Changing life in the USA
What were the main social developments in the USA from 1945-2000?
Changes in popular culture
The cinema and film stars
- In the 1920s cinemas started being built and by 1930, 80 million people visited a cinema every week. In 1927 the film The Jazz Singer was the first talkie. In 1928 Mickey Mouse was made famous in a film by Walt Disney, Steamboat Willie.
- In the 1930s films about gangsters and Brodway musicals were a way of helping people to forget about the problems of the Depression.
- In the 1940s many films were Second World War dramas, eg Casablanca.
- In the 1950s fewer people went to the cinema as the television had reached their homes.
- In the 1970s companies released films in hundreds of cities at the same time and advertised them on television. As a result, films such as The Godfather (1972) were successful. Also in the 1970s, talented directors such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came to the fore with films such as Jaws (1973) and Star Wars.
- In the 1980s technological developments had enabled film producers to create more impressive special effects on screen, eg Terminator (1984) and Ghostbusters (1984).
- In the 1990s television programmes like The West Wing and ER were popular. Also, digitally animated films became prominent, eg Jurassic Park (1993) and Toy Story (1995).
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