The Movie Industry



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1. The sound (vs. silent) era of film began in what year?  _____

2. After seeing The Birth of a Nation this individual had this to say about the film: “It’s like writing history with lightening.  My only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” _______  _______ [first & last name]

3. By 1908, in the U.S. there were 8 – 10,000 _______, small movie “theatres” that charged a nickel for admission.

4. As noted in the documentary Birth of a Movement, this Boston-based man led the fight to organize protests against the screening of The Birth of a Nation: ____________ [full name].

5. In 1907 and 1908 these two cities launched the nation’s first film censorship boards.  Chicago and _____

6. In _____ [specify year] the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that movie content is NOT covered by the First Amendment.

7. This term refers to text (dialog, characters names, brief descriptions of scenes) that was inserted at various points in silent films to clarify what was happening on the screen: i ________

8. During the P______Era, American documentary films frequently dealt with significant social issues (poverty, crime, etc.) of the day.

9. As vertical integration of the movie industry progressed film distributers engaged in a practice that required theatres to book a predetermined group of films at the same time.  This practice was known as:  _____  _____.

10. Known as the ___________ [2 words] this was a string of venues in the U.S. that featured African American vaudeville performers.

11. In the summer of 1919 white mobs, concerned about a loss of status with the migration northern migration of Black Americans, murdered hundreds of Black citizens in over two dozen cities across the U.S.  This was / is commonly referred to as the _____ Summer.

12. This is the term that was used to refer to northern businessmen who came to the southern U.S. to engage in profiteering during the period of Reconstruction.  c_________________.


Short Answer

1. Describe 3 reasons that the movie industry started moving to the west coast (California) around 1908.

2. Describe (not just list) 3 technical innovations in filmmaking that took place between 1910 and 1930.

3. Explain the significance of the title of Griffith’s film, Birth of a Nation.  What did he mean to convey by using this title?

4. On what specific grounds did some critics find fault with the pioneering documentary film, Nanook of the North?

5. Describe 3 distinct stereotypes (dehumanizing caricatures) about African Americans that early 20th century films reinforced.  AND:  In each case, cite a specific film scene in which each of the stereotypes is depicted. 

6. Both Hattie McDaniel and Steppin Fetchit achieved financial success in Hollywood, yet they were heavily criticized by the NAACP and other Black civil rights advocates.  Why?  Provide detailed examples to support your explanation.

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