Film Theory: Classic, Dominant, Mainstream Cinema–Hollywood


A feature‑length narrative sound film made and distributed by the Hollywood studio system.

There is ambiguity about the precise dates for the classic period (people agree on roughly 1930‑60). What is important is the concept of a classical model with fixed conventions of film practice that are repeated from product to product and that the audience comes to rely on and to expect.

Central to this classical cinema are:

(a) genres (e.g. the gangster genre, the western genre, the adventure film, the woman’s film).

(b) stars.

(c) producers, and

(d) directors.

(a), (b) and (c) can be distinguished from (d) by the fact that they have to do with the selling of films. The public come to demand certain stars and desire certain genres (the demand for different genres varies in different periods).  Producers try to satisfy their public and develop marketing strategies to this  end.