American Cinema (Кино и театры Америки)

Minicap Educational Establishment
Secondary School N0 1 with
Thorough Learning of Foreign Languages
Central District, Chelyabinsk


              ''American Cinema''

Made by Bragina Kate
                                                   Class 10-4

                         Foreign Language Department

                                   The contents

Introduction.    2
American Cinema  3
The earliest history of film.     4
The earliest movie theatres. 4
The growth of the film industry.  5
Popcorn     7
The Oscar.  7
Hollywood.  7
Beverly Hills.   9
The major film genres. 9
Film Companies   10
Film Directors and Producers 10
Films.      12
Actors and Actresses.  12
Marilyn Monroe.  16
Walt Disney 18
Titanic.    19
Literature. 20
Vocabularly.     21


        I’m a cinema goer. And also I like watching films on TV or video.
But I think, that watching a good film is the best relaxation. It is
thought-provoking and entertaining. Now a growing number of people prefer
watching films on TV to attending cinemas. There are wonderful comedies,
love stories, science fiction, horror films, detective stories, and
historical films on. There’s a variety of films available today. It is
difficult to live without cinema. One fact is clear for everyone: cinema
makes our life better. Cinema helps us to forget different problems. When
people watch films, they have a rest. Some films take people into another
world. I think it is a pure world, where usual problems do not even exist.
Cinema is a great power, it helps us to understand our complex well. Cinema
can leave nobody indifferent. It is so powerful that it provokes complex
feelings. We meet a lot of people. Everyone has his own opinion about
something and like most of us I have my own opinion too, for example, about
cinema. Cinema is a necessary and important part of my life. It is my
essence, my mode of life and my happiness. Cinema helps me to cope with
difficulties and with incorrigible problems. So that’s why I have chosen
the topic ‘Cinema’.

                               American Cinema

    The world of American  cinema  is  so  far-reaching  a  topic  that  it
deserves, and  often  receives,  volumes  of  its  own.  Hollywood  (in  Los
Angeles, California), of course, immediately comes to mind, as do  the  many
great directors, actors and actresses it continues to attract  and  produce.
But then, one also thinks of the many  independent  studios  throughout  the
country, the educational and documentary series  and  films,  the  socially-
relevant tradition in cinema, and  the  film  departments  of  universities,
such as the University of  Southern  California  (USC),  the  University  of
California at Los Angeles (UCLA) or New York University.
    For over 50 years, American films have continued to grow in  popularity
throughout the world. Television has only increased this popularity.
    The great blockbusters of film entertainment that  stretch  from  "Gone
with the Wind" to "Star Wars" receive the most  attention.  A  look  at  the
prizes awarded  at  the  leading  international  film  festivals  will  also
demonstrate that as an art form,  the  American  film  continues  to  enjoy-
considerable prestige. Even when the theme  is  serious  or,  as  they  say,
"meaningful", American films remain "popular". In  the  past  decade,  films
which treated the danger of nuclear power and weapons, alcoholism,  divorce,
inner-city blight, .the effects of slavery, the plight of Native  Americans,
poverty  and  immigration  have  all  received  awards   and   international
recognition. And, at the same time, they have done well at the box-office.
    Movies (films), including those on  video-cassettes,  remain  the  most
popular art form in the USA. A book with 20,000 readers is considered to  be
a best-seller. A hit play may be seen by a  few  thousand  theatergoers.  By
contrast, about a billion movie tickets are sold at movie houses across  the
USA every year.
    There are three main varieties of movie theaters in  the  USA:  1)  the
"first-run" movie houses, which show new films;  2)  "art  theaters",  which
specialize  in  showing  foreign  films  and  revivals;   3)   "neighborhood
theaters", which run films — sometimes two at a time  —  after  the  "first-
run" houses.
    New York is a movie theater capital of the country. Many of the  city's
famous large movie theaters,  once  giving  Times  Square  so  much  of  its
glitter, have been torn down  or  converted  (in  some  cases  into  smaller
theaters), and a new generation of modem theaters has appeared to the  north
and east of the area.  Most  of  them  offer  continuous  performances  from
around noon till midnight. Less crowded  and  less  expensive  are  the  so-
called "neighborhood theaters", which show films  several  weeks  or  months
after the "first-run" theaters. There are several theaters  that  specialize
in revivals of famous old films and others that show only modernist,  avant-
garde films. Still others, especially those along 42nd Street,  between  the
Avenue of Americas and Eighth Avenue, run movies  about  sex  and  violence.
Foreign films, especially those of  British,  French,  Italian  and  Swedish
origin, are often seen in New York, and several  movie  theaters  specialize
in the showing of foreign-language films for the various  ethnic  groups  in
the city.

                        The earliest history of film.

    The illusion of movement was first noted in the early 19th century.  In
1824 the English physician  Peter  Mark  Roget  published  an  article  ‘the
persistence of vision with regard to moving  objects’.  Many  inventors  put
his theory to the test with pictures posted on coins that  were  flipped  by
the thumb, and with rotating disks of drawings. A  particular  favorite  was
the zoetrope, slotted revolving drum through which could be seen clowns  and
animals that seemed to leap. They were hand drawn on strips of paper  fitted
inside the drum. Other similar devices were the hemitrope, the  phasmatrope,
the phenakistoscope, and the praxinoscope. It is not possible  to  give  any
one person credit for having invented the motion picture. In the  1880s  the
Frenchman Etienne Jules Marey developed the rotating shutter with a slot  to
admit light, and George Eastman, of New York, developed  flexible  film.  In
1888 Thomas Edison, of New Jersey, his phonograph for recording and  playing
sound on wax cylinders. He tried to  combine  sound  with  motion  pictures.
Edison’s assistant, William Dickson, worked on the idea,  and  in  1889,  he
both appeared and spoke in a film. Edison did not turn his attention to  the
projected motion picture at first. The results were still not  good  enough,
and Edison did not think that films would not have large appeal. Instead  he
produced and patented the kinetoscope, which ran a continuous loop  of  film
about 15 meters (50 feet) long. Only one person could view it at a time.  By
1894, hand-cranked kinetoscope appeared  all  over  the  United  States  and
Europe. Edison demonstrated  a  projecting  kinetoscope.  The  cinematograph
based on Edison’s kinetoscope was  invented  by  two  Frenchmen,  Louis  and
Auguste  Lumiere.  This  machine  consisted  of  a  portable  camera  and  a
projector. In December 1895, The Lumiere brothers  organized  a  program  of
short motion pictures at a Parisian cafe.

