Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

Lavish Lizard

Once Upon A Time In Old Hollywood

What Would Be Considered Old Hollywood

3 min read

What era would be considered old Hollywood. A lot of people say its at the end of the 1960’s or some say when the studio system ended probably in the late 1950’s. It’s a combination of a few factors. A big part probably was when an actors or actress were freely able to make movies with out the constraints of say MGM, Paramount, Columbia, or perhaps Warner Bro holding them to a long term contract, breathing down their neck, or watching their every move during the golden era of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s.

If you were with say for example RKO studios as was Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers that was it your locked in no real movement. Then if you wanted to make a movie with an actor with 20th Century Fox lets say James Cagney, and Spencer Tracy wanted to make a film together. Mr Cagney was with Warner Bro and Spencer Tracy with Fox, Cagney would have to be loaned out to fox, or vice versa, real hard to do in those day.

It was done with the right actor and the right project. In the golden days of Hollywood actors and actresses who worked as more character players worked more like employees, and often appeared in 7 or 8 movies a year, just jumping form set to set during the same day for a weekly salary. Of course the larger well know stars made much more money but they were still under contract.

By the 1950’s you had the actors studio for young actors, and actresses. By then the likes of Marlon Brando, and Montgomery Clift, could name their price because they had real talent to back it up, and begun making their own decisions with or with out agents, and were becoming performers for hire with large fee demands, and setting up elaborate production companies as with Burt Lancaster‘s Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions.

Back in the old days sadly some of these great actors never worked together. Since they had iron clad contracts with their studio’s. Their were no big Gable-Wayne western, or Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart or Edward G Robinson gangster film. You did not see Kathrine Hepburn and Bette Davis working together.

I believe by the 1960’s you had such a deep diverse talent pool to work with with in the U.S and English actors, and from other countries. Their was a new Hollywood, lead by Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Gene Hackman. Then you had Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton from the UK, and with veterans like Elizabeth Taylor, and Natalie Wood demanding larger fees. New directors like Mike Nichols, Arthur Hiller, and Francis Ford Coppola had very diverse directing styles to offer.

Any film made in the 1970’s were not part of the old Hollywood system. Even though you still had old Hollywood actors and actresses still popular, working and making good films that made money like. Charlton Heston. Gregory Peck, William Holden, and Ava Gardner. Do we want old Hollywood to come back like it was in the glory days, for nostalgic reasons sure but that era is long gone, and only alive, and well in films seen on TMC, or AMC.

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