Secondary School N0 1 with Thorough Learning of
Central District, Chelyabinsk
Foreign Language Department
I’m a cinema goer. And also I like watching films on TV or video. But I
think, that watching a good film is the best relaxation. It is thought-provoking
and entertaining. Now a growing number of people prefer watching films on TV to
attending cinemas. There are wonderful comedies, love stories, science fiction,
horror films, detective stories, and historical films on. There’s a variety of films
available today. It is difficult to live without cinema. One fact is clear for
everyone: cinema makes our life better. Cinema helps us to forget different
problems. When people watch films, they have a rest. Some films take people
into another world. I think it is a pure world, where usual problems do not
even exist. Cinema is a great power, it helps us to understand our complex
well. Cinema can leave nobody indifferent. It is so powerful that it provokes
complex feelings. We meet a lot of people. Everyone has his own opinion about
something and like most of us I have my own opinion too, for example, about
cinema. Cinema is a necessary and important part of my life. It is my essence,
my mode of life and my happiness. Cinema helps me to cope with difficulties and
with incorrigible problems. So that’s why I have chosen the topic ‘Cinema’.
The world of American cinema is so far-reaching a topic that it
deserves, and often receives, volumes of its own. Hollywood (in Los Angeles,
California), of course, immediately comes to mind, as do the many great
directors, actors and actresses it continues to attract and produce. But then, one also thinks of the many independent studios
throughout the country, the educational and documentary series and films, the
socially-relevant tradition in cinema, and the film departments of
universities, such as the University of Southern California (USC), the
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) or New York University.
For over 50 years, American films have continued to grow in popularity
throughout the world. Television has only increased this popularity.
The great blockbusters of film entertainment that stretch from
"Gone with the Wind" to "Star Wars" receive the most
attention. A look at the prizes awarded at the leading international film
festivals will also demonstrate that as an art form, the American film
continues to enjoy-considerable prestige. Even
when the theme is serious or, as they say, "meaningful", American
films remain "popular". In the past decade, films which treated the danger of
nuclear power and weapons, alcoholism, divorce, inner-city blight, .the effects
of slavery, the plight of Native Americans, poverty and immigration have all
received awards and international recognition. And,
at the same time, they have done well at the box-office.
Movies (films), including those on video-cassettes, remain the most
popular art form in the USA. A book with 20,000 readers is considered to be a
best-seller. A hit play may be seen by a few thousand theatergoers. By
contrast, about a billion movie tickets are sold at movie houses across the USA
There are three main varieties of movie theaters in the USA: 1) the
"first-run" movie houses, which show new films; 2) "art
theaters", which specialize in showing foreign films and revivals; 3)
"neighborhood theaters", which run films — sometimes two at a time —
after the "first-run" houses.
New York is a movie theater capital of the country. Many of the city's
famous large movie theaters, once giving Times Square so much of its glitter,
have been torn down or converted (in some cases into smaller theaters), and a
new generation of modem theaters has appeared to the north and east of the area.
Most of them offer continuous performances from around noon till midnight. Less
crowded and less expensive are the so-called "neighborhood theaters",
which show films several weeks or months after the "first-run"
theaters. There are several theaters that specialize in revivals of famous old
films and others that show only modernist, avant-garde films. Still others,
especially those along 42nd Street, between the Avenue of Americas and Eighth
Avenue, run movies about sex and violence. Foreign films, especially those of
British, French, Italian and Swedish origin, are often seen in New York, and
several movie theaters specialize in the showing of foreign-language films for
the various ethnic groups in the city.
The earliest history of film.
The illusion of movement was first noted in the early 19th century. In 1824 the English physician Peter Mark Roget published an
article ‘the persistence of vision with regard to moving objects’. Many inventors
put his theory to the test with pictures posted on coins that were flipped by
the thumb, and with rotating disks of drawings. A particular favorite was the
zoetrope, slotted revolving drum through which could be seen clowns and animals
that seemed to leap. They were hand drawn on strips of paper fitted inside the
drum. Other similar devices were the hemitrope, the phasmatrope, the
phenakistoscope, and the praxinoscope. It is not possible to give any one
person credit for having invented the motion picture. In the 1880s the
Frenchman Etienne Jules Marey developed the rotating shutter with a slot to
admit light, and George Eastman, of New York, developed flexible film. In 1888
Thomas Edison, of New Jersey, his phonograph for recording and playing sound on
wax cylinders. He tried to combine sound with motion pictures. Edison’s
assistant, William Dickson, worked on the idea, and in 1889, he both appeared
and spoke in a film. Edison did not turn his attention to the projected motion
picture at first. The results were still not good enough, and Edison did not
think that films would not have large appeal. Instead he produced and patented
the kinetoscope, which ran a continuous loop of film about 15 meters (50 feet)
long. Only one person could view it at a time. By 1894, hand-cranked
kinetoscope appeared all over the United States and Europe. Edison demonstrated
a projecting kinetoscope. The cinematograph based on Edison’s kinetoscope was
invented by two Frenchmen, Louis and Auguste Lumiere. This machine consisted of
a portable camera and a projector. In December 1895, The Lumiere brothers
organized a program of short motion pictures at a Parisian cafe.
