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Chaplin and Related Readings:

 

1.  Chaplin's rise to prominence

 

          a.  1914--Sennett--$150.00/wk.

          b.  1915--Essanay--own writer/director--$1250/wk.

          c.  1916--Mutual---$10,000/wk.

          d.  1917--independent

          e.  1919--co-founded United Artists

 

2.  keys to Chaplin's success

 

          a.  audience

                    1.  industrialized

                    2.  urbanized

                    3.  immigrant

         

          b.  appeals in his films:

                    1.  treatment of the city

                    2.  the Tramp and audience identification

                    3.  comic strategies

                    4.  melodramatic strategies

         

          c.  resistance to/incorporation of sound

 

(from Gehring:  what were the pressures on Chaplin in the period before he made City Lights?  From Maland:  What were the basic elements of Chaplin’s “contract” with his audience?  Why do both Gehring and Maland suggest that City Lights offers social criticism?)

 

3.  Issues in Movie-Made America, Chapts. 5-9:

--  Why are Hollywood images influential off-screen?

 

--  What does Sklar mean by the subversive influence of film comedy?  Why was Chaplin a timely/appealing film artist?

 


--  What motivated efforts to control film content during the 1920s?  How did the film industry respond?

 

--  From Sklar's discussion of Zukor's rise to influence, what emerges as the source or sources of power in the film industry?  Why was Zukor a survivor?  Why can Sklar say that "the studio system was the house that Adolph Zukor built?"  Why was Warner Bros. also a success story as the industry shifted into the 1930s?