                        The earliest movie theatres.

    Films were first thought of as experiment or toys. They were  shown  in
scientific laboratories and in the  drawing  rooms  of  private  home.  When
their commercial potential was realized they began to be screened in  public
to a paying audience. The first films  to  be  shown  publicly  were  short,
filmed news items  and  travelogues.  These  were  screened  alongside  live
variety acts form theatre shows, called vaudeville in United States.  Within
a few years fairground tents that slowed nothing but programs of films  were
common sights. In United States stores were converted  onto  movie  theatre,
which were known as ‘storefront theatre’. People would pay a nickel  to  see
about an hour’s  worth  of  film,  so  the  theatre  came  to  be  known  as
‘nickelodeons’. Early  film  audiences  needed  patience.  There  were  many
technical  problems.  Projectors  were  likely  to  breath  down  and  every
projectionist kept slides to reassure the audience:  ‘The  performance  will
resume shortly.’   Many projectors caused flickering on the screen,  earning
films the nickname of ‘the flicks’.

                      The growth of the film industry.

    From the start the film industry was eager to make and show films  that
people would want to see. The  most  popular  films  were  those  that  told
stories- narrative fiction films. Film  making  began  to  realize  that  by
using different camera angels,  locations,  lighting  and  special  effects,
film could tell a story in the way that live theatre couldn’t.
    The great Train Robbery, made in 1903 by Edwin S. Porter, was the first
American narrative fiction film. It included the basic  ingredients  of  the
Western: a hold-up, a chase, and a gunfight. It  used  a  great  variety  of
shots by showing the action at different distances  from  the  camera-  long
shots of action in the distance, but also medium shots of the  actors  shown
full-length, and chase-ups of the face and shoulders of  a  gunman  shooting
directly at the audience.
     Before World War I American film industry had logged behind  the  film
industries of Europe particularly those of France and Italy. But during  the
war, film making almost stopped in Europe, partly because  a  chemical  used
in celluloid was needed for making gunpowder.  The  American  film  industry
thrived during the war because there was money for making  films;  and  also
because of popular the genius of D. W. Griffith. In 1915 Griffith  made  The
Birth Of Nation, a film about the American Civil War and  in  1916  he  made
Intolerance.  These  three  hour’s  films  were  American’s  answer  to  the
spectacular Italian films such as Quo Vadis that had earlier astonished  the
world. For Intolerance Griffith had built a set  of  an  ancient  Babylonian
city, which was over a mile long, and  he  photograph  it  from  a  balloon.
Griffith was a genius, not just because he could  show  huge  and  thrilling
scenes  on  the  screen,  but  because  he  was  aware   of   the   artistic
possibilities of film.
    The actors in  the  old-sealers  had  mostly  been  unknown  and  their
performances very poor. Because the films were silent, actors  made  up  for
lack of speech by frantic and unnatural gestures and movements.  A  new  and
better style of acting was adopted by a young American actress called  Marry
Pickford who showed that a simple natural style was more  effective  on  the
screen than dramatic arm-waving and chest-thumping. Her fame  spread  across
the Atlantic. In 1918, she  signed  a  contract  for  more  than  a  million
dollars. The stars system was born.
    About the same time, some of the slapstick comedians  developed  unique
comedy styles, and also became  world-famous  stars.  Charlie  Chaplin,  the
little man with the derby hat,  cane,  and  boggy  pants,  became  the  most
famous (he, too, sealed a  million-dollar  contract).  But  others  such  as
Buster Heaton, Harold Lloyd, and Harry Langdon were also  widely  acclaimed.
They were great artists whose work is  still  popular  today.  By  1920  the
cinema had became the most popular form  of  leisure  activity  outside  the
     Film studios such as Metro-Goldwin Meyer,  Paramount,  Warner’s,  20th
Century Fox, and United Artists developed a system for  producing  films  on
the same principle that Henry Ford used for  his  cars-  the  assembly  like
Hollywood, on the west coast of the United States, became the center of  the
film industry. Its climate, light and physical surroundings were  suited  to
the film industry, which shot  much  material  out  of  doors.  Film  making
thrived. In succeeding years, many  great  films  were  made  in  Hollywood,
beginning with the silent films,  followed,  in  the  mid-twenties,  by  the
first sound pictures.
    The first animated cartoon drawn in the United  States  especially  for
film was done in 1906 by J. Stuart Blackton. The first full-length  animated
feature film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made in 1937.
    The stars of  the  films  being  produced  in  Hollywood  became  known
throughout the world. Among them were famous Cagney,  Clark  Gable,  Marlene
Dietrich, who had first appeared in films  in  Germany,  the  Swedish  Greta
Garbo and the young Shirley Temple. Some  of  the  most  famous  stars  were
Mickey Mouse and characters from Walt Disney’s cartoon. Leading film  makers
included John Ford, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra and George Cukor.
     During World War II some of the best Americans  directors  in  the  US
were recruited by the War Department, because  films  were  needed  to  help
raise the morale of servicemen. Among the best  films  of  this  war  period
were  Frank  Capra’s  ''Why  We  Fight''  series  (1942-45).  Walt  Disney’s
animated films; and  documentaries  about  important  battlers  directed  by
Garson  Kanin,  John  Huston,  Billy  Wilder.  Orson  Welles’s   masterpiece
''Citizen Kane'' (1940) was the story of a newspaper tycoon. After  the  war
high-quality films  continued  to  pour  out  of  the  United  States.  They
included Charlie Chaplin’s ''Limelight''  (1952),  the  fine  Western  Shane
(1956), a drama of the New York docks called On The  Waterfront  (1954)  and
many high-spirited musicals  of  which  An  American  In  Paris  (1951)  was
outstanding. Alfred Hitchcock  made  his  best  films  during  this  period.
''Psycho'' with its famous murder-in-the-shower scene was probably the  most
successful. Despite these successes the great  studios  began  to  get  into
financial difficulties because of declining audiences.
    However, the late 1960s saw  a  turning  point  in  the  American  film
industry with the release of a  number  of  films  appealing  to  the  youth
market, which drew enormous audiences. The most famous of these were  Arthur
Penn’s ''Bonnie and  Clyde''  (1967)  and  Dennis  Hopper’s  ''Easy  Rider''
(1969). Realising that they  could  no  longer  rely  on  their  traditional
family audiences, film makers increasingly concentrated on films for the so-
called ‘teenage market’, science fiction  and  fantasy  ‘blockbusters’  with
computer enhanced special effects Dolby sound such as George Lucas’s  ''Star
Wars'' (1977) and Steven Spielberg’s ''Raiders  Of  The  Lost  Ark''  (1981)
became very popular.