The earliest movie theatres.
Films were first thought of as experiment or toys. They were shown in scientific laboratories and in the
drawing rooms of private home. When their commercial potential was realized
they began to be screened in public to a paying audience. The first films to be
shown publicly were short, filmed news items and travelogues. These were
screened alongside live variety acts form theatre shows, called vaudeville in
United States. Within a few years fairground tents that slowed nothing but
programs of films were common sights. In United States stores were converted
onto movie theatre, which were known as ‘storefront theatre’. People would pay
a nickel to see about an hour’s worth of film, so the theatre came to be known
as ‘nickelodeons’. Early film audiences needed patience. There were many
technical problems. Projectors were likely to breath down and every projectionist kept
slides to reassure the audience: ‘The performance will resume shortly.’ Many
projectors caused flickering on the screen, earning films the nickname of ‘the
The growth of the film industry.
From the start the film industry was eager to make and show films that
people would want to see. The most popular
films were those that told stories- narrative fiction films. Film making began
to realize that by using different camera angels, locations, lighting and
special effects, film could tell a story in the way that live theatre couldn’t.
The great Train Robbery, made in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter, was the first
American narrative fiction film. It included
the basic ingredients of the Western: a hold-up, a chase, and a gunfight. It used a great variety
of shots by showing the action at different distances from the camera- long
shots of action in the distance, but also medium shots of the actors shown
full-length, and chase-ups of the face and shoulders of a gunman shooting
directly at the audience.
Before World War I American film industry had logged behind the film
industries of Europe particularly those of France and Italy. But during the war, film making almost stopped in Europe,
partly because a chemical used in celluloid was needed for making gunpowder.
The American film industry thrived during the war because there was money for
making films; and also because of popular the genius of D. W. Griffith. In 1915
Griffith made The Birth Of Nation, a film about the American Civil War and in
1916 he made Intolerance. These three hour’s films were American’s answer to
the spectacular Italian films such as Quo Vadis that had earlier astonished the
world. For Intolerance Griffith had built a set of an ancient Babylonian city,
which was over a mile long, and he photograph it from a balloon. Griffith was a
genius, not just because he could show huge and thrilling scenes on the screen,
but because he was aware of the artistic possibilities of film.
The actors in the old-sealers had mostly been unknown and their
performances very poor. Because the films were
silent, actors made up for lack of speech by frantic and unnatural gestures and
movements. A new and better style of acting was adopted by a young American
actress called Marry Pickford who showed that a simple natural style was more
effective on the screen than dramatic arm-waving and chest-thumping. Her fame spread
across the Atlantic. In 1918, she signed a contract for more than a million
dollars. The stars system was born.
About the same time, some of the slapstick comedians developed unique
comedy styles, and also became world-famous stars. Charlie Chaplin, the little man with the derby hat, cane,
and boggy pants, became the most famous (he, too, sealed a million-dollar
contract). But others such as Buster Heaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon
were also widely acclaimed. They were great artists whose work is still popular
today. By 1920 the cinema had became the most popular form of leisure activity
outside the home.
Film studios such as Metro-Goldwin Meyer, Paramount, Warner’s, 20th
Century Fox, and United Artists developed a system for producing films on the
same principle that Henry Ford used for his cars- the assembly like Hollywood,
on the west coast of the United States, became the center of the film industry.
Its climate, light and physical surroundings
were suited to the film industry, which shot much material out of doors. Film
making thrived. In succeeding years, many great films were made in Hollywood,
beginning with the silent films, followed, in the mid-twenties, by the first
The first animated cartoon drawn in the United States especially for
film was done in 1906 by J. Stuart Blackton. The
first full-length animated feature film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
made in 1937.
The stars of the films being produced in Hollywood became known
throughout the world. Among them were famous
Cagney, Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, who had first appeared in films in
Germany, the Swedish Greta Garbo and the young Shirley Temple. Some of the most
famous stars were Mickey Mouse and characters from Walt Disney’s cartoon. Leading
film makers included John Ford, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra and George Cukor.
During World War II some of the best Americans directors in the US were
recruited by the War Department, because films were needed to help raise the
morale of servicemen. Among the best films of this war period were Frank
Capra’s ''Why We Fight'' series (1942-45). Walt
Disney’s animated films; and documentaries about important battlers directed by
Garson Kanin, John Huston, Billy Wilder. Orson Welles’s masterpiece
''Citizen Kane'' (1940) was the story of a newspaper tycoon. After the war high-quality films continued to pour out of
the United States. They included Charlie Chaplin’s ''Limelight'' (1952), the fine Western
Shane (1956), a drama of the New York docks called On The Waterfront (1954) and
many high-spirited musicals of which An American In Paris (1951) was
outstanding. Alfred Hitchcock made his best
films during this period. ''Psycho'' with its famous murder-in-the-shower scene
was probably the most successful. Despite these
successes the great studios began to get into financial difficulties because of
However, the late 1960s saw a turning point in the American film
industry with the release of a number of films appealing to the youth market,
which drew enormous audiences. The most famous of these were Arthur Penn’s
''Bonnie and Clyde'' (1967) and Dennis Hopper’s ''Easy Rider'' (1969).
