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1 My point here is not to suggest that all such judgments are necessarily wrong--although Yacowar is wrong strictly in historical terms--but rather to note how popular myth is often the tone adopted by scholars when confronted with phenomenon of stardom.

2 E.g., "it was the development of the star system by the independent producers (especially Adolph Zukor, but also Laemmle, Fox, Loew, Schenck, Warner) which broke up the monopolistic hold the MPPC . . . had on the industry" (Dyer,11).

3 Undoubtedly, the recognition given the two players, and through them the prior validity of their action on the "legitimate" stage, was also partly an attempt to forestall possible negative reactions to the rather "scandalous" matter of the film.

4 It is true that Biograph was the last holdout in refusing to name its players, although it probably capitulated sooner than previously thought: "I am convinced that by 1912 the names of the Biograph players were known to American audiences" (Slide,6).

5 William Fox, another major figure in independent filmmaking and, like Zukor, a Hungarian Jew, should also be counted in this group of early "moguls." (The word dates from about 1915.)

6 While it is true that photographs of stars can be contemplated, even revered, in a manner that a moving image cannot, what Keith Cohen notes about status of photographed images, whatever their originating sources, reminds us that a certain flatting, a certain reduction to "thingness," inheres in both still and moving pictures: "In contrast to what happens in the theatre, human beings are shot and recorded onto the cinematic material in the same manner as objects. Before being filmed, self and object exist in two distinct realms; once part of the filmic image, they share the same artificial, ambiguous existence. The images of a sailing ship has just as much existential immediacy as the image of its captain" (p.110).

7 A selection of ninety-six issues of eight different fan magazines from 1940-45, on display at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York, presents an interesting instance of how the movies and stars were then, at the apex of the classical era, depicted (in images) for fans. Not surprisingly, despite titles like Motion Picture and Movie Life, the covers of all ninety-six publications have just photographs of movie stars. Whereas Movie Story, which focused more directly than the others on plot synopses, always had a couple on its covers (albeit one couple is Gregory Peck and a reliable-looking dog), five of the other publications had only single stars on their covers. Solo photographs also dominated the other two periodicals (16 of 24 covers). Obviously, stars are being valorized in their supposed singularity: whatever the economic motive in this (i.e., the studios preferred to have their stars thought of as independent commodities that could be mixed and matched with like commodities), the cultural result was to enhance the vision of stars as "individuals," creating movies rather than being created by them. Strictly in quantitative terms, the covers also give the lie to the real conditions of movie production at the time: e.g., that actresses dominated the higher reaches of stardom (61 solo covers vs. 15 for men), or that Deanna Durbin (with eight solo covers) was the leading actress of the time (although Betty Grable, with five solo and three couple covers, who was economically the most important actress of the time, comes close to Durbin in being represented).

8 Doubtless, this strategy was devised partly as a way of recycling his films (which would usually have been part of a bill with a feature that would have been advertised by name). Still, the strategy indicates just how much Chaplin's screen presence, apart from the narrative or qualities of any particular film, was being sold.

9 This sense of film actors being "fictional truths" is amply illustrated when various pronouncements about film acting are placed side-by-side. For instance, V. I. Pudovkin, speaking from the perspective of a director dealing with actors working to create roles on the screen, notes how, in a cinema based on montage, "the discontinuity of an actor's work must never be ignored, but always treated as a difficulty to be overcome" (244). Conversely, Maurice Yacowar, speaking of the way films are received, suggests the film medium itself automatically provides a continuity through its disembodied operation in images: "In film acting there is a continuity between actor and role because there is no body overcome. There is only the total fluidity of the actor's image in film" (41). Is it possible, in the odd way of film, that these statements are equally valid?

10 It is illustrative that Keaton, whose feature films had made small to medium profits, signed on with United Artists in 1926, to make The General, but that the commercial failure of that film forced him back to MGM within two years. His attempt to gain more control ultimately resulted in a loss of control: at MGM, particularly after the coming of sound, he was straight-jacketed into one inappropriate role after another, even being paired with Jimmy Durante for a series of films. Keaton simply did not have enough of a profit cushion to go independent, to shift to something as different (conspicuously historical and visually brilliant) as The General.

11 In The Hollywood Studio System, Douglas Gomery indicates the large extent to which Warners was committed to making and selling B films: "Through the 1930s--until 1943--Warners also produced a great number of 'B' (programmer) films, first under producer Bryan Foy and later under William Jacobs. The 'B' unit produced no less than half the Warner output, about twenty-six features a year on a total budget of $5 million" (118).

12 In "Some Notes on Film Acting," Lawrence Shaffer makes a useful distinction between "two [major] types of acting, personality acting and character acting," the distinction reflecting "a felt difference in emphasis and effect rather than an absolute difference" (103). While the personality actor seems merely to express himself or herself intensely in a role, the character "actor works behind, or through, a plethora of traits clearly associated with a 'role'" (103). Whether Shaffer's "characters actors" sometimes favored heavy make-up (like Alec Guinness and Orson Welles) or looked much the same from film to film (as Maggie Smith and George Sanders), they were rarely stars in the same way as his "personality actors" (e.g., Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, and Jane Fonda) were stars. The difference may show up most clearly when the camera is close in: the character actor appears to be acting, the personality actor being.

