ranch  in  a  district
north-west  of  Los  Angeles  in  California.  His  wife  called  the   land
    1902-04. The first cinemas (‘nickelodeons’) opened in the USA.
    1911. Two brothers from New Jersey built Hollywood’s first film studio.

    1912. Film-makers from the east coast of the USA  came  to  California,
first in small number and then in thousands.
    1912. The Hollywood industry was born.
    There were several reasons why film makers went to Hollywood.  Firstly,
there was a lot of space, secondly,  California’s  warm  sunny  weather  was
ideal for making films outside. Thirdly, there was a  variety  of  locations
for filming: ocean, mountains, deserts, villages, woodland and rivers.
    By 1939 the great dream factory studios made nearly 500 movies a  year,
drew American audience of 50 million a week  and  earned  over  700  million
dollars at the box office-all with the help of 30,000  employees  who  dealt
with everything from processing film to fan mail.
    In the 1950s and 60s Hollywood became more international. Famous  stars
like Maurice Chevalier from France, Marlene Dietrich from Germany and  Sofia
Loren from Italy came to Hollywood.  Even  today  many  international  stars
like Gerard Depardier and Arnold Schwarzeneger make films in Hollywood.
    A big film studio, like MGM or Warner Brothers, brought to life  a  lot
of film stars. They could make or break a star.
    The Hollywood film studio produced  different  types.  There  were  the
silent Charlie Chaplin comedies of the  20s,  gangster  films,  Frankenstein
horror films and Greta Garbo romantic melodramas of the  30s,  the  musicals
of the 40s and 50s, the westerns (cowboy films) of the 50s,  the  historical
epics of the 60s, the science fiction  films  of  the  70s  and  the  Steven
Spielberg action films and violent horror films of the 80s. Who  knows  what
the next century will be famous for?

                               Beverly Hills.

    Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to  go  and  see  Beverly
Hills. This is where you find the homes of  the  movie  stars.  But  Beverly
Hills isn’t Los Angeles. It’s a small city next to Los  Angeles.  All  kinds
of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may be movie  stars,
television stars, sport stars, or other people in  the  news.  Tourists  can
buy special  maps  for  the  homes  of  the  stars.  These  homes  are  very
beautiful.  They  usually  have  swimming  pools  and  tennis  courts.   But
sometimes you cannot see very much. The  homes  have  high  walls  or  trees
around them. Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This  is  one  of
the most expensive shopping  streets  in  the  United  States.  Rodeo  Drive
started to be an elegant street in the 1960s. Many famous stores are  opened
on the street. People liked all the new styles and fashions they could  buy.
Today you can find the most expensive  and  unusual  clothing,  jewelry  and
furniture in the world on  Rodeo  Drive.  Rodeo  Drive  is  a  very  special
street. When you want to park your car in public parking, an attendant  will
come and park your car for you. Beverly Hills is really a small  city.  Only
About 35,000 people live there. But during the day more than 200,000  people
come to Beverly Hills to work or to shop!

                           The major film genres.

    The major film genres developed in the United States are the following:
    Comedy. Charles Spencer  Chaplin  became  the  most  widely  recognized
comedy figure in the world. He emphasized the development of  character  and
plot structure, in contrast to the simple  reliance  on  gags  and  gimmicks
that characterized the work of other comedy producers of the day.
    Westerns. The Western (a film about life in the American  West  in  the
past) was the first American genre  to  be  developed  and  has  remained  a
staple of  the  American  motion-picture  art  and  industry.  It  has  been
estimated that one quarter of US films have been  Westerns.  However,  today
most American  Westerns  are  made  in  Italy  and  are  called  '"spaghetti
    Musicals. The musicals of the late 1920s and the early 1930s  consisted
of a series of "numbers" by established stars of Broad-way,  vaudeville  and
radio. Later manifestations of the  form  were  the  biographical  musicals,
often highly  fictionalized,  about  great  composers,  musicians,  singers,
providing an opportunity to string  together  some  of  their  most  popular
hits. The transferring of musicals intact from the  Broad-way  stage  became
almost automatic beginning in the 1950s.
    Gangster films. While the Western deals with a mythical  American  past
and the musical with a fantasy land, the gangster film is closely tied to  a
real facet of American life. In earlier films, the  gangster  had  risen  to
the top to enjoy wealth, power, beautiful women, expensive homes  and  large
cars, but before the end of the film he was  bound  to  be  caught  by  law-
enforcement officers, overthrown by fellow  gang  members  or  killed.  Such
punishment was considered obligatory.  By  1971,  however,  "The  Godfather"
showed how far the genre has evolved: Marion  Brando,  in  the  title  role,
dies of old age. The gangster was another businessman.

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