Early Hollywood Movie Memories Will Live on

As far back as the early to middle part of the 20th century, Hollywood produced a number of films that are remembered today as being classics. There is no doubt that these movie memories will continue, and deservedly so, to be thought of in this way. The time period stretching from the 1920s through the 1940s brought a great many changes to Hollywood and the motion picture industry.

The 1920s brought to film what is probably one of the most significant changes in movie history – sound. While the majority of motion pictures continued to be silent on the screen, the latter part of this decade would see a surge in the number of pictures being produced with sound. America loved going to the movies, and this was the beginning of a beautiful love affair that continues today. As with all love affairs, there were some bumps in the road. The stock market crash of 1929 brought to an end the financial security that many people had during the decade. Fortunately, Hollywood was not immediately affected by the economic changes.

The 1930s, although a difficult time economically, really defined a lot of what Hollywood has become. Sound in motion pictures was now commonplace and color began to show its glorious screen potential. The public’s movie going imagination was being fueled by the likes of John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Shirley Temple, and a great many more all destined to become legendary. Unfortunately, the addition of sound to film was not kind to everyone. Many of the silent film stars were unable to successfully make the transition. The 1930s also helped to usher in some classic horror movies. Characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy continue to be popular with today’s monster movie fans.

With the 1940s came war. The United States, along with most of the world, was now immersed into World War II. Hollywood did their part in supporting the effort and the war movie genre exploded onto the scene. Many popular war titles, including Casablanca and The Battle of Midway, would earn a spot in classic movie history. Even after the wars conclusion Hollywood continued to produce postwar films such as The Best Years Of Our Lives that depicted the difficulties faced by many returning veterans.

It is these three decades that have had the most profound influence in shaping Hollywood as we see it today. In many ways the spirit of these decades still exists today, as this was an historic period in motion picture history and the Hollywood movie memories that it provided are destined to always be remembered but can never be duplicated.

Public Relations for Hollywood Movies

It is amazing the amount of money that Hollywood spends promoting its movies and public-relations efforts and it seems they spend more money on public-relations and community goodwill then they actually do in advertising or marketing. Public relations, publicity stunts and getting the actors to go on talk shows very much helps the movie industry promote their flicks. But, public relations for Hollywood movies is not as easy as it looks, in fact, if it is done incorrectly it can actually hurt the movie.

Of course the right amount of controversy also helps sell tickets as long as that controversy does not cross into taboo and thus causing boycotts from family type groups. Public relations specialists for Hollywood movies make much more money than their counterparts in other industries and it is a choice job.

The insiders in Hollywood know what it’s all about and if they are able to promote the movie and get free publicity and public relations out properly, then they will win at the box office. Even if the film is not that good it still might reach the $50 million weekend mark simply through good public relations.

Of course if the movie is good there will be word-of-mouth advertising after that and even more people will see it. The goal is to get the first group of people to go see the Hollywood movie and then run around and say how great it was. Please consider all this in 2006.

The Hero Archetype in Hollywood Movies

An orphaned boy was raised by his foster parents. One day, a tragic incident killed the kind couple that had taken care of him. The grieving young man embarked on a journey to fight evil. He was then trained by a special teacher that taught him spiritual values. The young man was ready to face the evil overlord, only to found out that his enemy was none other than his own biological father. Sounds familiar? Of course.

Finding patterns in Hollywood movies are not hard. Like myths, tales, and folklore, movies often repeat the same basic storyline over and over. The basic pattern of the character’s story, personality, or behavior has psychological explanations.

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) advanced the concept of psychological archetypes. Archetype is an original model of a person, ideal example, or a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated. Archetype served as a symbol that everyone can recognize. Some archetypes often appeared in stories, such as, The Child archetype, The Hero, The Great Mother, The Wise Old Man/Woman, The Trickster, The Devil, The Scarecrow, and The Mentor. Archetype as a model of person, personality, or behavior is easy to spot in Hollywood movies. In example, The Hero Archetype.

The character explained at the beginning of the article is Luke Skywalker that appeared in Star Wars Trilogy, and he possessed traits that can identify him as The Hero archetype.