        Today Americans still continue the custom of eating popcorn at the
movies. Americans use 500,000 pounds of popcorn every year. All corn does
not pop. A seed or kernel of corn must have 14 percent water in it to pop.
Other kinds of pop have less water and do not pop. When you put a kernel of
corn on a fire, the water inside makes the corn explode. This makes a ‘pop’
noise. That is why we called it popcorn. The American Indians popped corn a
long time ago. The Indians knew there were three kinds of corn.  There was
sweet corn for eating, corn for animals, and corn for popping. The Indians
introduced corn to the first settlers, or Pilgrims, when they come to
America in 1620. One year after they came, the Pilgrims had a Thanksgiving
dinner. They invited the Indians. The Indians brought food with them. One
Indian brought popcorn. Since that time Americans continued to pop corn at
home. But in 1945 there was a new machine that changed the history of
popcorn. This electric machine popped corn outside the home. Soon movie
theatres started to sell popcorn to make more money. Popcorn at the movies
became more and more popular. Many people like to put salt and melted
butter on their popcorn. Some people eat it without salt or butter. Either
way - Americans love their popcorn!

                                 The Oscar.

        The Oscars are awarded every year by the American Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Science. These statuettes are awarded to actors, film
directors, screenwriters and so on for outstanding contributions to the
film industry. The Oscars were first awarded in 1927. The first winners
were chosen by five judges. Nowadays all of the members of the Academy
vote. The ceremony is attended by most Hollywood stars, although some
famous stars, such as Woody Allen, refuse to go, even if they win an award.
The oldest winner of an Oscar was 80-year- old Jessica Tandy for her
performance in the film “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1990. The youngest was
Shirley Temple when she was only five years old. The statuette is of
soldier standing on a reel of film. Nobody is really sure why it is called
an Oscar, although some people say that it is because when the first
statuette was made, a secretary said, “It reminds me of Uncle Oscar!”


    When people think about of Hollywood, they probably think of film stars
like Marilyn Monroe, Gary Grant and James Dean. Hollywood is the  center  of
the international movie industry and American  movies  are  distributed  all
over the world. They are  made  in  English  but  often  dubbed  into  other
languages. In some countries 90 percent of the movies that  people  see  are
US production. Sometimes, a film is not very  popular  with  Americans,  but
people in other countries like it. The first films were  made  in  Hollywood
in 1911. Between 1930-1945, the five largest  Hollywood’s  studios  produced
most of the movies and owned most  of  the  movie  theatres  in  the  United
States. Making films is expensive. On  the  average,  it  costs  36  million
dollars to produce a movie. Some of this goes to pay  the  salary  of  well-
known movie stars and large sums  can  be  spent  on  special  effects  like
computer-generated imagery (CGI). Marketing the  movie  to  the  public  may
cost another  17  million  dollars  or  more.  To  cover  these  costs  film
companies receive money for movie theatre tickets and the sale or rental  of
videos. They also sell CDs of the soundtrack and  toys,  books,  or  clothes
associated with the movie. Indeed, there was a time when Hollywood  was  the
most famous place in the USA, if not the world.
    The Hollywood story begins at the end of the last century.
    1887. A man called Harvey Wilcox bought a large  ranch  in  a  district
north-west  of  Los  Angeles  in  California.  His  wife  called  the   land
    1902-04. The first cinemas (‘nickelodeons’) opened in the USA.
    1911. Two brothers from New Jersey built Hollywood’s first film studio.

    1912. Film-makers from the east coast of the USA  came  to  California,
first in small number and then in thousands.
    1912. The Hollywood industry was born.
    There were several reasons why film makers went to Hollywood.  Firstly,
there was a lot of space, secondly,  California’s  warm  sunny  weather  was
ideal for making films outside. Thirdly, there was a  variety  of  locations
for filming: ocean, mountains, deserts, villages, woodland and rivers.
    By 1939 the great dream factory studios made nearly 500 movies a  year,
drew American audience of 50 million a week  and  earned  over  700  million
dollars at the box office-all with the help of 30,000  employees  who  dealt
with everything from processing film to fan mail.
    In the 1950s and 60s Hollywood became more international. Famous  stars
like Maurice Chevalier from France, Marlene Dietrich from Germany and  Sofia
Loren from Italy came to Hollywood.  Even  today  many  international  stars
like Gerard Depardier and Arnold Schwarzeneger make films in Hollywood.
    A big film studio, like MGM or Warner Brothers, brought to life  a  lot
of film stars. They could make or break a star.
    The Hollywood film studio produced  different  types.  There  were  the
silent Charlie Chaplin comedies of the  20s,  gangster  films,  Frankenstein
horror films and Greta Garbo romantic melodramas of the  30s,  the  musicals
of the 40s and 50s, the westerns (cowboy films) of the 50s,  the  historical
epics of the 60s, the science fiction  films  of  the  70s  and  the  Steven
Spielberg action films and violent horror films of the 80s. Who  knows  what
the next century will be famous for?

                               Beverly Hills.

    Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to  go  and  see  Beverly
Hills. This is where you find the homes of  the  movie  stars.  But  Beverly
Hills isn’t Los Angeles. It’s a small city next to Los  Angeles.  All  kinds
of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may be movie  stars,
television stars, sport stars, or other people in  the  news.  Tourists  can
buy special  maps  for  the  homes  of  the  stars.  These  homes  are  very
beautiful.  They  usually  have  swimming  pools  and  tennis  courts.   But
sometimes you cannot see very much. The  homes  have  high  walls  or  trees
around them. Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This  is  one  of
the most expensive shopping  streets  in  the  United  States.  Rodeo  Drive
started to be an elegant street in the 1960s. Many famous stores are  opened
on the street. People liked all the new styles and fashions they could  buy.
Today you can find the most expensive  and  unusual  clothing,  jewelry  and
furniture in the world on  Rodeo  Drive.  Rodeo  Drive  is  a  very  special
street. When you want to park your car in public parking, an attendant  will
come and park your car for you. Beverly Hills is really a small  city.  Only
About 35,000 people live there. But during the day more than 200,000  people
come to Beverly Hills to work or to shop!

                           The major film genres.

    The major film genres developed in the United States are the following:
    Comedy. Charles Spencer  Chaplin  became  the  most  widely  recognized
comedy figure in the world. He emphasized the development of  character  and
plot structure, in contrast to the simple  reliance  on  gags  and  gimmicks
that characterized the work of other comedy producers of the day.
    Westerns. The Western (a film about life in the American  West  in  the
past) was the first American genre  to  be  developed  and  has  remained  a
staple of  the  American  motion-picture  art  and  industry.  It  has  been
estimated that one quarter of US films have been  Westerns.  However,  today
most American  Westerns  are  made  in  Italy  and  are  called  '"spaghetti
    Musicals. The musicals of the late 1920s and the early 1930s  consisted
of a series of "numbers" by established stars of Broad-way,  vaudeville  and
radio. Later manifestations of the  form  were  the  biographical  musicals,
often highly  fictionalized,  about  great  composers,  musicians,  singers,
providing an opportunity to string  together  some  of  their  most  popular
hits. The transferring of musicals intact from the  Broad-way  stage  became
almost automatic beginning in the 1950s.
    Gangster films. While the Western deals with a mythical  American  past
and the musical with a fantasy land, the gangster film is closely tied to  a
real facet of American life. In earlier films, the  gangster  had  risen  to
the top to enjoy wealth, power, beautiful women, expensive homes  and  large
cars, but before the end of the film he was  bound  to  be  caught  by  law-
enforcement officers, overthrown by fellow  gang  members  or  killed.  Such
punishment was considered obligatory.  By  1971,  however,  "The  Godfather"
showed how far the genre has evolved: Marion  Brando,  in  the  title  role,
dies of old age. The gangster was another businessman.
    War films. They have evolved into a major American  genre,  since  wars
have occupied so much of contemporary American  history.  The  Second  World
War has been the subject of the greatest number of American  films  in  this
    Horror films (thrillers). In the 1920s the creation of  a  monster  who
gets out of control or is coming to life from non-human beings  who  survive
by killing the living provided the basic story  lines  of  countless  horror
films. These films also have dealt with supernatural  forces  that  manifest
themselves as an unseen power rather than in individual form. A third  major
kind of horror films deals with people who are insane  or  in  the  grip  of
psychological powers beyond their control.
    Horror films  as  a  genre  is  associated  with  the  name  of  Alfred
Hitchcock. Like Walt Disney with animated  cartoons,  Alfred  Hitchcock  was
thought not just to have invented a film  genre  but  to  have  patented  it
(hence "Hitch", another name for a horror film).
    Detective and spy films. These include first  of  all  the  James  Bond
series.  Hitchcock's  films  of  this  genre  feature  ordinary  people  who
accidentally become involved with spies or other evil doers.
    Science fiction. After the Second World War science-fiction films
increasingly suggested that the dangers of the future stemmed from what
human beings were doing in the present.

                               Film Companies

    Columbia Pictures (also Columbia)-American film company, which produces
films for cinema and television.
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) — a film company based in Hollywood, which
has made many famous films and animated cartoons.
    Paramount- a film company in Hollywood.
    20th Century-Fox — an American film company.
    United Artists — a film company (studio) in Hollywood.
    Universal — n film company (studio) in Hollywood.
    Warner Bros (Brothers) — an American film company.

                        Film Directors and Producers

    Alien, Woody (1935—) — a comic actor and maker of humorous films. Since
the late 1960s, he has been directing films  and  acting  in  them,  usually
playing a neurotic, bookish New Yorker. Some of his  best-known  films  have
been "Annie Hall", "Manhattan" and "Hannah and Her Sisters".
    Capra, Frank (1897-1991) - a film director, best known  for  the  films
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "It's a Wonderful Night".
    Chaplin, Charlie (Charles Spencer) (1889-1977) — an English  actor  and
director who worked mainly in the United States  in  silent  black-and-white
comedy films. He created the beloved character, the Little Tramp,  who  wore
a shabby black suit, derby hat and floppy shoes, and walked with  the  backs
of his feet together and the toes pointing outwards. He always  walked  with
a cane.
    By 1918 Chaplin had forsaken short comedies for  longer,  independently
made films, including "Shoulder Arms"  (1918)  and  "The  Kid"  (1921).  His
major films, produced for United Artists (a film company which he helped  to
found in 1923), included "The Gold Rush" (1925), "The Circus" (1928),  "City
Lights" (1931) and "Modern Times" (1936), the  latter  two  made  as  silent
films with synchronized sound effects. Chaplin spoke on the screen  for  the
first time in "The  Great  Dictator"  (1940),  which  ridiculed  Hitler  and
Mussolini. In  "Monsieur  Verdoux"  (1947),  which  draws  an  acid  analogy
between warfare and business morality, the tramp disappeared  entirely;  the
film provided further  ammunition  for  a  growing  anti-Chaplin  group  who
attacked his unconventional personal life and political views.
    After 1952 Chaplin resided in Switzerland. He starred in his production
"A King in New York" (1957), a sharp satire  on  contemporary  America,  and
wrote and directed  "A  Countess  from  Hongkong"  (1967).  Chaplin  made  a
triumphant return to the United States in 1972.  He  was  given  an  Academy
Award (an Oscar) for his part in "making motion pictures  the  art  form  of
the century".
    Coppola, Francis Ford (1939)- a film director, best known for the films
"'The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now".
    Ford, John (1895-1973) - a film  director,  especially  known  for  his
Westerns including "Stagecoach", "How the West Was Won", etc.
    Goldwin, Samuel (1882-1947) - a film  producer,  head  of  one  of  the
companies, which later became MGM. Goldwyn is famous for saying  odd  things
like "include me out".
    Griffith, D. W. (1875-1948) - a film maker, known  especially  for  his
use of new photographic methods and for his epic silent films, such as  "The
Birth of the Nation" (1915) that required huge casts and enormous sets.
    Griffith directed the first film, "The Adventures of Dollie",  in  1908
and went on to make hundreds of pictures. With "The Birth  of  the  Nation",
he created a landmark in film industry. Also influential on  the  future  of
the film was "Intolerance" (1916). Griffith  continued  to  make  successful
films throughout the 1920s. However, the Victorian sentiment  that  pervades
his films was increasingly alien  to  the  theme.  He  failed  to  make  the
transition to sound pictures.
    Russel, Ken (1926-) — a film director, best known for documentary films
and for the film "Women in Love".
    Scorsese, Martin (1942—) — a film director whose  works  include  "Taxi
Driver", "The Last Temptation of Christ", etc.
    Spielberg, Steven (1946—) — a film director  who  has  made  many  very
popular films, including "Jaws", "LT", "Raiders  of  the  Lost  Ark",  "Star
Wars", "Empire of the                                Sun",  etc.  His  films
are well known for being very fast moving and full of exciting action.
    Zinneman, Frederick (1907- ) –  an  American  film  director,  born  in
Austria, famous for the films such as "High Noon" and "The Day of Jackal".
    Wilder Billy (1906-) – a film  director  whose  films  include  "Sunset
Boulevard" and "Some Like It Hot".


