Analytical Table Of Contents

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List of Tables xi

List of Case Studies xii

List of Figures xiii

Acknowledgements xiv

Introduction: Problems of Definition and the

Discourse of American Independent Cinema 1 Part I

American Independent Cinema in the Studio Years (mid-1920s-late 1940s)

1. Independent Filmmaking in the Studio Era:

Tendencies within the Studio System 19

Introduction 19

The First Independents 21

Independents before the Formation of the Studios 25

Independents in the Age of Oligopoly 30

The First Period (mid-/late 1920s-1939) 31

Economic Constraints 35

Independent Production vs Studio-Unit Production 37

Some Economic Opportunities 41

The Second Period (1940-8) 44

The Industry-wide Shift 47

The End of the War Boon 52

Conclusion 54

2. Independent Filmmaking in the Studio Era:

The Poverty Row Studios (1930-50s) 63

Introduction 63

The First Period (1930-9) 65

Monogram Pictures 68

Republic Pictures 69

Grand National Films 71

Independent B Films vs Studio B Films 73

The Second Period (1940-early 1950s) 82

Producers Releasing Corporation 84

Upgrading the Product 86

The Decline of the B Film Market 88

Conclusion 89

Beyond Poverty Row: Ethnic Films 90

Part II

The Transitional Years (late 1940s-late 1960s)

3. Independence by Force: The Effects of the

Paramount Decree on Independent Film Production 101

Introduction 101

The Paramount Decree 103

The Post-War Recession 105

Identity Crisis 108

The United Artists Revival 111

Independent Production: The United Artists Way 113

Production 114

Distribution 115

The Reasons behind the Success 117 The Triumph of a Brand of Independent

Production . . . and of the Majors 120

Conclusion 124

4. An Audience for the Independents:

Exploitation Films for the Nation's Youth 135

Introduction 135 The Emergence of the Teenager and the Rise of

Youth Audience 137

From Poverty Row to Exploitation and Showmanship 139

The Era of the Drive-in Theatres 141

Low-end Independents against Television 143

The Exploitation Teenpic and the Companies behind It 146

Sam Katzman 146

American International Pictures 147

Embassy Pictures 152

William Castle Productions 153

Roger Corman and the Filmgroup 156

The Majors and the Low-budget Exploitation Market 158

Conclusion 159

Part III

Contemporary American Independent Cinema (late 1960s-present)

5. The New Hollywood and the Independent Hollywood 169

Introduction 169

The New American Cinema 172

The Influence of John Cassavetes 174

The New Hollywood 177

Conclusion 183

6. American Independent Cinema in the Age of the Conglomerates 192

Introduction 192

Raising the Stakes 195 Economic Opportunities in the Low-budget

Independent Sector (late 1960s-1974) 197

The End of Exploitation as we Know It 200 The Gradual Rise and Rapid Fall of

American International Pictures 203

From the Theatrical to the Video Market 205 A New Hope: The Birth of the New American

Independent Cinema 206

Conclusion 210

7. Mini-majors and Major Independents 222 Introduction 222 A Star is Born 225

The New Orion Constellation 228

The Shining Star 230

The Fading Star 234

The Last Bonfires 237

The Fall 238

Conclusion 239

8. The Institutionalisation of

American Independent Cinema 246

Introduction 246

A Business of Co-dependents 249 Institutional Framework (1): Organisations Dedicated to Supporting Independent Filmmaking, Finance Opportunities and Independent Distributors 253

Institutional Framework (2): The Classics Divisions 260

The Aesthetics Factor 266

Conclusion 270

Epilogue: From Independent to 'Specialty' Cinema



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