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Encyclopedia > Sound film
1902 poster advertising Gaumont's sound films, depicting an optimistically vast auditorium

A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades would pass before reliable synchronization was made commercially practical. The first commercial screening of movies with fully synchronized sound took place in New York City in April 1923. In the early years after the introduction of sound, films incorporating synchronized dialogue were known as "talking pictures," or "talkies." The first feature-length movie originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927. Image File history File links Gaumont1902. ... Image File history File links Gaumont1902. ... Gaumont Pictures were founded in 1895 by the engineer-turned-inventor, Léon Gaumont (1864-1946). ... This article is about motion pictures. ... Synchronization (or Sync) is a problem in timekeeping which requires the coordination of events to operate a system in unison. ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... A reel of film, which predates digital cinematography. ... The Jazz Singer (1927) is a U.S. movie musical and the first feature-length motion picture with talking sequences. ...


By the early 1930s, the talkies were a global phenomenon. In the United States, they helped secure Hollywood's position as one of the world's most powerful cultural/commercial systems. In Europe (and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere) the new development was treated with suspicion by many filmmakers and critics, who worried that a focus on dialogue would subvert the unique aesthetic virtues of soundless cinema. In Japan, where the popular film tradition integrated silent movie and live vocal performance, talking pictures were slow to take root. In India, sound was the transformative element that led to the rapid expansion of the nation's film industry—the most productive such industry in the world since the early 1960s. American cinema has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. ...

Contents

History

Early steps

For more details on this topic, see Kinetoscope.
Image from the Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894 or 1895), produced by W.K.L. Dickson as a test of the early version of the Edison Kinetophone, combining the Kinetoscope and phonograph.
Image from the Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894 or 1895), produced by W.K.L. Dickson as a test of the early version of the Edison Kinetophone, combining the Kinetoscope and phonograph.

The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as the concept of cinema itself. On February 27, 1888, a couple of days after photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge gave a lecture not far from the laboratory of Thomas Edison, the two inventors privately met. Muybridge later claimed that on this occasion, six years before the first commercial motion picture exhibition, he proposed a scheme for sound cinema that would combine his image-casting zoopraxiscope with Edison's recorded-sound technology.[1] No agreement was reached, but within a year Edison commissioned the development of the Kinetoscope, essentially a "peep-show" system, as a visual complement to his cylinder phonograph. The two devices were brought together as the Kinetophone in 1895, but individual, cabinet viewing of motion pictures was soon to be outmoded by successes in film projection.[2] In 1899, a projected sound-film system known as Cinemacrophonograph or Phonorama, based primarily on the work of Swiss-born inventor François Dussaud, was exhibited in Paris; similar to the Kinetophone, the system required individual use of earphones.[3] An improved cylinder-based system, Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre, was developed by Clément-Maurice Gratioulet and Henri Lioret of France, allowing short films of theater, opera, and ballet excerpts to be presented at the Paris Exposition in 1900. These appear to be the first publicly exhibited films with projection of both image and recorded sound. Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet. ... Image File history File links DicksonExpSoundFilm. ... Image File history File links DicksonExpSoundFilm. ... The Dickson Experimental Sound Film was a film made by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson in 1895. ... William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (August 3, 1860 - September 28, 1935) was a Scottish inventor who is credited with the invention of the motion picture camera under the employ of Thomas Edison. ... Edison redirects here. ... Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet. ... Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet. ... Tonearm redirects here. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Muybridges The Horse in Motion. ... Edison redirects here. ... Zoopraxiscope is a contraption that was important in the early technological development of motion pictures. ... Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet. ... The earliest method of recording and reproducing sound was on phonograph cylinders. ... Tonearm redirects here. ... Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet. ... The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a worlds fair held in Paris, France, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next. ...


Three major problems persisted, leading to motion pictures and sound recording largely taking separate paths for a generation:

  1. Synchronization – The pictures and sound were recorded and played back by separate devices, which were difficult to start and maintain in synchronization.[4]
  2. Playback volume – While motion picture projectors soon allowed film to be shown to large theater audiences, audio technology before the development of electric amplification could not project to satisfactorily fill large spaces.
  3. Recording fidelity – The primitive systems of the era produced sound of very low quality unless the performers were stationed directly in front of the cumbersome recording devices (acoustical horns, for the most part), imposing severe limits on the sort of films that could be created with live-recorded sound.
Poster featuring Sarah Bernhardt and giving the names of eighteen other "famous artists" shown in "living visions" at the 1900 Paris Exposition using the Gratioulet-Lioret system.