Realising that they could no longer rely on their traditional family audiences,
film makers increasingly concentrated on films for the so-called ‘teenage
market’, science fiction and fantasy ‘blockbusters’ with computer enhanced
special effects Dolby sound such as George Lucas’s ''Star Wars'' (1977) and
Steven Spielberg’s ''Raiders Of The Lost Ark'' (1981) became very popular.
Today Americans still continue the custom of eating popcorn at the
movies. Americans use 500,000 pounds of popcorn every year. All corn does not
pop. A seed or kernel of corn must have 14 percent water in it to pop. Other
kinds of pop have less water and do not pop. When you put a kernel of corn on a
fire, the water inside makes the corn explode. This makes a ‘pop’ noise. That
is why we called it popcorn. The American Indians popped corn a long time ago.
The Indians knew there were three kinds of corn. There was sweet corn for
eating, corn for animals, and corn for popping. The Indians introduced corn to
the first settlers, or Pilgrims, when they come to America in 1620. One year
after they came, the Pilgrims had a Thanksgiving dinner. They invited the
Indians. The Indians brought food with them. One Indian brought popcorn. Since
that time Americans continued to pop corn at home. But in 1945 there was a new machine
that changed the history of popcorn. This electric machine popped corn outside
the home. Soon movie theatres started to sell popcorn to make more money.
Popcorn at the movies became more and more popular. Many people like to put
salt and melted butter on their popcorn. Some people eat it without salt or
butter. Either way - Americans love their popcorn!
The Oscars are awarded every year by the American Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Science. These statuettes are awarded to actors, film directors,
screenwriters and so on for outstanding contributions to the film industry. The
Oscars were first awarded in 1927. The first winners were chosen by five
judges. Nowadays all of the members of the Academy vote. The ceremony is
attended by most Hollywood stars, although some famous stars, such as Woody
Allen, refuse to go, even if they win an award. The oldest winner of an Oscar
was 80-year- old Jessica Tandy for her performance in the film “Driving Miss
Daisy” in 1990. The youngest was Shirley Temple when she was only five years
old. The statuette is of soldier standing on a reel of film. Nobody is really
sure why it is called an Oscar, although some people say that it is because when
the first statuette was made, a secretary said, “It reminds me of Uncle Oscar!”
When people think about of Hollywood, they probably think of film stars
like Marilyn Monroe, Gary Grant and James Dean. Hollywood
is the center of the international movie industry and American movies are
distributed all over the world. They are made in English but often dubbed into
other languages. In some countries 90 percent of the movies that people see are
US production. Sometimes, a film is not very popular with Americans, but people
in other countries like it. The first films were made in Hollywood in 1911.
Between 1930-1945, the five largest Hollywood’s studios produced most of the
movies and owned most of the movie theatres in the United States. Making films
is expensive. On the average, it costs 36 million dollars to produce a movie.
Some of this goes to pay the salary of well-known movie stars and large sums
can be spent on special effects like computer-generated imagery (CGI).
Marketing the movie to the public may cost another 17 million dollars or more.
To cover these costs film companies receive money for movie theatre tickets and
the sale or rental of videos. They also sell CDs of the soundtrack and toys,
books, or clothes associated with the movie. Indeed, there was a time when
Hollywood was the most famous place in the USA, if not the world.
The Hollywood story begins at
the end of the last century.
1887. A man called Harvey Wilcox
bought a large ranch in a district north-west of Los Angeles in California. His
wife called the land ‘Hollywood’.
1902-04. The first cinemas
(‘nickelodeons’) opened in the USA.
1911. Two brothers from New
Jersey built Hollywood’s first film studio.
1912. Film-makers from the east
coast of the USA came to California, first in small number and then in
1912. The Hollywood industry was
There were several reasons why
film makers went to Hollywood. Firstly, there was a lot of space, secondly, California’s
warm sunny weather was ideal for making films outside. Thirdly, there was a
variety of locations for filming: ocean, mountains, deserts, villages, woodland
By 1939 the great dream factory
studios made nearly 500 movies a year, drew American audience of 50 million a
week and earned over 700 million dollars at the box office-all with the help of
30,000 employees who dealt with everything from processing film to fan mail.
In the 1950s and 60s Hollywood
became more international. Famous stars like Maurice Chevalier from France,
Marlene Dietrich from Germany and Sofia Loren from Italy came to Hollywood.
Even today many international stars like Gerard Depardier and Arnold
Schwarzeneger make films in Hollywood.
A big film studio, like MGM or
Warner Brothers, brought to life a lot of film stars. They could make or break
The Hollywood film studio
produced different types. There were the silent Charlie Chaplin comedies of the
20s, gangster films, Frankenstein horror films and Greta Garbo romantic
melodramas of the 30s, the musicals of the 40s and 50s, the westerns (cowboy
films) of the 50s, the historical epics of the 60s, the science fiction films
of the 70s and the Steven Spielberg action films and violent horror films of
the 80s. Who
knows what the next century will be famous for?
Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to go and see Beverly
Hills. This is where you find the homes of the
movie stars. But Beverly Hills isn’t Los Angeles. It’s a small city next to Los
Angeles. All kinds of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may
be movie stars, television stars, sport stars, or other people in the news.
