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By Blair Davis

The emergence of the double-bill within the Nineteen Thirties created a divide among A-pictures and B-pictures as theaters as a rule screened applications that includes considered one of each one. With the previous thought of extra prestigious as a result of their higher budgets and extra renowned actors, the lower-budgeted Bs served principally as a aid mechanism to A-films of the main studios—most of which additionally owned the theater chains during which video clips have been proven. while a 1948 U.S. very best courtroom antitrust ruling severed possession of theaters from the studios, the B-movie quickly turned a distinct entity within the wake of profound alterations to the company association and creation tools of the most important Hollywood studios.

In The conflict for the Bs, Blair Davis analyzes how B-films have been produced, dispensed, and exhibited within the Nineteen Fifties and demonstrates the probabilities that existed for good value filmmaking at a time whilst many in Hollywood had deserted the Bs. Made by means of newly shaped autonomous businesses, Nineteen Fifties B-movies took benefit of altering demographic styles to type leading edge advertising methods. They demonstrated such style cycles as technology fiction and teen-oriented movies (think Destination Moon and I used to be a Teenage Werewolf) good ahead of the foremost studios and in addition contributed to the emergence of the circulate referred to now as underground cinema. even supposing often proving to be multimillion-dollar box-office attracts by way of the tip of the last decade, the Bs existed towards the cinematic mainstream within the Nineteen Fifties and created a legacy that was once handed directly to autonomous filmmakers within the many years to come.


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Extra info for The Battle for the Bs: 1950s Hollywood and the Rebirth of Low-Budget Cinema

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Hift quoted one 1950s “publicity man” as saying, “You never really know what’s the right way of publicizing a picture nowadays. . Ignore what the picture is about and stress some other angle which you think will appeal to the audience, and you may expire at the box office. Then you kick yourself for not having presented the film for what it really is. But then take it the other way ’round. You tell the truth about a picture, about its art, its appeal, etc. And then it dies. Everybody will be down on you, complaining you didn’t make it attractive enough.

Drive-In Theaters One trend in the 1950s that Hollywood eventually embraced was the growing popularity of the drive-in theater, which brought further change to fi lm spectatorship patterns (and proved to be an enormous asset to most of the new B-fi lm studios that emerged in this period). Although drive-ins originated in 1933, they did not begin to flourish until the postwar era. With the car becoming a status symbol, a “car culture” emerged, and the 1950s are commonly referred to as a golden age for drive-ins.

Perhaps you have noted that it contains a preponderance of wage earners and small salaried “white collar” workers of pretty steady employment, with a plentiful sprinkling of young folks, including teen-agers and small children. If so, you are on the right track. . [Also pay] special attention to the number of young married people with small children, and their economic status. 65 In order to further appeal to family audiences, many drive-ins provided additional attractions such as children’s playgrounds.

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