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IB Film - Film History - 1930-1945
The Second World War period from 1930 to 1945 was mainly famous for its talkies (talking pictures), the studios, the beginning of film noir and 'The Golden Age of Hollywood'. 

It also includes the years of the greatest film history which it has often been called by film buffs, movie historians, and critics, chiefly due to the inordinate number of classic films. It was the decade of the sound and color revolutions and the further development of film genres like gangster films, musicals, newspaper-reporting films, historical biopics, social-realism films, lighthearted screwball comedies, westerns and horror. 

It was the era in which the silent period ended and Production Codes for acceptable levels of taboo material such as sex and religion were set. The first drive-in movie theater was opened by then as well. 

 Advances in film technology, including sound recording, lighting, special effects, cinematography and use of color, were made which meant that films were more watchable and 'modern'. The first TV ad for a film was broadcasted. The most significant films of this time are citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca(1942), gone with the wind (1939), the wizard of oz (1939), the grapes of wrath(1940), all quiet on the western font(1930) and duck soup (1933).

Year History Film
1930 Britain, U.S., Japan, France, and Italy sign naval disarmament treaty. Nazis gain in German elections. Cyclotron developed by Ernest O. Lawrence, U.S. physicist. Pluto discovered by astronomers. Chocolate Chip Cookie Invented. The Production Codes set the standards for acceptable levels of taboo material such as sex and religion. Warner Bros. inaugurated the crime-gangster film, with Little Caesar (1930) - the first talkie gangster film, and The Public Enemy (1931) The first feature-length prison film was released.  5-minute pilot film named Bosko The TalkInk Kid (1929) - the first synchronized talking animated short, with a little black boy character who actually spoke dialogue. All Quiet On the Western Front (1930) Animal Crackers (1930) All Quiet on the Western Front
1931 Spain becomes a republic with overthrow of King Alfonso XIII. German industrialists finance 800,000-strong Nazi party.  Mukden Incident begins Japanese occupation of Manchuria.  Harold C. Urey discovers heavy hydrogen. Gangster Al Capone sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion (freed in 1939; dies in 1947).   The first of Universal's series of classic horror films was released: Dracula with Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff. German director Fritz Lang's influential and suspenseful M was released (Lang's first sound film) which was One of the earliest talkies that effectively used sound, it was also the first serious psychological crime film/melodrama about a serial killer.
1932 Nazis lead in German elections with 230 Reichstag seats. Famine in USSR. In U.S., Congress sets up Reconstruction Finance Corporation to stimulate economy.  Amelia Earhart is first woman to fly Atlantic solo. Charles A. Lindbergh's baby son kidnapped, killed. Walt Disney, whose first cartoon short, "Steam Boat Willie" first showed in 1928, becomes the first director to use the Technicolor process in his animated short, The Flowers and the Trees.  It was also the first animation short to use 3-strip (or three-color) Technicolor. Director Victor Halperin's independent, low-budget horror film White Zombie, was the first 'true' zombie film. It was deliberately made with minimal dialogue, and filmed to be visually atmospheric and expressionistic. MGM's Tarzan, the Ape Man, was the first Tarzan talkie, and also MGM's first Tarzan film. Grand Hotel (1932) Freaks (1932) Scarface (1932)
1933 Hitler appointed German chancellor, gets dictatorial powers. Reichstag fire in Berlin; Nazi terror begins. Germany and Japan withdraw from League of Nations.  Roosevelt inaugurated ("the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"); launches New Deal. Prohibition repealed. USSR recognized by U.S. The classic adventure-action film King Kong.  It was one of the first major films to have a life-like (stop-motion) animated central character, alongside live-action. It was the first film heavily promoted and marketed on the radio. The notorious Czechoslovakian film Ecstasy (1933) contained nudity and sexual situations The Payne Fund study, Our Movie-Made Children, argued that films shaped children's behavior. Theaters began to open refreshment stands. The first drive-in movie theater was opened. Deluge was the first 'end of the world' big-budget disaster/science-fiction film featuring revolutionary visual effects to depict and simulate turbulent tidal waves hitting New York City. Calvacade (1933) King Kong (1933) Zero For Conduct (1933) Duck Soup
1934 Chancellor Dollfuss of Austria assassinated by Nazis. Hitler becomes führer. USSR admitted to League of Nations. Mao Zedong begins the Long March north with 100,000 soldiers. The Production Code Administration was formed to enforce and strengthen the Production Codes formed in 1930. It regulated content to ensure that acceptable levels of sex, drugs, and violence were maintained. Donald Duck debuted in The Wise Little Hen. John Ford's The World Moves On was the first film to receive a production seal granted by the Hays Office under its new guidelines. The era of 'separate beds' was inaugurated. Warner Bros. became the first studio to shut down its German distribution office to protest the Nazi's anti-Semitic policies.It Happened One Night (1934)
1935 Saar incorporated into Germany after plebiscite. Nazis repudiate Versailles Treaty, introduce compulsory military service. Mussolini invades Ethiopia; League of Nations invokes sanctions.  Huey Long assassinated in Louisiana.  The first Mickey Mouse film in color was released, Disney's 9-minute The Band Concert. British director Alfred Hitchcock became an internationally-famous figure for his thrillers including The 39 Steps and later The Lady Vanishes (1938). Century Pictures and Fox Film merged to form 20th Century-Fox. Mutiny On the Bounty (1935) Bride of Frankenstein (1935) 