Tourists can buy special maps for the homes of the stars. These homes are very
beautiful. They usually have swimming pools and tennis courts. But sometimes
you cannot see very much. The homes have high walls or trees around them.
Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This is one of the most expensive
shopping streets in the United States. Rodeo Drive started to be an elegant
street in the 1960s. Many famous stores are opened on the street. People liked
all the new styles and fashions they could buy. Today you can find the most expensive
and unusual clothing, jewelry and furniture in the world on Rodeo Drive. Rodeo
Drive is a very special street. When you want to park your car in public
parking, an attendant will come and park your car for you. Beverly Hills is
really a small city. Only About 35,000 people live there. But during the day
more than 200,000 people come to Beverly Hills to work or to shop!
The major film genres.
The major film genres developed in the United States are the following:
Comedy. Charles Spencer Chaplin became the most widely recognized comedy
figure in the world. He emphasized the development of character and plot
structure, in contrast to the simple reliance on gags and gimmicks that
characterized the work of other comedy producers of the day.
Westerns. The Western (a film about life in the American West in the
past) was the first American genre to be developed and has remained a staple of
the American motion-picture art and industry. It has been estimated that one
quarter of US films have been Westerns. However, today most American Westerns
are made in Italy and are called '"spaghetti Westerns".
Musicals. The musicals of the late 1920s and the early 1930s consisted
of a series of "numbers" by established stars of Broad-way,
vaudeville and radio. Later manifestations of the form were the biographical
musicals, often highly fictionalized, about great composers, musicians,
singers, providing an opportunity to string together some of their most popular
hits. The transferring of musicals intact from the Broad-way stage became
almost automatic beginning in the 1950s.
Gangster films. While the Western deals with a mythical American past
and the musical with a fantasy land, the gangster film is closely tied to a
real facet of American life. In earlier films, the gangster had risen to the
top to enjoy wealth, power, beautiful women, expensive homes and large cars,
but before the end of the film he was bound to be caught by law-enforcement
officers, overthrown by fellow gang members or killed. Such punishment was
considered obligatory. By 1971, however, "The Godfather" showed how
far the genre has evolved: Marion Brando, in the title role, dies of old age.
The gangster was another businessman.
War films. They have evolved into a major American genre, since wars
have occupied so much of contemporary American history. The Second World War
has been the subject of the greatest number of American films in this genre.
Horror films (thrillers). In the 1920s the creation of a monster who
gets out of control or is coming to life from non-human beings who survive by
killing the living provided the basic story lines of countless horror films.
These films also have dealt with supernatural forces that manifest themselves
as an unseen power rather than in individual form. A third major kind of horror
films deals with people who are insane or in the grip of psychological powers
beyond their control.
Horror films as a genre is associated with the name of Alfred Hitchcock.
Like Walt Disney with animated cartoons, Alfred Hitchcock was thought not just
to have invented a film genre but to have patented it (hence "Hitch",
another name for a horror film).
Detective and spy films. These include first of all the James Bond
series. Hitchcock's films of this genre feature ordinary people who
accidentally become involved with spies or other evil doers.
Science fiction. After the Second World War science-fiction films
increasingly suggested that the dangers of the future stemmed from what human
beings were doing in the present.
Columbia Pictures (also Columbia)-American film company, which produces
films for cinema and television.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) — a
film company based in Hollywood, which has made many famous films and animated
Paramount- a film company in
20th Century-Fox — an American
United Artists — a film company
(studio) in Hollywood.
Universal — n film company
(studio) in Hollywood.
Warner Bros (Brothers) — an
American film company.
Film Directors and Producers
Alien, Woody (1935—) — a comic actor and maker of humorous films. Since
the late 1960s, he has been directing films and acting in them, usually playing
a neurotic, bookish New Yorker. Some of his best-known films have been
"Annie Hall", "Manhattan" and "Hannah and Her
Capra, Frank (1897-1991) - a film director, best known for the films
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "It's a Wonderful
Chaplin, Charlie (Charles Spencer) (1889-1977) — an English actor and
director who worked mainly in the United States in silent black-and-white
comedy films. He created the beloved character, the Little Tramp, who wore a
shabby black suit, derby hat and floppy shoes, and walked with the backs of his
feet together and the toes pointing outwards. He always walked with a cane.
By 1918 Chaplin had forsaken short comedies for longer, independently
made films, including "Shoulder Arms" (1918) and "The Kid"
(1921). His major films, produced for United
Artists (a film company which he helped to found in 1923), included "The
Gold Rush" (1925), "The Circus" (1928), "City Lights"
(1931) and "Modern Times" (1936), the latter two made as silent films
with synchronized sound effects. Chaplin spoke on the screen for the first time in
"The Great Dictator" (1940), which ridiculed Hitler and Mussolini. In
"Monsieur Verdoux" (1947), which draws an acid analogy between
warfare and business morality, the tramp disappeared entirely; the film
provided further ammunition for a growing anti-Chaplin group who attacked his
unconventional personal life and political views.