In his book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) identified an archetypal plot line within ancient myths that told the same recurring story about The Hero as the main subject. These characters usually follow these patterns:

– Born with unusual circumstances. The Hero is often born into royalty, or in the time of danger.

– In one point in The Hero’s life, he leaves his family or land, and lives with other people.

– The Hero is involved in an event that leads to an adventure or quest. The event is often traumatic.

– The Hero has a special weapon only he can wield.

– The Hero found a supernatural help along his adventure.

– The Hero must prove himself many times during this adventure or quest.

– The Hero experiences atonement with the father.

– When The Hero dies, he is rewarded spiritually.

We like to identify ourselves as The Hero character in a movie, that’s why finding an example of this archetype in Hollywood movies are relatively easy. Of course, the character doesn’t always have to meet all of the criteria mentioned above to be classified as The Hero archetype. A lot examples of The Hero archetype, of course, can mostly be found on superhero movies. Superhero movies are currently flooding the silver screen, symbolizing hope and return of the ideals back in the society. A superhero is seen as a character that will make things right, and the audience always love them.

Examples of The Hero archetype in superhero movies are Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, and Iron Man. In other movies, there are Aragorn (The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy), Indiana Jones, John Connor (Terminator), and Harry Potter. These characters had proved themselves as a true hero character through their dedication to endure pain and sorrow for the good of many, and for themselves.

Although The Hero archetype is not limited to action and superhero movies, most of the samples we could find are mostly from the two genres. Maybe, because it is easier to perform as a hero in a circumstance that demands a lot of action and dynamics.

Archetype is a part of our collective consciousness. By experiencing the story as The Hero archetype, we see ourselves fighting evil and bringing peace to society. Although the recurring patterns may make the audience bored, The Hero character still plays an important part. They forge positive values in the audience and reminds them that good things are still worth fighting for. Maybe not by killing evil overlord or slaying dragons, but there are a lot of ways to be a hero. And we can all be one.

Dream Based Hollywood Movies

The first dream based movie that I remember was from the 80’s and was called Dreamscape. The basic premise was that there were these special dream people that could enter into your dreams and help you conquer the demons that lived within. Their goal was to go in there and help people who were having emotional issues, with the idea being they could get to the heart of the problem through their dreams. It was a cool concept that looked great back then, but which seems a little dated now. There may have been some copycat style movies released back then, but there are really none that come to mind until the 90’s.

The Cell was a movie that followed something of a similar concept to Dreamscape in that research was being done to enter into the dreams of troubled folks to help them through their problems. The twist here was that one of the subjects was a serial killer who had slipped into a comatose state, while still having a woman captive somewhere with the clock ticking. Jennifer Lopez played the psychiatrist charged with going into the killers mind and trying to extract the information. Where Dreamscape was all 80’s fun, The Cell had a dark heart beating at the center of it, albeit a visually stunning one. The scenes inside the head of the serial killer came pretty close to matching the weird look and feel of the average dream world, which made it all the more chilling.

The king of all dream movies was released just a few short years ago, though, and may very well be the one that sets the bar for any more to follow. Inception was a trippy tale of dream thieves whose job it was to get inside the head of subjects via their dreams and steal information that rival companies would willingly kill for. The movie paints this process, known as extraction, as fairly standard procedure, with the art of Inception being a whole lot harder to pull off. Inception was where these same thieves went inside the dream world and planted an idea that would cause the victim to completely alter their normal way of thinking.

Director Christopher Nolan painted these dream worlds in a way that is familiar to all of us, yet also added a number of dream layers that added to the experience. It was easy to forget exactly which level of the dream you were in while you watched, which actually made it all the more enjoyable since you were forced to really pay attention to what was going on. By the end credits you were left with the feeling of not really being sure what was real and what was part of the dream world. I found this to be particularly pleasing, especially since the lights coming up in the theater were the same as the first rays of daylight catching your eyes when you wake. That feeling of confusion and of being caught between the dream and real life was what made it work, and may very well explain why the movie touched a nerve with so many different people.