    "The Birth of the Nation" — a dramatic silent film from 1915 about  the
American Civil War. "The  Birth  of  the  Nation"  was  directed  by  D.  W.
Griffith. The film, based on Thomas Dixon's novel "The Clansman",  has  been
condemned for historical  distortion  and  racial  bias,  but  it  became  a
landmark  in  the  artistic  development  of  motion  pictures  through  its
successful introduction of many now-standard film techniques.
    "Planet of the Apes " - a film set  in  about  imaginary  future  where
monkeys rule the world.
    ''Psycho'' —  a  horror  film  directed  by  Alfred  Hitchcock.  It  is
especially known for a scene in which the character Mario (Janet  Leigh)  is
stabbed in a shower by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins).
    "Rocky" — the first of a group of films (later ones were called  "Rocky
II", "Rock III", etc.), starring Sylvester Stallone as  a  determined  boxer
called  Rocky.  In  each  of  the  films  the   main   character   overcomes
difficulties and win a fight  against  a  strong  opponent.  The  films  are
especially popular with young people.
    "Star Wars " — a popular science-fiction film about the battle  between
the hero, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader, an evil person who wears a  black
mask over his face and comes from an evil empire. The film was  directed  by
Steven Spielberg and  is  remembered  for  its  many  new  exciting  special
    "The Terminator" — a  film  with  Arnold  Schwarzenegger,  set  in  Los
Angeles in the near future in which a lot of people  are  killed.  The  film
was followed by "Terminator II".

                            Actors and Actresses.

