Chapter

The Changing of the Guard

Barry Langford

in Post-Classical Hollywood

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638574
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671076 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638574.003.0006
The Changing of the Guard

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During the mid-1960s, the Hollywood film industry seemed more becalmed than in crisis. Yet overall there was little sense of dynamism or innovation. The films of the European New Waves were causing enormous excitement at festivals and art houses, but how such radical departures from convention could be imported into the American commercial film industry was unclear. Meanwhile, television was no longer the upstart newcomer but a ubiquitous presence in American culture and economy, and a crucial financial lifeline for the struggling Hollywood behemoths such as MGM, Walt Disney, Paramount, and Columbia. In October 1966, Charles Bluhdorn's industrial conglomerate Gulf and Western Industries, Inc. (Gulf + Western) bought Paramount for $144 million, setting off a wave of such buyouts. By the end of the decade only Columbia, Disney and Fox would remain as independent film companies. Alongside the vaunted emergence of an American art cinema, a less heralded but ultimately more influential trend was also taking shape: the shift away from traditional genres and towards both the forms and the associated practices of exploitation film.

Keywords: Hollywood; film industry; television; MGM; buyouts; art cinema; exploitation film; Paramount; Charles Bluhdorn; Gulf and Western Industries

Chapter.  11409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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