documentary cinema notes 4

documentary cinema notes 4 - Postmodern Lecture on the...

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Postmodern Lecture on the Decline of Studio System Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated the block booking practice in 1921. FTC charged Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount) with restraint of trade by forcing exhibitors to buy unwanted films. This also initiated an investigation into theater ownership by Paramount. Uncooperative exhibitors were routinely intimidated by major distributors, and some were forced to close. In 1927, after a six-year investigation, the FTC ruled that block booking was an unfair trade practice and issued a cease and desist order to Paramount. Paramount called their bluff and ignored the order. In 1928, the FTC in conjunction with the Justice Department began building a case against the motion picture industry after receiving hundreds of complaints from exhibitors. Ten members of the MPPDA were accused of monopolizing 98% of domestic distribution (much like the Edison Trust). Those named were... Paramount First National MGM Universal United Artists Fox Pathe FBO Pictures Vitagraph Educational Film Exchange In 1930, the Supreme Court decided against the studios and found them guilty of unfair trade practices with block booking as the root of the problem.
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