The Good, The Bad, And the Un-American: The Czechoslovak Film Monopoly, Hollywood, And American Independent Distributors.
Post Script 2011, Wntr-Spring, 30, 2
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Hollywood broke through the Iron Curtain in September 1946. That month, the Motion Picture Export Association (MPEA), an organization that represented the major Hollywood studios internationally, had just signed an exportation contract with the communist-run Czechoslovak Film Monopoly--a vertically integrated institution which controlled film production, distribution, and exhibition in Czechoslovakia (Mares 94). (1) Understandably, the MPEA considered this deal to be a significant accomplishment because it guaranteed the release of eighty of its members' films in what had, before WWII, been a lucrative market ("American Films" 13) and, crucially, because it took Hollywood a step closer to gaining a foothold in one of its principal post-war target markets, the Soviet Union. However, one issue took the shine off the MPEA's sense of achievement: it was not alone in exporting American pictures to Czechoslovakia. A number of American independent distributors had been quick--"quicker" in fact than the MPEA--to enter newly opened European markets like Czechoslovakia. In terms of examining the relationships between Hollywood and American independents in the late 1940s, film scholarship has, however, been dominated by analysis focusing on domestic production activities. Janet Staiger for example shows how independent producers were absorbed into Hollywood's economic systems, so that the majors could weather economic instability (68-79). The due attention paid to domestic production operations gives the impression of Hollywood competently managing any threat being posed by independent competitors to its business operations. However, by shifting focus to distribution and to international operations, a more complex picture emerges about Hollywood's postwar dealings with independent competitors.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Business & Personal Finance
- Published: 01 January 2011
- Publisher: Post Script, Inc.
- Print Length: 27 Pages
- Language: English