Cinematic innovators attempted to cope with the fundamental synchronization problem in a variety of ways; an increasing number of motion picture systems relied on gramophone records—known as sound-on-disc technology; the records themselves were often referred to as "Berliner discs", not because of any direct geographical connection, but after one of the primary inventors in the field, German-American Emile Berliner. Léon Gaumont had demonstrated a system involving mechanical synchronization between a film projector and turntable at the 1900 Paris Exposition. In 1902, his Chronophone, involving an electrical connection Gaumont had recently patented, was demonstrated to the French Photographic Society. Four years later, he introduced the Elgéphone, a compressed-air amplification system based on the Auxetophone, developed by British inventors Horace Short and Charles Parsons.[5] Despite high expectations, Gaumont's sound innovations had only limited commercial success—though improvements, they still did not satisfactorily address the three basic issues with sound film and were expensive as well. For some years, American inventor E. E. Norton's Cameraphone was the primary competitor to the Gaumont system (sources differ on whether the Cameraphone was disc- or cylinder-based); it ultimately failed for many of the same reasons that held back the Chronophone. By the end of 1910, the groundswell in sound motion pictures had subsided.[6] Image File history File linksMetadata Expo1900SoundFilm. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Expo1900SoundFilm. ... Sarah Bernhardt (October 23, 1844 – March 26, 1923) was a French stage actress. ... The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a worlds fair held in Paris, France, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next. ... Manufacturers put records inside protective and decorative cardboard jackets and an inner paper sleeve to protect the grooves from dust and scratches. ... The term Sound-on-disc refers to a class of sound film processes utilizing a phonograph or other disc to record or playback sound in sync with a motion picture. ... Léon Gaumont, born May 10, 1864 - died August 10, 1946, was a French inventor, engineer, and industrialist who was a pioneer of the motion picture industry. ...


Innovations continued on other fronts, as well. In 1907, French-born, London-based Eugene Lauste—who had worked at Edison's lab between 1886 and 1892—was awarded the first patent for sound-on-film technology, involving the transformation of sound into light waves that are photographically recorded direct onto celluloid. As described by historian Scott Eyman, Eugene Augustin Lauste (born 1857 in Montmartre, France; died June 27, 1935 in Montclair, New Jersey) The Father of Sound on Film, was an inventor instrumental in the technological development of the history of cinema. ... Sound-on-film refers to a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying picture is physically recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same film strip of film carrying the picture. ... Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents, generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic. ...

[I]t was a double system, that is, the sound was on a different piece of film from the picture.... In essence, the sound was captured by a microphone and translated into light waves via a light valve, a thin ribbon of sensitive metal over a tiny slit. The sound reaching this ribbon would be converted into light by the shivering of the diaphragm, focusing the resulting light waves through the slit, where it would be photographed on the side of the film, on a strip about a tenth of an inch wide.[7]

Though sound-on-film would eventually become the universal standard for synchronized sound cinema, Lauste never successfully exploited his innovations, which came to an effective dead end. In 1913, Edison introduced a new cylinder-based synch-sound apparatus known, just like his 1895 system, as the Kinetophone; instead of films being shown to individual viewers in the kinetoscope cabinet, they were now projected onto a screen. The phonograph was connected by an intricate arrangement of pulleys to the film projector, allowing—under ideal conditions—for synchronization. Conditions, however, were rarely ideal, and the new, improved Kinetophone was retired after little more than a year.[8] In 1914, Finnish inventor Eric Tigerstedt was granted German patent 309,536 for his sound-on-film work; that same year, he apparently demonstrated a film made with the process to an audience of scientists in Berlin.[9] Eric Magnus Campbell Tigerstedt (August 4, 1887 – April 20, 1925) was one of the most significant inventors in Finland at the beginning of the 20th century, and has been called the Thomas Edison of Finland. He was the first person to implement a working sound-on-film technology, and in...


Other sound films, based on a variety of systems, were made before the 1920s, mostly of performers lip-synching to previously made audio recordings. The technology was far from adequate to big-league commercial purposes, and for many years the heads of the major Hollywood film studios saw little benefit in producing sound motion pictures. Thus such films were relegated, along with color movies, to the status of novelty. Lip synchronization is the synchronization of audio signals (sometimes with corresponding video signals) so that there is no noticeable lack of simultaneity between them. ... A major film studio is a movie production and distribution company that releases a substantial number of films annually and consistently commands a significant share of box-office revenues in a given market. ... 35 mm film frames from color film print (positive) with optical sound track (no digital sound tracks present). ...


Crucial innovations

A number of technological developments contributed to making sound cinema commercially viable by the late 1920s. Two involved contrasting approaches to synchronized sound reproduction, or playback:

Title card from an unidentified De Forest Phonofilms talkie.

Advanced sound-on-film – In 1919, American inventor Lee De Forest was awarded several patents that would lead to the first sound-on-film technology with commercial application. In De Forest's system, the sound track was photographically recorded on to the side of the strip of motion picture film to create a composite, or "married," print. If proper synchronization of sound and picture was achieved in recording, it could be absolutely counted on in playback. Over the next four years, he improved his system with the help of equipment and patents licensed from another American inventor in the field, Theodore Case.[10] Image File history File links DeForestScreenShot. ... Image File history File links DeForestScreenShot. ... In 1919, Lee De Forest, inventor of the audion tube, filed his first patent on a sound-on-film process, DeForest Phonofilm, which recorded sound directly onto film as parallel lines. ... Lee De Forest, (August 26, 1873 – June 30, 1961) was an American inventor with over 300 patents to his credit. ... Theodore Case (1888 Auburn, New York – 1944) began working on his sound-on-film process in 1916. ...