1936 Germans occupy Rhineland. Italy annexes Ethiopia. Rome-Berlin Axis proclaimed (Japan to join in 1940). Trotsky exiled to Mexico. King George V dies; succeeded by son, Edward VIII, who soon abdicates to marry an American-born divorcée, and is succeeded by brother, George VI. Spanish civil war begins. War between China and Japan begins, to continue through World War II. Japan and Germany sign anti-Comintern pact; joined by Italy in 1937. The romantic drama The Trail of the Lonesome Pine was the first three-strip Technicolor feature shot entirely on location. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) Modern Times
1937 Hitler repudiates war guilt clause of Versailles Treaty; continues to build German power. Italy withdraws from League of Nations. Japan invades China, conquers most of coastal area. Amelia Earhart lost somewhere in Pacific on round-the-world flight. Picasso's Guernica mural. The first full-length animated feature, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was released. The Life of Emile Zola (1937) Le Grande Illusion (1937)
1938 Hitler marches into Austria; political and geographical union of Germany and Austria proclaimed. Munich Pact > Britain, France, and Italy agree to let Germany partition Czechoslovakia. Orson Welles's radio broadcast War of the Worlds. For the first time, a group of movie stars organized a committee, the Motion Picture Democratic Committee, to support a political party. African-American leaders publicly called on the Hays Office to make roles other than doormen, maids, and porters available to blacks. You Can't Take It With You (1938) Bringing Up Baby
1939 Germany invades Poland; occupies Bohemia and Moravia; renounces pact with England and concludes 10-year non-aggression pact with USSR. Russo-Finnish War begins; Finns to lose one-tenth of territory in 1940 peace treaty. World War II begins.( In U.S., Roosevelt submits $1,319-million defence budget, proclaims U.S. neutrality, and declares limited emergency. Einstein writes FDR about feasibility of atomic bomb. This year has often been called the "greatest year in film history" by film buffs, movie historians, and critics, chiefly due to the inordinate number of classic films. Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington The Wizard of Oz,  Stagecoach, Rules of the Game,  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,  Wuthering Heights,  The Wizard of Oz
1940 Hitler invades Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. Churchill becomes Britain's prime minister. Trotsky assassinated in Mexico. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania annexed by USSR. U.S. trades 50 destroyers for leases on British bases in Western Hemisphere. Selective Service Act signed.  Alfred Hitchcock's first American film, Rebecca, won Best Picture at the awards ceremony. Actor/director/producer/writer/composer Charlie Chaplin released his first 'talkie' feature film, The Great Dictator. Charlie Chaplin was the first to ever receive three simultaneous nominations, as producer, actor, and screenwriter for the film. Howard Hawks' speedy and hysterically funny, modern-style screwball comedy His Girl Friday, was one of the best examples of its kind in film history.  It was best remembered for its overlapping dialogue and simultaneous conversations - and it marked one of the earliest instances in which characters would deliberately (and realistically) talk over the lines of other characters. Rebecca (1940) Fantasia The Philadelphia Story The Grapes of Wrath
1941 Germany attacks the Balkans and Russia. Japanese surprise attack on U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor brings U.S. into World War II; U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan. Manhattan Project (atomic bomb research) begins. Roosevelt enunciates "four freedoms," signs Lend-Lease Act, declares national emergency, promises aid to USSR. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane.  Citizen Kane, the most significant commercial American movie made is released.It was noted for its creative experiments with sound (i.e., overlapping dialogue and layered sound), for its numerous complex flashbacks (and non-linear storytelling), and for Gregg Toland's cinematography, including innovative camera angles (low-angle shots revealing ceilings), montage, mise-en-scene, deep-focus compositions, tracking shots, whip pans, lengthy takes, and dramatic or expressionistic low-key noirish lighting. The longest uninterrupted screen kiss, clocking in at 3 minutes and 5 seconds. How Green Is My Valley,   Dumbo, Sullivan's Travels, Meet John Doe, The Maltese Falcon
1942 Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington (Jan. 1). Nazi leaders attend Wannsee Conference to coordinate the "final solution to the Jewish question," the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust.  Mrs. Miniver (1942) Cat People (1942) The Magnificent Amberson's (1942) Yankee Doodle Dandy Casablanca
1943 Churchill and Roosevelt hold Casablanca Conference (Jan. 14-23). Mussolini deposed.   Casablanca (1943) The Gang's All Here (1943)
1944 Allies invade Normandy on D-Day (June 6). Bretton Woods Conference creates International Monetary Fund and World Bank (July 1-22). Dumbarton Oaks Conference-U.S., British Commonwealth, and USSR propose establishment of United Nations (Aug. 21-Oct. 7). Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16). Woody Guthrie records "This Land is Your Land."  The first TV ad for a film was broadcast by ParamountGoing My Way (1944) Double Indemnity
1945 Yalta Conference (Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) plans final defeat of Germany (Feb. 4-11). FDR dies (April 12). Hitler commits suicide (April 30); Germany surrenders (May 7); May 8 is declared V-E Day. Potsdam Conference (Truman, Churchill, Stalin) establishes basis of German reconstruction (July-Aug.). U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9). Japan signs official surrender on V-J Day (Sept. 2). United Nations established (Oct. 24). First electronic computer, ENIAC, built. First Atomic Bomb Blast  The Lost Weekend (1945) Detour (1945)
 

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