The early part of the 1930’s provided less in the way of Hollywood Movie Memories, and more in the way of memories of the Great Depression. In spite of the decades slow start, Hollywood would go on to have one of the most creatively and financially successful eras in motion picture history.
It was during the 1930’s that Hollywood film making really started to spread its wings. The use of sound in film production, both as background and dialogue, continued to advance. New sound techniques were created and mastered with several competing sound options now available. These sound advancements along with the ability to film in color immediately caused a revolution in motion picture production.
The color film process known as Technicolor became the most widely used in Hollywood right up through the early 1950’s. The Technicolor process produced super-realistic, dazzling color that was used with spectacular success in films such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Singin’ In The Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and the animated Disney classics Fantasia, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The evolution of film genres began to expand and now included gangster films (including the first prison drama), musicals, westerns, screwball comedies, and monster movies. In addition, socially conscious reality films, historical biography’s, and newspaper reporting style movies were now being made. Many of the classic silent films of the 1920’s were being remade with sound, and 1930’s film production now included something called ‘sequels,’ and ‘spin-offs’. There even existed a psychological approach to movie making that produced a large number of adventure and fantasy films to help take the viewers minds off the Great Depression.
The 1930’s also produced probably the largest number of movie firsts than any other decade. A few of these would include little known prop man and B-actor John Wayne’s first starring role in a major motion picture (The Big Trail), the creation of the Motion Picture Production Code (setting film guidelines for violence, sex, crime and religion), The Hollywood Reporter (the first daily newspaper for the film industry), legendary child star Shirley Temple, Three Stooges comedy films, and the first drive-in theatre in Camden, New Jersey.
What started out as a luke-warm film decade suffering from declining attendance as a result of the Depression, finished on a sizzling note with what many consider to be the most Golden Film Year of all 1939.
The 1930’s truly were The Golden Age Of Hollywood.