1920's Films – Early Production and The Introduction of Sound

The 1920's was a very important era in film making primarily due to the transition from silent films to "talkies." The technology of synchronized sound was introduced in 1927 with the film debut of "The Jazz Singer," starring Al Jolsen, and the motion picture industry would never be the same again.

Prior to the introduction of synchronized sound, movies were considered an art form that appeared to audiences worldwide. Their goal was to entertain and they were very good at it. The financial success of the film industry was intense with over a thousand films released every year and over a hundred million tickets sold each week.

The magical influence of films during the post World War I era helped America to deal with the harsh memories of war by providing audiences with laughter and a harmless escape into a silver screen world of fantasy populated by movie stars who were larger then life.

None of which were larger than the legendary Charlie Chaplin who began his career in 1914 in the movie "Making a Living." Chaplin soon became one of the most celebrated stars of both silent and talking motion pictures. He would also go on to become a brilliant director, and was more than just a little politically controversial.

"The Big Parade" (1925), "Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ" (1921), "The Jazz Singer" (1927), "Flesh and the Devil" (1926) and Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" (1921).

A Hollywood legend who would become a sensational star in the 1930's began as an extra in silent films during the 1920's. This extra was the great "Clark Gable." He would make his debut in the silent film "Forbidden Paradise" (1924), but did not receive much recognition until his transition over to "talking pictures" where he began to receive leading roles along side the wonderful Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, and Greta Garbo.

In 1927, the research and experimentation of sound in films began to pay off and the introduction of the new talking films technology received a warm welcome to the big screen. The unpresented success of "The Jazz Singer," drove Hollywood film studios to immediately produce more talking films using the "movietone" sound system and the "photophone" as developed by RCA studios.

With technicolor film processing still in the experimental stage, Hollywood was actively taking advantage of sound in pictures by producing at least 800 movies a year with profits soaring as a result of the publics exploding demand.

Hollywood was ascending to intense success with the innovation of sound and the development of technicolor. New opportunities awaited filmmakers by the 1930's allowing them to showcase incredible scenery, and create newer and more magnificent star power, 1920's movies had provided the foundation for what was to become The Golden Age of Hollywood, perpetuating its beloved magic for many decades to come.



Source by Carl DiNello

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