While Hollywood contends that the domination of American films abroad is due to the quality of its product, the truth is that the major American movie studios have established a virtual worldwide monopoly on the distribution and exhibition of the film industry. The United States government has greatly aided Hollywoods efforts and continues to do so. The U.S. governemnt first became heavily involved with the film industry in 1916 when U.S. consuls were instructed to report on the market for American movies. The government, in turn, made this information available to the industry. Eight companies (MGM, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, RKO, Warner Bros., Universal, United Artists, and Columbia) used the government information to establish a virtual cartel. This work examines the practices of this cartel in its various forms, how it came to dominate the industry worldwide, and the role the U.S. government has played in advancing its monopolistic practices.
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With their simple story lines, action plots, international stars, and aggressive marketing techniques, Hollywood movies dominate the world film market. This book argues that American film studios have always exploited advantages and have formed a cartel intent on creating "Hollyworld." Among the charges leveled against the group: direct ownership of theaters, price fixing, block booking, favored treatment from the U.S. government, even a cozy relationship with German Nazis. Recent topics include Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti's fierce protection of the industry, the GATT treaty's effect on Hollywood, the videocassette revolution, and problems with piracy. Depicting Jurassic Park as stomping all over world culture, Segrave has assembled an impressive array of statistics (much of the book reads like an accountant's ledger), but his study is humorless and ultimately unpersuasive. This important subject deserves a more engaging book. A marginal purchase for larger international film collections.?Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"an impressive array of statistics...important" -- Library Journal
"information is detailed" -- Classic Images
"packed with facts and figures.... Includes copious, carefully documented details" -- Choice
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