    Astaire, Fred (1899—1987) — a dancer, singer and actor  who  made  many
films, often with his dancing partner, Ginger Rogers, and who was known  for
his stylishness.
    Bassinger, Kim (1954—) — a film actress, known especially  for  playing
attractive, sexy women.
    Brando, Marlon (1924—) — an actor  whose  films  include  "A  Streetcar
Named Desire", "On the Waterfront", "The Godfather", etc.
    Cooper, Gary (1901—1962) — an actor who  often  played  strong,  silent
heroes, for example in the film "High Noon".
    Costner, Kevin (1955—) — an actor  and  director  whose  films  include
"Dances with Wolves", "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", "JFK", etc.
    Cruise, Tom (1962—) — an actor who has played leading film parts  since
the early 1980s, e.g. in "Top Gun" and "Cocktail". He is especially  popular
with women.
    De Niro, Robert (1945—) — an actor, known especially for  his  part  in
the films "Taxi Driver" and "The Deer Hunter".
    Dietrich, Marlene (1904—1992)  —  an  American  actress  and  nightclub
performer, born in Germany, who usually played  the  part  of  an  extremely
sexually attractive woman. She is best remembered for her part in  the  film
"Blue Angel".
    Douglas, Kirk (1916—) — a film actor, known for  playing  the  hero  in
films such as "Spartacus".
    Douglas, Michael (1944—) — a film actor, son of Kirk Douglas, known for
his part in the films "Fatal Attraction" and ''Romancing the Stone".
    Eastwood, Clint (1930—) — a film actor and  director,  best  known  for
playing parts as a gunfighter in Westerns and a modern city police  officer.
His characters almost always have their right on their side, and no fear.
    Fonda, Henry (1905-1982) - an actor who made many films including  "The
Grapes of Wrath", "Twelve Angry Men", "On Golden Pond", etc.
    Fonda, Jane (1937—) — an actress, daughter of Henry  Fonda,  known  for
her left-wing views, especially her support for Vietnam and  her  opposition
to the American government during the Vietnam War. Her best-known films  are
"The China Syndrome" and, with her father, "On Golden  Pond".  She  is  also
known for her interest in active physical exercise.
    Fonda, Peter (1939—) — an actor and director, best known for  his  film
"Easy Rider"; son of Henry Fonda.
    Fox, Michael (1961-) -- an American actor,  born  in  Canada,  who  has
appeared in such films as "Back to the Future" (parts 1, 2, 3). He  is  very
popular, especially with young girls.
    Gable, Clark (1901-1960) - a film actor, best known  for  his  role  as
Rhett Butler in "Gone with  the  Wind".  He  also  appeared  in  many  other
Hollywood films, including "Mutiny on the Bounty", "The Misfits", etc.
    Garbo, Greta (1905—1990) — an American film actress,  born  in  Sweden.
She was celebrated for her  classic  beauty  and  her  portrayals  of  moody
    Having first attracted notice in the Swedish silent film “The Story  of
Gosta Berling” (1924), Garbo went to the United States in  1925  and  became
perhaps  the  most  celebrated  motion-picture  actress  of  the   time,   a
provocative, enigmatic embodiment of feminine  beauty  and  mystery.  “Flesh
and the Devil” was her best-known silent film;  among  her  notable  talking
pictures were “Anna Christie” and the comedy “Ninotchka”.
    Greta  Garbo  became  famous  for  her  with  drawn,  aloof  off-screen
personality. In the movie “Grand Hotel”, she made the famous  complaint,  “I
want to be alone.” Garbo retired from the movies  in  the  early  1940s  and
lived as a recluse ever since.
    Garland, Judy (1922-1969) - a film actress  and  singer  who  was  most
famous as the character of Dorothy in the film "The Wizard of Oz".
    Gere, Richard (1949—) — an actor, known especially for his part in  the
films "American Gigolo", "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Pretty Woman".
    Goldberg, Whoopi (1949-) - a film actress who appeared  in  "The  Color
Purple" and "Ghost".
    Grant, Cary (1904-1986) - an American actor, born in  Britain,  who  is
remembered especially for  his  comic  films  including  ''The  Philadelphia
Story'' and ''Bringing Up Baby''.
    Hoffman, Dustin (1937-) - a film actor, best known for his roles in the
films "The Graduate", "Kramer vs.  Kramer",  "Midnight  Cowboy",  "The  Rain
Man", etc.
    Kelly, Gene (1912-1996)  -  a  film  actor,  dancer  and  director  who
appeared in many musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, including "Singing in  the
Rain", in which he sang and danced to a song with the same name.
    Kelly, Grace (1928-1982) - a film actress,  star  of  "High  Noon"  and
"High Society" in the 1950s, who became Princess Grace of  Monaco  when  she
married Prince Rainier.
    Marvin, Lee (1924—1987) — a film actor, known  especially  for  playing
strong, violent characters in films such as "The  Dirty  Dozen"  and  "Point
Blank". He is also remembered for singing the  song  "I  was  born  under  a
wandering star" in a very deep voice.
    Mathau,  Walter  (1922—)  —  an  actor  in  films  and  theater,  known
especially for his humorous roles, e.g. in "The Odd Couple".
    Monroe, Marilyn (1926—1962) — a film actress whose real name was  Norma
Jean Baker, who starred in films during the middle of the 20th  century  and
became the leading sex symbol of the 1950s.
    Monroe first attracted notice in “The Asphalt Jungle”,  thereafter  she
became a reigning screen siren. Her major films  include  “Gentlemen  Prefer
Blondes”, “The Seven Year Itch”, “Bus Stop” and “Some Like It Hot”.
    While still in her thirties, she died of an overdose of sleeping pills.
    To many people, Marilyn Monroe is a tragic symbol  of  the  unhappiness
that can accompany fame and glamor.
    Murphy, Eddie (1961—) — an actor and comedian who  first  became  known
for his work on the television program “Saturday  Night  Live”  but  now  is
known mostly for his films, such as  “Trading  Places”  and  “Beverly  Hills
    Newman, Paul (1925—) — an actor and  director,  lending  male  star  of
Hollywood films in the 1900s and 1970s and considered very  attractive.  His
films include “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Sting”, “The  Color
of Money”, etc.
    Nicholson, Jack (1937—) — an actor who started appearing  in  films  in
the l960s, such as “Easy Rider’’ which represented  the  feelings  of  young
Americans, and has now become a big Hollywood star.
    Pacino, Al (1940—) — an  actor,  known  for  the  films  such  as  “The
Godfather” and “Scarface”.
    Poitier, Sidney (1927—) — a black Amer ican film star and director, who
was one of the first black actors to play serious parts  rather  than  black
    Pryor, Richard (1940-) - a comedian who has appeared in films and  made
several records.  He  is  black  and  often  makes  jokes  about  situations
involving black and white people together.
    Redford, Robert (1937—) — a film actor and director who  was  in  films
such as ''Butch Cassidy and the  Sundance  Kid'',“The  Sting”  and  “Out  of
Africa”. He is popular for his good looks as well as his acting.
    Schwarzenegger, Arnold (1947—) — an American actor,  born  in  Austria,
whose bodybuilding appearance won him the titles of Mr. Gcrriiaiiy  and  Mr.
Universe. He is best known for his part in  the  film  “The  Terminator”  in
which he plays the hero.
    Scott, George C. (1926—) — an actor, best known  for  his  film  parts,
especially strong-willed characters, such as  soldiers.  He  was  the  first
actor to refuse an Oscar.
    Streisand, Barbra (1942—) — a singer and actress who has  performed  on
stage and in many successful film musicals, including “Hello,  Dolly”,  “The
Way We Were”, “A Star is Born”, etc.
    Taylor, Elizabeth (1932—) — an American film actress, born in  Britain.
She began making films at the age of ten, but is perhaps at  least  as  well
known for marriages, of which there have been eight (two of them to  Richard
    Temple, Shirley (1928—) — a film actress who was the child star of over
20 films in the 1930s, and in later life, as Shirley Temple Black, became  a
US ambassador. She was very popular when her films  first  appeared  because
of her style of singing, dancing and acting and her curly golden hair.
    Valentino, Rudolph (1895—I926) — an American film actor, born in Italy.
He was famous for playing the part of a lover in  silent  films,  especially
in “The Sheikh”. He is sometimes mentioned as a typical example of  a  good-
looking romantic man. Valentino  was  a  ballroom  dancer  and  movie  extra
before reaching stardom in “Four Horsemen in the Apocalypse” (1921).
    Soon he became the  American  women’s  idea  of  masculinity,  and  his
private life and loves were avidly reported  in  newspapers  and  magazines.
His physique, his good looks and his physical grace were well  exhibited  in
“The Sheikh” and “Monsieur Beaucaire”. Valentino’s most successful  film  is
“Blood and Sand”,  for  here  he  seems  able  to  bring  some  of  his  own
personality to the portrayal of the matador, an opportunity his other,  more
stereotyped roles had thwarted. His untimely death created a national  furor
and reportedly drove some of his fans to suicide.
    Wayne, John (1907-1979) - a film actor who often played  "tough  guys",
particularly soldiers and cowboys.
    Early in his career Wayne appeared as Hollywood's first singing cowboy.
In 1939, in "Stagecoach", he achieved star status. In his 50-year career  he
appeared in more than 200 motion pictures. Some  of  his  outstanding  films
are "Red River", "The Quiet Man", "The High and  Mighty",  "The  Searchers",
"True Grit", for which he won an Academy Award (1969), and "Shootist".
    The characters John Wayne played, especially in Westerns ("Stagecoach",
"True Grit"), were often honest, strong, independent and patriotic.  Because
he played these characters, John Wayne was thought to have  those  qualities
himself and was an example of a good American. His old-fashioned  patriotism
made him something of a folk hero. In 1979  he  was  voted  a  Congressional
gold medal; the inscription read, "John Wayne — American".
    Williams, Robin (1952—) — an actor and  comedian  whose  films  include
“Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Dead Poets Society”, etc.