After 1952 Chaplin resided in
starred in his production "A King in New York" (1957), a sharp satire
on contemporary America, and wrote and directed "A Countess from Hongkong"
(1967). Chaplin made a triumphant return to
the United States in 1972. He was given an Academy Award (an Oscar) for his
part in "making motion pictures the art form of the century".
Coppola, Francis Ford (1939)- a film director, best known for the films
"'The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now".
Ford, John (1895-1973) - a film director, especially known for his
Westerns including "Stagecoach", "How the West Was Won",
Goldwin, Samuel (1882-1947) - a film producer, head of one of the
companies, which later became MGM. Goldwyn is famous for saying odd things like
"include me out".
Griffith, D. W. (1875-1948) - a film maker, known especially for his use
of new photographic methods and for his epic silent films, such as "The
Birth of the Nation" (1915) that required huge casts and enormous sets.
Griffith directed the first film, "The Adventures of Dollie",
in 1908 and went on to make hundreds of pictures. With "The Birth of the
Nation", he created a landmark in film industry. Also influential on the
future of the film was "Intolerance" (1916). Griffith continued to
make successful films throughout the 1920s. However, the Victorian sentiment
that pervades his films was increasingly alien to the theme. He failed to make
the transition to sound pictures.
Russel, Ken (1926-) — a film director, best known for documentary films
and for the film "Women in Love".
Scorsese, Martin (1942—) — a film director whose works include
"Taxi Driver", "The Last Temptation of Christ", etc.
Spielberg, Steven (1946—) — a film director who has made many very
popular films, including "Jaws", "LT", "Raiders of the
Lost Ark", "Star Wars", "Empire of the Sun", etc. His
films are well known for being very fast moving and full of exciting action.
Zinneman, Frederick (1907- ) – an American film director, born in
Austria, famous for the films such as "High Noon" and "The Day
Wilder Billy (1906-) – a film director whose films include "Sunset
Boulevard" and "Some Like It Hot".
"The Birth of the Nation" — a dramatic silent film from 1915
about the American Civil War. "The Birth of the Nation" was directed
by D. W. Griffith. The film, based on Thomas Dixon's novel "The
Clansman", has been condemned for historical distortion and racial bias,
but it became a landmark in the artistic development of motion pictures through
its successful introduction of many now-standard film techniques.
"Planet of the Apes " - a film set in about imaginary future
where monkeys rule the world.
''Psycho'' — a horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It is
especially known for a scene in which the character Mario (Janet Leigh) is
stabbed in a shower by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
"Rocky" — the first of a group of films (later ones were
called "Rocky II", "Rock III", etc.), starring Sylvester
Stallone as a determined boxer called Rocky. In each of the films the main
character overcomes difficulties and win a fight against a strong opponent. The
films are especially popular with young people.
"Star Wars " — a popular science-fiction film about the battle
between the hero, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader, an evil person who wears a
black mask over his face and comes from an evil empire. The film was directed
by Steven Spielberg and is remembered for its many new exciting special
"The Terminator" — a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger, set in
Los Angeles in the near future in which a lot of people are killed. The film
was followed by "Terminator II".
Actors and Actresses.
Astaire, Fred (1899—1987) — a dancer, singer and actor who made many
films, often with his dancing partner, Ginger Rogers, and who was known for his
Bassinger, Kim (1954—) — a film actress, known especially for playing
attractive, sexy women.
Brando, Marlon (1924—) — an actor whose films include "A Streetcar
Named Desire", "On the Waterfront", "The Godfather",
Cooper, Gary (1901—1962) — an actor who often played strong, silent
heroes, for example in the film "High Noon".
Costner, Kevin (1955—) — an actor and director whose films include
"Dances with Wolves", "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves",
Cruise, Tom (1962—) — an actor who has played leading film parts since
the early 1980s, e.g. in "Top Gun" and "Cocktail". He is
especially popular with women.
De Niro, Robert (1945—) — an actor, known especially for his part in the
films "Taxi Driver" and "The Deer Hunter".
Dietrich, Marlene (1904—1992) — an American actress and nightclub
performer, born in Germany, who usually played the part of an extremely
sexually attractive woman. She is best remembered for her part in the film
Douglas, Kirk (1916—) — a film actor, known for playing the hero in
films such as "Spartacus".
Douglas, Michael (1944—) — a film actor, son of Kirk Douglas, known for
his part in the films "Fatal Attraction" and ''Romancing the
Eastwood, Clint (1930—) — a film actor and director, best known for
playing parts as a gunfighter in Westerns and a modern city police officer. His
characters almost always have their right on their side, and no fear.
Fonda, Henry (1905-1982) - an actor who made many films including
"The Grapes of Wrath", "Twelve Angry Men", "On Golden
Fonda, Jane (1937—) — an actress, daughter of Henry Fonda, known for her
left-wing views, especially her support for Vietnam and her opposition to the
American government during the Vietnam War. Her best-known films are "The
China Syndrome" and, with her father, "On Golden Pond". She is
also known for her interest in active physical exercise.
Fonda, Peter (1939—) — an actor and director, best known for his film
"Easy Rider"; son of Henry Fonda.
Fox, Michael (1961-) -- an American actor, born in Canada, who has appeared
in such films as "Back to the Future" (parts 1, 2, 3). He is very
popular, especially with young girls.