13 No better instance could be found to support Annette Kuhn's point that in the complexities and confusions of cinema we need remember "that the images of women have traditionally been the province and property of men" (11). Narratively, at least, men get the final judgment in their favor (and against women) in Alice Adams.

14 This scene can also be read as a perfect illustration of the influential thesis on spectatorship put forth by Laura Mulvey in "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema": e.g., "Traditionally, the woman displayed has functioned on two levels: as erotic object for the characters within the screen story, and as erotic object for the spectator within the auditorium, with a shifting tension between the looks on either side of the screen" (419). Further confirmation of Mulvey's thesis appears in the previous scene: as one inappropriate dish (steaming soup, meat and mashed potatoes) after another is served on a sweltering summer night, there is not, as would make rhythmic and narrative sense, a shot/reverse shot exchange between Arthur, putting up a brave front, and Alice watching him erotically for signs of disapproval. Rather each course starts with a close-up of the (nearly absurd) dish, followed by a look (in medium close-up) of Alice's dismay: the would-be female spectator in the text is absent.

15 It is for just this grandiose treatment of stardom that the film is often cited as the last true production of the studio era, but the very fact that Warner Bros, would choose, against the grain of its tradition, to make such a film may indicate that studio era had already been left behind.

16 Selznick wrote a full fifth of the lines in the shooting script, after half-a-dozen authors, including Dorothy Parker, had worked, often at cross-purposes, to turn out a continuity script.

17 "It's worth noting, though, that Selznick hedged his bets by having Wellman shoot an alternate take with the line, 'This is Vicki Lester speaking'" (Schatz, 186).

18 Production details on the film were taken from Schatz, 182-87.

19 The reason for this refusal was simple, if calculating: at Warners there were no slow periods for Cagney. Whereas the studio could usually turn a handy profit by loaning out their stars at three or four times their weekly rate, there was never really a time when Cagney was not needed at Warners. Hagopian indicates just how crucial Cagney was to Warners for just how long: "Cagney was Warners Bros' most reliable star at the box office. Every Cagney picture after 1934 grossed over $1 million. Cagney was also the studio's workhorse in this period; between 1930 and 1942, Warner Bros, released thirty-nine Cagney films. At this time, Warner Bros' balance sheet fluctuated wildly and the Cagney films, often produced on 'B' budgets while generating predictable 'A' profits, were particularly important to Warner Bros' reputation with exhibitors. Cagney rereleases during this period also generated cash for the studio, with virtually no overhead" (17).

20 A number of the independent ventures in these years have a family ring about them, For instance, Joan Bennett joined her husband, producer Walter Wanger, and director Fritz Lang to form Diana Productions in 1945. The company was no more successful organizationally and financially than Cagney Productions, but at least one remarkable film came from the project: Scarlet Street. For a complete history of Diana, see Bernstein.

21 King, 171-81, provides an excellent analysis of Lancaster's "high autonomy" career in comparison to Gable's "low autonomy" career. He notes, though, that as the studio era came to a close, Lancaster was only intermittently an actor-producer, for as late as 1953 he was still under the aegis of Paramount. His autonomy was far from complete.

22 Details on Wasserman's deals for Stewart are taken from Schatz, (469-72).

23 1946 had been the most profitable year in Hollywood history, but every year except one in the following ten years had seen profits fall. "Between 1951 and 1958 the weekly moviegoing public in America fell from 90 million to 42 million; between 1946 and 1959 the number of cinemas in America--excluding drive-ins--fell from 20,000 to 11,000" (Wood, 169). But as Wood also notes, American films continued to dominate the world market: "In the fifties American films occupied 70 percent of the available projection time in the United Kingdom; 85 percent in the Republic of Ireland; 65 percent in Italy; 60 percent in Mexico" (193).

24 Undergirding Wasserman's power, of course, was the great power of his boss, Jules Stein: "In 1960, he [Stein] was the ultimate power in more than half of American show business, agent to the stars in theater, cinema, television, radio, and music" (Pye, 17).

25 As Robert Ray observes, Stewart's late success is an anomaly among the movie stars of the classical period: "Of all the great movie stars (Bogart, Cagney, Gable, Wayne, Stewart, Cooper, Rooney, Flynn, Tracy and Hepburn, Astaire and Rogers, Lombard, Loy, Dietrich, Garbo, Davis, Garland, Harlow, and Elizabeth Taylor), only Wayne, Stewart and Taylor found their greatest success after 1945" (p. 25). Since Taylor was still an adolescent in 1945, she hardly counts, leaving only Wayne and Stewart--which makes John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), among other things, such a fascinating meditation on the stardom of the two.

26 One obvious measure of his pre-eminence is the enormous fees Schwarzenegger commands. According to a report in The New York Times, he received 10 million for Total Recall and was scheduled to receive $12 million for Terminator II. (Fabikant, D1)

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