                               Marilyn Monroe.

    I think that the greatest actress not only of the USA, but of the whole
world is Marilyn Monroe. So I ‘d like to tell some facts about her life.
    Six queens come and go, easily crowned, easily forgotten.  Yet  Marilyn
Monroe’s memory has  remained  very  much  alive.  Admirers  still  cut  her
picture out of public library books,  artists  still  paint  her;  even  the
young have become familiar with her name and her face by watching her  films
on television.
     Death has changed the sexy blonde  into  a  myth,  a  symbol  of  soft
femininity and loveliness. Nowadays she is sometimes mistaken for a  saintly
martyr, which she certainly was not. But then, what was she? Those who  knew
her disagree so violently that  it  is  difficult  to  see  the  real  woman
through the conflicting judgments of her friends. A simple  little  girl  to
her first husband, producer Mike Todd, she was also been  described  as  the
most unappreciated person in the world, the meanest woman  in  Hollywood,  a
tart, an enchanting child, an idiot, a wit, a great natural intelligence,  a
victim, and a clod ‘user’ of people From the  very  contradiction,  one  can
guess that she was not simple. And obviously she had something special-  not
talent, perhaps, but a certain spark. It is well  known  that  most  of  her
problems had their roots in an unhappy childhood.
    Marilyn had come into the world in a Los Angel’s hospital as Norma Jean
Mortensen. Her mother, Gladys Monroe Mortensen, loved her child;  but  since
she had to work, she left her in the hands of Ida  and  Albert  Bolender,  a
respectable couple who boarded children on their farm. Norma Jean spent  her
first seven years with them. Her physical needs were well looked after,  and
Gladys visited faithfully every weekend. But when she had  gone,  there  was
not much warmth around the little girl. For Norma Jean,  who  was  extremely
sensitive, it was a lonely, distressing childhood. In 1933 Gladys  bought  a
house and took her daughter home with her. But she was not  there  much  and
when she was out, Norma Jean had to stay with the elderly couple who  rented
part of the house. They were not  bad  people,  only  indifferent  and  more
interested in drinking than in baby-sitting. When Norma Jean didn’t have  to
go to school, the couple dropped her at a nearly movie  house  in  time  for
the first afternoon show. The little  girl  watched  happily  all  day,  and
after the last matinee she walked home by herself. In her room,  later,  she
would act out the whole story. In this  way  she  developed  a  passion  for
acting that she never outgrew. After nine months of  live  together,  Gladys
had a mental collaps and was hospitalized. She appeared from  time  to  time
in her daughter’s life, but more as a burden than as a support. Many  people
took Norma Jean under their  wings  throughout  the  years.  She  looked  so
insecure, so defenseless,  that  men  and  women  alike  felt  compelled  to
protect her.
     However vague Norma Jean may have been  about  life  in  general,  she
never felt vague about the career she wanted to have. She wanted  to  be  an
actress. But the first three years of  Marilyn’s  career  didn’t  bring  her
more than a few very small parts. She kept herself  alive  by  modeling.  In
1950 Marilyn attracted attention in a small part in  ‘The  Asphalt  Jungle’,
which had been obtained for her by a powerful protector. Another  protector,
and the most influential by far, was the  agent  Johnny  Hyde.  Hyde  was  a
powerful man in Hollywood when he met Marilyn. He  was  too  wise  to  claim
that she had talent; instead he insisted that such personality  didn’t  need
to be talented. He succeeded in getting her a part in  ‘All  About  Eve’,  a
film that was to prove lucky for all  its  actors.  The  font  mail  started
piling up. The Hollywood columnists included the new blonde in their  gossip
columns. Soon  ‘Life  and  Look’  magazines  were  honoring  her  with  long
articles, and one critic ventured to declare her ‘a forceful  actress’.  The
studio, after having her co-star in several pictures,  finally  gave  her  a
starring role in ‘Niagara’  in  1953.  She  had  become  the  Fox’s  biggest
     Whenever she  appeared  she  was  cornered  by  excited  admirers  and
photographers. But there was no private happiness  behind  the  facade,  and
even her fame was not of the kind she would have  liked.  She  resented  her
shallow roles; she resented the fact she had no voice in the choice  of  her
scripts and that her old contract was keeping salary ridiculously low for  a
star. Hurt, she retaliated as best as she could. She  arrived  late  on  the
set,  unprepared  and  obviously  indifferent  to  the  hardships.  She  was
imposing on the other actors and the technicians. Scenes had  to  be  redone
forty or fifty times because she could not remember  a  four-word  sentence.
If something displeased her, she locked herself in  her  dressing  room,  or
failed to show up at all for days. Her behavior  disgusted  the  people  who
worked with her, but her fans loved the radiant child-woman on the screen.
    In 1961 after divorcing her next husband the famous American playwright
Arthur Miller, Marilyn drifted back to the West Coast to open a new page  in
her life. On August 5, 1962 she was found dead in her house.  She  had  made
many attempts at suicide before. But it does not seem that she  intended  to
hill herself that Saturday. When she retired for the night,  she  had  plans
for the next day. But early in the morning her housekeeper found her dead.
    The world was shocked. In the words of one  of  her  biographers:  ‘She
broke her heart trying to achieve  something  she  didn’t  have  in  her  to

