Read the last instalment of my series on Hollywood, the studios, and the studio era. For all previous posts on this series, please refer to the archives on the bottom of this page!
If anything, through advantageous and synergic takeovers and mergers like Time/ Warner/ AOL, Viacom/ Paramount, and Sony/ Columbia, the studios, and films in general, even benefited from those new media, at least financially.
As for the quality of the films, I can’t help thinking that although not all that glittered was gold in Hollywood’s golden era, what the moguls brought to their jobs was a proficiency and a profound love for the industry they created. A buccaneer-spirit paired with the vigour and pluck of the pioneers they were.
But the Hollywood of the studio era is irrevocably gone.
And after all, it probably never was much more than one huge, gigantic factory of dreams spread out over various parts of The City of Nets as Otto Friedrich referred to Hollywood in his autobiography.
I for my part, however, choose to think of it as another world, another universe, created by Hollywood’s founding fathers and inhabited by one big, enormous, dysfunctional, royal family, in the form of the big studios, with the moguls as the powerful patriarchs of the family’s various branches.
City of Nets by Otto Friedrich is highly recommended reading for anybody interested in Hollywood's golden age. Though very anecdotal, it is a first hand account by someone who lived and worked in the studios but not on the front lines, but rather in the background. Friedrich was a brilliant observer whose scrutinising eye escaped nothing.
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