star system

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An exploitative method of managing the lives as well as the careers of a studio's top performers. In classical Hollywood cinema, stars were contracted with a certain studio and were given a quota of films per year in which to appear. Charismatic performers were contracted as young men and women and groomed by the studio so that they represented certain personas for audiences (e.g. romantic lead, tough guy, ingénue, vamp). Their offscreen lives were also strictly controlled, compelling gay actors such as Rock Hudson to enter into arranged marriages.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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