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By Tom Symmons

The New Hollywood of the past due Nineteen Sixties and Seventies is one of the most fun and influential classes within the heritage of movie. This e-book explores how the recent wave of old movies have been profoundly formed by way of the controversies and issues of the present.

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Providing an in-depth examination of the contextual factors that gave rise to the ‘movie movie’ wave, this chapter also serves as an introduction to the New Hollywood in general, with reference to the changes in the film industry, audience taste patterns and within society at large in the postSecond World War period. Chapter 2 examines Martin Ritt’s Depression era to the deep bonds and resilience of the black family: Sounder (1972). Discussed in relation to past representations of African Americans in Hollywood film, the film is also analysed in the context of the popular and controversial wave of black action films released in the early 1970s, which tapped into the defiant mood and militant separatism of Black Power.

That’s Entertainment (1974), for example, a film at the vanguard of this trend, had intrinsic crossover appeal.  39.  39. 35 Joseph McBride, ‘The Glory That Was Hollywood’, American Film, vol. 1, no.  54.  499. 37 James Monaco, ‘That’s Entertainment’, Take One, vol. 4, no.  38–9. 34 THE ‘NEW WAVE’ AND ‘OLD HOLLYWOOD’ 35 and one of a number of comic parodies in this broad grouping, similarly alludes to present concerns over the controversial content of contemporary filmmaking. Fondly recalling a time when ‘the boy always got the girl, crime didn’t pay, and the only four letter word in a movie house was ‘exit”, the introduction to the film by the comedian George Burns, nostalgically refers to the film’s studio era influences.

Produced by independent companies outside of the film industry mainstream, such as the highly successful American International Pictures (AIP), ‘exploitation’ movies were aimed at teenagers, a niche market that flourished during the 1950s and 1960s. The films were low budget, sensational, high in moral shock value and put on simultaneous release in as many cinemas as possible to circumvent poor word of mouth, a practice dubbed saturation booking. Socially, they had a broad appeal among cinema’s youth demographic, but middle class, new audience types were more likely to adopt a ‘camp’ interest in most exploitation pictures.

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