Gable, Clark (1901-1960) - a film actor, best known for his role as
Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind". He also appeared in many other
Hollywood films, including "Mutiny on the Bounty", "The
Garbo, Greta (1905—1990) — an
American film actress, born in Sweden. She was celebrated for her classic
beauty and her portrayals of moody characters.
Having first attracted notice in
the Swedish silent film “The Story of Gosta Berling” (1924), Garbo went to the
United States in 1925 and became perhaps the most celebrated motion-picture
actress of the time, a provocative, enigmatic embodiment of feminine beauty and
mystery. “Flesh and the Devil” was her best-known silent film; among her
notable talking pictures were “Anna Christie” and the comedy “Ninotchka”.
Greta Garbo became famous for
her with drawn, aloof off-screen personality. In the movie “Grand Hotel”, she
made the famous complaint, “I want to be alone.” Garbo retired from the movies
in the early 1940s and lived as a recluse ever since.
Garland, Judy (1922-1969) - a film actress and singer who was most
famous as the character of Dorothy in the film "The Wizard of Oz".
Gere, Richard (1949—) — an actor, known especially for his part in the
films "American Gigolo", "An Officer and a Gentleman" and
Goldberg, Whoopi (1949-) - a film actress who appeared in "The
Color Purple" and "Ghost".
Grant, Cary (1904-1986) - an American actor, born in Britain, who is
remembered especially for his comic films including ''The Philadelphia Story''
and ''Bringing Up Baby''.
Hoffman, Dustin (1937-) - a film actor, best known for his roles in the
films "The Graduate", "Kramer vs. Kramer", "Midnight
Cowboy", "The Rain Man", etc.
Kelly, Gene (1912-1996) - a film actor, dancer and director who appeared
in many musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, including "Singing in the
Rain", in which he sang and danced to a song with the same name.
Kelly, Grace (1928-1982) - a film actress, star of "High Noon"
and "High Society" in the 1950s, who became Princess Grace of Monaco
when she married Prince Rainier.
Marvin, Lee (1924—1987) — a film actor, known especially for playing
strong, violent characters in films such as "The Dirty Dozen" and
"Point Blank". He is also remembered for singing the song "I was
born under a wandering star" in a very deep voice.
Mathau, Walter (1922—) — an actor in films and theater, known especially
for his humorous roles, e.g. in "The Odd Couple".
Monroe, Marilyn (1926—1962) — a
film actress whose real name was Norma Jean Baker, who starred in films during
the middle of the 20th century and became the leading sex symbol of the 1950s.
Monroe first attracted notice in
“The Asphalt Jungle”, thereafter she became a reigning screen siren. Her major
films include “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “The Seven Year Itch”, “Bus Stop” and
“Some Like It Hot”.
While still in her thirties, she
died of an overdose of sleeping pills.
To many people, Marilyn Monroe
is a tragic symbol of the unhappiness that can accompany fame and glamor.
Murphy, Eddie (1961—) — an actor and comedian who first became known for
his work on the television program “Saturday Night Live” but now is known
mostly for his films, such as “Trading Places” and “Beverly Hills Cop”.
Newman, Paul (1925—) — an actor and director, lending male star of
Hollywood films in the 1900s and 1970s and considered very attractive. His
films include “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Sting”, “The Color of
Nicholson, Jack (1937—) — an actor who started appearing in films in the
l960s, such as “Easy Rider’’ which represented the feelings of young Americans,
and has now become a big Hollywood star.
Pacino, Al (1940—) — an actor, known for the films such as “The
Godfather” and “Scarface”.
Poitier, Sidney (1927—) — a black Amer ican film star and director, who
was one of the first black actors to play serious parts rather than black
Pryor, Richard (1940-) - a
comedian who has appeared in films and made several records. He is black and
often makes jokes about situations involving black and white people together.
Redford, Robert (1937—) — a film actor and director who was in films
such as ''Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'',“The Sting” and “Out of Africa”.
He is popular for his good looks as well as his acting.
Schwarzenegger, Arnold (1947—) — an American actor, born in Austria,
whose bodybuilding appearance won him the titles of Mr. Gcrriiaiiy and Mr.
Universe. He is best known for his part in the film “The Terminator” in which
he plays the hero.
Scott, George C. (1926—) — an actor, best known for his film parts,
especially strong-willed characters, such as soldiers. He was the first actor
to refuse an Oscar.
Streisand, Barbra (1942—) — a
singer and actress who has performed on stage and in many successful film
musicals, including “Hello, Dolly”, “The Way We Were”, “A Star is Born”, etc.
Taylor, Elizabeth (1932—) — an American film actress, born in Britain.
She began making films at the age of ten, but is perhaps at least as well known
for marriages, of which there have been eight (two of them to Richard Burton).
Temple, Shirley (1928—) — a film actress who was the child star of over
20 films in the 1930s, and in later life, as Shirley Temple Black, became a US
ambassador. She was very popular when her films first appeared because of her
style of singing, dancing and acting and her curly golden hair.
Valentino, Rudolph (1895—I926) — an American film actor, born in Italy.
