Modernity and the European Encounter with Hollywood

David Ellwood

in The Shock of America

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780198228790
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741739 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of Modern Europe

Modernity and the European Encounter with Hollywood

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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‘Once every hundred times we see: film. For the rest we see: movies. The herd, the commercial régime, America, kitsch’: so said an Amsterdam critic in 1927. The chapter analyses the arrival of Hollywood's system with statistics, the comments of critics, and the policy choices made by the cultural authorities, before and after the arrival of sound. The story puts working class women at the centre of the debate, and presents the series of techniques evolved in the various national films industries — and at the European level — to cope with the Hollywood challenge, and preserve ‘national character’ against the onslaught. These ranged from protectionisms of various sorts; impulses to collaborate, to compete and to face down the outsider. They are all still with us today.

Keywords: Hollywood; American protectionism; film industries; cinema; working class women

Chapter.  16127 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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