Research Paper: Motion Picture Directors From the First Decades

Pages: 2 (596 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Film  ·  Buy This Paper

Motion picture directors from the first decades of the twentieth century had a tendency to choose traditional topics as plots for their films, probably because they considered that it would be easier for the public to understand subjects that they could relate to. Given that the masses were still uncertain regarding motion pictures, there were mixed opinions concerning motion pictures produced during the early era of movie-making.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Screen Play Magazine review of Tarzan of the Apes (1918) dealt with the general reception of the film during the time when it was issued. People seeing the film felt inspired and praised the protagonist for his acting, virtually making him a person that would represent the character of Tarzan for decades to come (Tarzan's seven lifes). Although the reviewer is to a certain degree correct (Elmo Lincoln -- the actor playing Tarzan-is to this day appreciated for the acting he put across in this film), he apparently tended to exaggerate Lincoln's acting abilities, given that one of the actor's main attributes in playing Tarzan was that he was the first to play the adult version of the character, thus meaning that he had an advantage that those coming after him did not.

The topic of racism continued to be widely debated during the first decades of the twentieth century. Instead of condemning D.W. Griffith's film the Birth of a Nation for the obvious racism it expresses, the 1916 article praises it and actually points toward the belief that it should be generally recognized as communicating constructive messages.

Although it was difficult to rival some of the most recognized actors playing in comedies during the 1920s, Buster Keaton managed to detach himself from the rest of the acting community by playing in Convict 13. Carl Sandburg's review is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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