فصل 06

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

The ‘star system’

In 1932, Technicolor introduced a camera which could produce ‘natural’ colours for the films that were shown in the cinemas. Filming in Technicolor was expensive, but soon every kind of movie could be seen for the first time ‘In Glorious Technicolor.’

The golden age of the cinema continued through most of the 1940s. Audiences filled the ‘picture palaces’ in their towns, enjoying exciting films like Citizen Kane, Casablanca and Double Indemnity, and musicals like Meet Me in St Louis and Easter Parade.

During the Second World War, many people went to the cinema for another reason as well. They could see the main film, but they could also see newsreels - films of the week’s news - with all the latest film and information about the war.

At this time, actors worked for just one company. This was known as the ‘star system’. MGM Studios told everyone that it had ‘more stars than there are in heaven’ working for them; stars like Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.

Studios often chose or wrote stories especially for their big stars.

And sometimes a director would be brought in from another studio to do a film because that star liked him, or worked well with him. Or a cameraman would be brought in because he knew how to make the star look his or her best on screen.

The Academy Awards are given every year by the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They are called ‘Oscars’, and they are supposed to have got their name because they looked like the Uncle Oscar of Margaret Herrick, a lady who worked in the Academy film library. The first Awards were given in May, 1929, and the Oscars were awarded for silent films only. In 1930, the award-giving was broadcast on the radio, and today it is seen on TV by millions of people all over the world.

Film fact

One star, Marlon Brando, was paid $2.25 million for ten days work on Superman (1978). He appears on the screen for about ten minutes in the film.

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