Class 3: The Independents

In today’s class, we covered the fall of the Trust due to the court ruling that led the MPPC to lose the Latham Loop patent and another ruling that dissolved the cartel on grounds of antitrust. But more devastating was the competition due to Kodak leaving the Trust and the rise of independent filmmakers.

These independents would revamp the industry, popularizing a new motion picture form, the feature film, promoting their stars and moving out west to better make movies in factories called studios.

The independents would become the new movie moguls of Hollywood and would control the film industry as a vertically integrated oligopoly.

As the Hollywood moguls dominated US film screens they would replace the pioneering efforts of the Trust-era film companies and make films that became an entertainment industry all their own. A film like The Cheat exemplifies the new, maturing film form coming from Hollywood and from Paramount Pictures, under Adolph Zukor.

Since we didn’t get to watch The Gold Rush in class, I invite you to watch it at Rosenthal Library. It is available on reserve.

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