The evolution of sound in cinema

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The evolution of sound in cinema

By C J Perry There is perhaps no other genre in film so geared towards American sensibilities as the western. While the elements within the western—the good vs.

Quick drawing, white hat good guys battled the mustachioed black hats, all for the love of the swooning heroine and a chance to ride into the black and white sunset.

Hart became icons, churning out quick pictures The evolution of sound in cinema all had the same basic plot. When sound came into play, men like Mix became obsolete. Nobody fit the bill like Wayne, a towering presence both on and off his horse. Wayne, when teamed up with the likes of John Ford or Howard Hawks, delivered movie after movie, playing an idealized version of himself.

While the Duke would play a variety of roles in different types of movies, it was the western for which he became an icon. Shot in real time, the movie dispensed with many conventions of the westerns of the time.

It was during the s that the genre found its rhythm, as hard charging, hard living cowboys like Wayne, Cooper, Henry Fonda, and un-macho Jimmy Stewart rode their horses, fought Indians usually played by white men in makeup and had a very good time doing it.

By the s, though, it seemed that as a genre, the western had boxed itself into a corner. Television had proven that audiences no longer needed Technicolor and CinemaScope to enjoy cowboys and Indians. TV cowboys were of a slightly different breed; they had to be, as they were now coming into American living rooms on a weekly basis.

The studio system was dying a rapid death; the Hayes Code was gone, and old school filmmaking was being assaulted on all sides by changing technology, generational shifts in attitudes, and willingness from young filmmakers to push the envelope with different types of storytelling.

If not for a few directors, such as Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah, the western may have ceased to exist altogether. The westerns that Leone and Peckinpah made bore little resemblance to the feel-good, rousing epics of decades past.

Made on fairly small budgets and using foreign locales, these movies made Eastwood, playing an unlikable anti-hero, an international star.

Everything about these movies changed the way audiences viewed westerns. Good and evil were now ambiguous states. Abandoning soundstages, Leone also changed the way the films looked and felt.

Gritty, sand swept vistas left people dirty and sweaty. His shooting techniques always maximized tension. If the genre needed somebody like Leone to push it into new territory, then it also needed somebody like Peckinpah to set off a bomb to make sure that it could never go back. Peckinpah revels in the violence; there are plenty of scenes where people are gunned down in slow motion, throats are slashed, and explosions are set off—including one of the most famous in cinematic history involving a group of horsemen who are pursuing the bandits getting dumped into a river as the bridge gives way underneath.

Peckinpah was a hyper-kinetic soul, a product of the dying frontier himself; he identified with his protagonists, and he gave the scarred, worn out outlaws a human voice. As the s dawned, it was clear that most filmmakers had little use for the western genre.

The epicenter of filmmaking had shifted; directors were now being trained in theory, and using their suburban and urban upbringings in their storytelling.

Wayne, forever indelible as a cowboy with his cockeyed gait and halting manner of speech, soldiered on, and even the Duke was willing to push himself with his later westerns. It was Eastwood, however, who was most responsible for keeping the western alive during the decade. As the decade wore on, the western all but vanished.(for a quick link, click on any "south seas cinema page titles" in bamboo page bar below).

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The evolution of sound in cinema
Sound film - Wikipedia