Philip French

When Hollywood trembled

In its brief, action-filled history of 109 years the cinema has recapitulated the history of art from cave painting to Picasso, and conveniently for historians each decade has had a distinctive character. After the primitive but increasingly sophisticated fumblings of the first decade of the 20th century, the teen years saw the dominance of Chaplin and Griffith (respectively the great comedian who became the most famous man of all time, and the major pioneer of the popular feature film), and the creation of what were to be the great Hollywood studios.

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