" Classic Film " Definition
What is considered a " Classic Film ? " Depends who you ask. Many feel
certain old movies are classic. Some feel certain new movies are classic. In
other words everyone has their opinion on what should be considered a
" Classic Film . " You can use the term " Classic " to describe a film you
think is great whether it was made this year or during the " Silent Era " usually
considered 1890 - 1929 . Most film Historians use the term " Classic Film "
to describe a span of time beginning in the early 1930's through the late
1950's. Many have called this period the " Golden Age " of Hollywood. So
you could lump all the films during this period as the " Classic Film " period.
That doesn't mean all the films made during this period were the best of all
time. Some films won Oscars. Many were considered to be amateurish.
Depends on public opinion and the professional film critic. Another approach
in defining the " Classic Film " period would be any films made during the "
Hollywood studio system era ." That era is considered to be from the 1920s
through the 1970s. During this time most actors and actresses were under
exclusive contracts to a single studio. In the late 1970s many actors started
branching out on their own offering their services to the highest bidder. They
became independent contractors. To narrow it down the " Studio System "
was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from
the early 1920s through the 1950s. The term studio system refers to the
practice of large motion picture studios (a) producing movies primarily on
their own filmmaking lots with creative personnel under often long-term
contract and (b) pursuing vertical integration through ownership or effective
control of distributors and movie theaters, guaranteeing additional sales of
films through manipulative booking techniques. A 1948 Supreme Court ruling
against those distribution and exhibition practices hastened the end of the
studio system. In 1954, the last of the operational links between a major
production studio and theater chain was broken and the era of the studio
system was officially over. The period stretching from the introduction of
sound to the court ruling and the beginning of the studio breakups,
1927/29–1948/49, is commonly known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.
During the Golden Age, eight companies comprised the so-called major
studios that promulgated the Hollywood studio system. Of these eight, five
were fully integrated conglomerates, combining ownership of a production
studio, distribution division, and substantial theater chain, and contracting
with performers and filmmaking personnel: Fox Film Corporation (later 20th
Century-Fox), Loew’s Incorporated (owner of America's largest theater
circuit and parent company to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), Paramount Pictures,
RKO Radio Pictures, and Warner Bros. Two majors—Universal Pictures and
Columbia Pictures—were similarly organized, though they never owned more
than small theater circuits. The eighth of the Golden Age majors, United
Artists, owned a few theaters and had access to two production facilities
owned by members of its controlling partnership group, but it functioned
primarily as a backer-distributor, loaning money to independent producers
and releasing their films. During this period since studios controlled so much
in regard to hiring the actors, producing the movie plus distributing the film
through it's own theaters many have argued better quality films were made. If
you look at the The American Film Institute's list of 100 greatest films, a
majority were from the " Golden Age . " As of 2007, five of the Golden Age
majors continue to exist as major Hollywood studio entities, each as part of a
larger media conglomerate: Columbia (owned by Sony), 20th Century Fox
(owned by News Corporation), Warner Bros. (owned by Time Warner),
Paramount (owned by Viacom), and Universal (owned by General
Electric/NBC Universal). In addition, The Walt Disney Company's Buena
Vista Motion Pictures Group has emerged as a major, resulting in a "Big Six."
With the exception of Disney, all of these so-called major studios are
essentially based on the model not of the classic Big Five, but of the old
United Artists: that is, they are primarily backer-distributors (and physical
studio leasers) rather than actual production companies.
In conclusion for the most part this website will show films between the
years 1920s through the 1970s. Many fun films to watch are " B movies "
made during those years. Those will be included . Other films may be shown
outside those years depending on their copyright status, general opinion and