                                 Walt Disney

    Walt Disney was an American artist and film producer, who was famous
for his animated cartoons. He was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, his
father being Irish Canadian, his mother of German-American origin. In his
early child hood he revealed a talent for drawing and an interest in
photography. His teens he began an art course, but World War I broke out
and he drove for the Red Cross in Europe. When he got back to America he
met artist Ub Iwerks, ‘and they went into business together.
    In 1923 he left with his brother for Hollywood Walt Disney and Ub
Iwerks made a series of short cartoons but lost all their money, and for
some years struggled against poverty. Luckily, Walt’s brother Roy gave him
more to start up again. The first talking picture came out in 1927 and
Disney realized that sound held the key to the future of films. He
developed many techniques in producing cartoons.
    His most famous characters are Mickey Mouse, Duck and Pluto. The first
Mickey Mouse cartoon was drawn 1928. It was the first sound cartoon, which
brought great success to its creator. In the early cartoons he was really
horrible. He looked quite rat-like with long pointed nose and small eyes.
    Later his face changed. His head got as big as his body or almost, his
eyes got bigger, too. He got younger instead of older. That makes him
cuter. Now it is an acceptable symbol for the USA. Donald Duck was created
in 1936. Walt Disney took the biggest risk of his career and spent a
fortune on a full-length cartoon. Finally, the first full-length cartoon
feature film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was brought out in 1935,
which the public paid millions of dollars to see The songs to the cartoon
were written by Frank Churchill.       After the Second World War Disney
turned his attention to real — life nature studies and non-cartoon films
with living actors.
    In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Walt Disney began developing the family-
entertainment parks, Disneyland and Disney World. The first Disneyland was
opened in southern California in 1955. It is situated 27 miles south of Los
Angeles, at Anaheim. Of all the show-places none is as famous as
Disneyland. This superb kingdom of fantasy linked to technology was created
by Walt Disney. The park is divided into six themes and there is so much to
see and do in each that no one would attempt to see all of them in one
visit. For extended visits, there are hotels nearby. In 1971 Disney World
was opened in Florida.
    Walt Disney died in California at the age of 65. But his films are
still shown regularly at the cinema, because of their time1esS quality and
will be shown for years to come.Walter (Walt) Elias Disney has won more
“Oscars” — the awards of the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences, instituted on May 16, 1929 and named after Oscar Pierce of
Texas, USA — than any other person:20 statuettes and 12 other plagues and
certificates, including posthumous awards.


    The shooting of ‘Titanic’  in  1997  brought  people  flocking  to  the
cinemas. It has  become  a  blockbuster  and  brought  big  profits  to  the
producers. The reasons are:on the one hand, the thrilling plot of the  film,
depicting the first of the greatest disasters of the 20th century,  and,  on
the other hand, new technologies of film making, used by James Cameron,  the
producer. Everybody wanted to see  if  the  film  was  really  worth  eleven
‘Oscar’ awards.
     ‘Titanic’ is the latest screen version  of  the  tragedy  happened  on
April 14-15, 1912 during the maiden voyage of the British  luxury  passenger
liner. The vessel  sank  with  a  loss  of  about  1,500  lives:men,  women,
children. Their voyage on board the dream ship  ended  in  a  nightmare.  It
revealted all human vices: arrogance, self-satisfaction, greed,  selfishness
and self-confidence. But at the same  time  this  tragedy  showed  the  best
traits of humancharacter:  the  sense  of  duty  and  responsibility,  self-
sacrifice and short but immortial love. The love-story about Jack and  Rose,
a young poor artist and a 17-year old girl from the upper  society,  arouses
uor sympathy and admiration. Paired with the main story-line, it  adds  much
to the impression of the film. ‘Titanic’ made the  leading  actors  Leonardo
Di Caprio and Kate Winslent international celebrities. The  music  of  James
Horner created a special atmosphere in the film and has become popular  with
the public.
    The film is interesting not only from the artistic point of  view,  but
from the technical ones as well. Both the ship and the  ocean  are  virtual,
created by computers. Besides, we can see unique pictures of  ‘The  Titanic’
buried in the depth of the ocean. Its wreck was found lying  in  two  pieces
on the ocean floor at the depth of about 4,000 ..metres. The  pictures  were
taken with the help of the Russian ocean-explores and  shown  to  the  whole
    By the way, the film was directed by James Cameron, famous for creating
very expensive films with new special effects, which were the  biggest  box-
office success. ‘Titanic’ is not an exception.  Critics  say  the  film  has
opened a new era in film production. I think they are right.


   1. In The USA.  Martha Bordman
   2. Introducing The USA.  Milode Broukol, Peter Murphy.
   3. Children’s Britannica.  Volume 7.
   4. Английский яык.  Н.Г. Брюсов, Н. А. Лебедеваю
   5. США и Американцы.  Г. В. Нестерчук, В. М. Иванова.
   6. Иностранные языки в школе №3.
   7. Иностранные языки в школе №6.
   8. Английский язык. Устные темы.  А. С. Сушкевич, М. А. Маглыш.


Mothion picture industry - киноиндустрия

Release - выход на экран
Nervous breakdown - нервное расстройство
Mercilessly - безжалостно
To keep one’s grip - продолжать овладевать умами
To hit the nail on the head - попасть прямо в точку
Skit - пародия
Antics - ужимки, шутки
Unheard-of - неслыханный
Reentry - возвращение
Flock - стекаться толпами
Plot - сюжет
Depict - изображать
Screen version - экранизация
Shooting -  (кино) съемка
Nightmare - кошмар
Reveal - показывать, обнаруживать
Vice - порок, зло, недостаток
Arrogance - высокомерие, надменость
Trait of character - черта характера
Immortial - бессмертный, вечный
Wreck - остов разбитого судна
Direct - ставить (фильм)
Essential - необходимый
Indispensable - незаменимый
Trade skills - профессиональные
Aim - стремиться
Be at one’s disposal - быть в чьем-то распоряжении
Facilities - возможности, удобства
Inspiration - вдохновение
Enrich - обогощать
Genre - жанр
Aspiration - стремление, желание
Pricless - бесценный
Spitting image - точная копия