"Ars Gratia Artis" -- Art For Art's Sake -- is all well and good, but one should never forget moviemaking is, at its heart, still a business. And nothing is quite so good for business as an unassailable monopoly!
Over the decades, many different approaches to this have been tried: Studios buying up ALL the movie theaters for example, and the whole "studio system" of locking talent into contracts.
In the late 1920s, William Fox, owner of Fox Film Corporation, came up with his own, cunning scheme to take over the ENTIRE film industry.
The result would set widescreen filmmaking back some 20 years! Read More
By 1934, Jack Warner was badly in need of some class.
Oh, his distinctly blue-collar studio was cranking out detective films and other such low-brow stuff, but what he REALLY needed was a Prestige project which would show Warner Bros. could hold its head up with the big boys!
What followed is the stuff of Hollywood legend -- one which should probably bear the title, "The Comedy of Errors"! Read More
For his 21st birthday in 1929, Carl Laemmle, Jr., received an unusual birthday gift. His Dad gave him Universal Studios.
The guy everyone THOUGHT was the heir apparent to Carl Laemmle, Sr., got relegated to doing B-grade pictures, as Junior jumped in with both feet and took complete control. And he knew precisely what he wanted to make; a short list which included "Dracula". Junior really got a kick out of horror tales.