He was famous for playing the part of a lover in silent films, especially in
“The Sheikh”. He is sometimes mentioned as a typical example of a good-looking
romantic man. Valentino was a ballroom dancer and movie extra before reaching
stardom in “Four Horsemen in the Apocalypse” (1921).
Soon he became the American women’s idea of masculinity, and his private
life and loves were avidly reported in newspapers and magazines. His physique,
his good looks and his physical grace were well exhibited in “The Sheikh” and
“Monsieur Beaucaire”. Valentino’s most successful film is “Blood and Sand”, for
here he seems able to bring some of his own personality to the portrayal of the
matador, an opportunity his other, more stereotyped roles had thwarted. His
untimely death created a national furor and reportedly drove some of his fans
Wayne, John (1907-1979) - a film actor who often played "tough
guys", particularly soldiers and cowboys.
Early in his career Wayne appeared as Hollywood's first singing cowboy.
In 1939, in "Stagecoach", he achieved star status. In his 50-year
career he appeared in more than 200 motion pictures. Some of his outstanding
films are "Red River", "The Quiet Man", "The High and
Mighty", "The Searchers", "True Grit", for which he
won an Academy Award (1969), and "Shootist".
The characters John Wayne played, especially in Westerns
("Stagecoach", "True Grit"), were often honest, strong,
independent and patriotic. Because he played
these characters, John Wayne was thought to have those qualities himself and
was an example of a good American. His old-fashioned patriotism made him something of a
folk hero. In 1979 he was voted a
Congressional gold medal; the inscription read, "John Wayne —
Williams, Robin (1952—) — an actor and comedian whose films include
“Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Dead Poets Society”, etc.
I think that the greatest actress not only of the USA, but of the whole
world is Marilyn Monroe. So I ‘d like to tell some facts about her life.
Six queens come and go, easily crowned, easily forgotten. Yet Marilyn
Monroe’s memory has remained very much alive. Admirers still cut her picture
out of public library books, artists still paint her; even the young have
become familiar with her name and her face by watching her films on television.
Death has changed the sexy blonde into a myth, a symbol of soft
femininity and loveliness. Nowadays she is sometimes mistaken for a saintly
martyr, which she certainly was not. But then, what was she? Those who knew her
disagree so violently that it is difficult to see the real woman through the
conflicting judgments of her friends. A simple little girl to her first
husband, producer Mike Todd, she was also been described as the most
unappreciated person in the world, the meanest woman in Hollywood, a tart, an
enchanting child, an idiot, a wit, a great natural intelligence, a victim, and
a clod ‘user’ of people From the very contradiction, one can guess that she was
not simple. And obviously she had something special- not talent, perhaps, but a
certain spark. It is well known that most of her problems had their roots in an
Marilyn had come into the world in a Los Angel’s hospital as Norma Jean
Mortensen. Her mother, Gladys Monroe Mortensen, loved her child; but since she
had to work, she left her in the hands of Ida and Albert Bolender, a
respectable couple who boarded children on their farm. Norma Jean spent her first
seven years with them. Her physical needs were well looked after, and Gladys
visited faithfully every weekend. But when she had gone, there was not much
warmth around the little girl. For Norma Jean, who was extremely sensitive, it
was a lonely, distressing childhood. In 1933 Gladys bought a house and took her
daughter home with her. But she was not there much and when she was out, Norma
Jean had to stay with the elderly couple who rented part of the house. They
were not bad people, only indifferent and more interested in drinking than in
baby-sitting. When Norma Jean didn’t have to go to school, the couple dropped
her at a nearly movie house in time for the first afternoon show. The little
girl watched happily all day, and after the last matinee she walked home by
herself. In her room, later, she would act out the whole story. In this way she
developed a passion for acting that she never outgrew. After nine months of
live together, Gladys had a mental collaps and was hospitalized. She appeared
from time to time in her daughter’s life, but more as a burden than as a
support. Many people took Norma Jean under their wings throughout the years.
She looked so insecure, so defenseless, that men and women alike felt compelled
to protect her.
However vague Norma Jean may have been about life in general, she never
felt vague about the career she wanted to have. She wanted to be an actress.
But the first three years of Marilyn’s career didn’t bring her more than a few
very small parts. She kept herself alive by modeling. In 1950 Marilyn attracted
attention in a small part in ‘The Asphalt Jungle’, which had been obtained for
her by a powerful protector. Another protector, and the most influential by
far, was the agent Johnny Hyde. Hyde was a powerful man in Hollywood when he
met Marilyn. He was too wise to claim that she had talent; instead he insisted
that such personality didn’t need to be talented. He succeeded in getting her a
part in ‘All About Eve’, a film that was to prove lucky for all its actors. The
font mail started piling up. The Hollywood columnists included the new blonde
in their gossip columns. Soon ‘Life and Look’ magazines were honoring her with
long articles, and one critic ventured to declare her ‘a forceful actress’. The
studio, after having her co-star in several pictures, finally gave her a
starring role in ‘Niagara’ in 1953. She had become the Fox’s biggest
Whenever she appeared she was cornered by excited admirers and
photographers. But there was no private happiness behind the facade, and even
her fame was not of the kind she would have liked. She resented her shallow
roles; she resented the fact she had no voice in the choice of her scripts and
that her old contract was keeping salary ridiculously low for a star. Hurt, she
retaliated as best as she could. She arrived late on the set, unprepared and
obviously indifferent to the hardships. She was imposing on the other actors
and the technicians. Scenes had to be redone forty or fifty times because she
could not remember a four-word sentence. If something displeased her, she
locked herself in her dressing room, or failed to show up at all for days. Her
behavior disgusted the people who worked with her, but her fans loved the
radiant child-woman on the screen.
In 1961 after divorcing her next husband the famous American playwright
Arthur Miller, Marilyn drifted back to the West Coast to open a new page in her
life. On August 5, 1962 she was found dead in her house. She had made many
attempts at suicide before. But it does not seem that she intended to hill
herself that Saturday. When she retired for the night, she had plans for the
next day. But early in the morning her housekeeper found her dead.
The world was shocked. In the words of one of her biographers: ‘She
broke her heart trying to achieve something she didn’t have in her to
Walt Disney was an American artist and film producer, who was famous for
his animated cartoons. He was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, his father
being Irish Canadian, his mother of German-American origin. In his early child
hood he revealed a talent for drawing and an interest in photography. His teens
he began an art course, but World War I broke out and he drove for the Red
Cross in Europe. When he got back to America he met artist Ub Iwerks, ‘and they
went into business together.
In 1923 he left with his brother for Hollywood Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks
made a series of short cartoons but lost all their money, and for some years
struggled against poverty. Luckily, Walt’s brother Roy gave him more to start
up again. The first talking picture came out in 1927 and Disney realized that
sound held the key to the future of films. He developed many techniques in
His most famous characters are Mickey Mouse, Duck and Pluto. The first
Mickey Mouse cartoon was drawn 1928. It was the first sound cartoon, which
brought great success to its creator. In the early cartoons he was really
horrible. He looked quite rat-like with long pointed nose and small eyes.
Later his face changed. His head got as big as his body or almost, his
eyes got bigger, too. He got younger instead of older. That makes him cuter.
Now it is an acceptable symbol for the USA. Donald Duck was created in 1936.
Walt Disney took the biggest risk of his career and spent a fortune on a
full-length cartoon. Finally, the first full-length cartoon feature film “Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs” was brought out in 1935, which the public paid
millions of dollars to see The songs to the cartoon were written by Frank
Churchill. After the Second World War Disney turned his attention to real —
life nature studies and non-cartoon films with living actors.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Walt Disney began developing the
family-entertainment parks, Disneyland and Disney World. The first Disneyland
was opened in southern California in 1955. It is situated 27 miles south of Los
Angeles, at Anaheim. Of all the show-places none is as famous as Disneyland.
This superb kingdom of fantasy linked to technology was created by Walt Disney.
The park is divided into six themes and there is so much to see and do in each
that no one would attempt to see all of them in one visit. For extended visits,
there are hotels nearby. In 1971 Disney World was opened in Florida.
Walt Disney died in California
at the age of 65. But his films are still shown regularly at the cinema,
because of their time1esS quality and will be shown for years to come.Walter
(Walt) Elias Disney has won more “Oscars” — the awards of the United States
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, instituted on May 16, 1929 and
named after Oscar Pierce of Texas, USA — than any other person:20 statuettes
and 12 other plagues and certificates, including posthumous awards.
The shooting of ‘Titanic’ in 1997 brought people flocking to the
cinemas. It has become a blockbuster and
brought big profits to the producers. The reasons are:on the one hand, the thrilling
plot of the film, depicting the first of the greatest disasters of the 20th
century, and, on the other hand, new technologies of film making, used by James
Cameron, the producer. Everybody wanted to see if the film was really worth
eleven ‘Oscar’ awards.
‘Titanic’ is the latest screen version of the tragedy happened on April
14-15, 1912 during the maiden voyage of the British luxury passenger liner. The vessel sank with a loss of about 1,500 lives:men,
women, children. Their voyage on board the dream ship ended in a nightmare. It
revealted all human vices: arrogance, self-satisfaction, greed, selfishness and
self-confidence. But at the same time this tragedy showed the best traits of
humancharacter: the sense of duty and responsibility, self-sacrifice and short
but immortial love. The love-story about Jack and Rose, a young poor artist and
a 17-year old girl from the upper society, arouses uor sympathy and admiration.
Paired with the main story-line, it adds much to the impression of the film.
‘Titanic’ made the leading actors Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslent
international celebrities. The music of James Horner created a special
atmosphere in the film and has become popular with the public.
The film is interesting not only
from the artistic point of view, but from the technical ones as well. Both the
ship and the ocean are virtual, created by computers. Besides, we can see
unique pictures of ‘The Titanic’ buried in the depth of the ocean. Its wreck
was found lying in two pieces on the ocean floor at the depth of about 4,000
..metres. The pictures were taken with the help of the Russian ocean-explores
and shown to the whole world.
By the way, the film was
directed by James Cameron, famous for creating very expensive films with new
special effects, which were the biggest box-office success. ‘Titanic’ is not an
exception. Critics say the film has opened a new era in film production. I
think they are right.
In The USA. Martha Bordman
Introducing The USA. Milode Broukol, Peter Murphy.