At the University of Illinois, Polish-born research engineer Joseph Tykociński-Tykociner was working independently on a similar process. On June 9, 1922, he gave the first reported U.S. demonstration of a sound-on-film motion picture to members of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.[11] As with Lauste and Tigerstedt, Tykociner's system would never be taken advantage of commercially; De Forest's, however, soon would. A Corner of Main Quad The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC, U of I, or simply Illinois), is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious campus in the University of Illinois system. ... Joseph TykociÅ„ski-Tykociner (October 5, 1877 – June 11, 1969) was a Polish engineer and a pioneer of sound-on-film technology. ... is the 160th day of the year (161st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The American Institute of Electrical Engineers was a United States based organization of electrical engineers that existed between 1884 and 1963 (when it merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE)). The 1884 founders of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) included some of the most prominent inventors and...


On April 15, 1923, at New York City's Rivoli Theater, came the first commercial screening of motion pictures with sound-on-film, the future standard: a set of shorts under the banner of De Forest Phonofilms, accompanying a silent feature.[12] That June, De Forest entered into an extended legal battle with an employee, Freeman Harrison Owens, for title to one of the crucial Phonofilm patents. Although De Forest ultimately won the case in the courts, Owens is today recognized as a central innovator in the field. The following year, De Forest's studio released the first commercial dramatic film shot as a talking picture—the two-reeler Love's Old Sweet Song, directed by J. Searle Dawley and featuring Una Merkel.[13] Phonofilms' stock in trade, however, was not original dramas but celebrity documentaries, popular music acts, and comedy performances. President Calvin Coolidge, opera singer Abbie Mitchell, and vaudeville stars such as Phil Baker, Ben Bernie, Eddie Cantor, and Oscar Levant appeared in the firm's pictures. Hollywood remained suspicious, even fearful, of the new technology. As Photoplay editor James Quirk put it in March 1924, "Talking pictures are perfected, says Dr. Lee De Forest. So is castor oil."[14] De Forest's process continued to be used through 1927 in the United States for dozens of short Phonofilms; in the UK it was employed a few years longer for both shorts and features by British Sound Film Productions, a subsidiary of British Talking Pictures, which purchased the primary Phonofilm assets. By the end of 1930, the Phonofilm business would be liquidated.[15] is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... In 1919, Lee De Forest, inventor of the audion tube, filed his first patent on a sound-on-film process, DeForest Phonofilm, which recorded sound directly onto film as parallel lines. ... Freeman Harrison Owens (July 20, 1890 - December 9, 1979), born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the only child of Charles H. Owens and Christabel Harrison. ... Una Merkel (December 10, 1903, Covington, Kentucky – January 2, 1986, Los Angeles) was a Tony Award winning and Academy Award nominated American film actress. ... John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. ... Abbie Mitchell (1884—1960) was an opera singer who created the role of Clara in Gershwins Porgy and Bess Mitchell began her carreer in Musical comedy with William Marion Cooks Clorindy; or, the Origin of the Cakewalk in 1898. ... Phil Baker (born August 26, 1896; died November 30, 1963) is best known as a popular American comedian and emcee on radio. ... Ben Bernie (1891-1943) was an American jazz violinist and radio personality. ... One of 12 Eddie Cantor caricatures by Frederick J. Garner for a 1933 Brown & Bigelow advertising card set. ... Oscar Levant (December 27, 1906 - August 14, 1972) was an American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and an actor, better known for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and in movies and television, than his music. ... Edna Purviance on the cover of Photoplay magazine Photoplay was one of the first film fan magazines. ...


In Europe, others were also working on the development of sound-on-film. In 1919, the same year that DeForest received his first patents in the field, three German inventors patented the Tri-Ergon sound system. On September 17, 1922, the Tri-Ergon group gave a public screening of sound-on-film productions—including a dramatic talkie, Der Brandstifter (The Arsonist)—before an invited audience at the Alhambra Kino in Berlin. By the end of the decade, Tri-Ergon would be the dominant European sound system. In 1923, two Danish engineers, Axel Petersen and Arnold Poulsen, patented a system in which sound was recorded on a separate filmstrip running parallel with the image reel. Gaumont would license and briefly put the technology to commercial use under the name Cinéphone.[16] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with sound-on-film. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


It was domestic competition, however, that would lead to Phonofilms' eclipse. By September 1925, De Forest and Case's working arrangement had fallen through. The following July, Case joined with Fox Film, Hollywood's third largest studio, to found the Fox-Case Corporation. The system developed by Case and his assistant, Earl Sponable, given the name Movietone, thus became the first viable sound-on-film technology controlled by a Hollywood movie studio. The following year, Fox purchased the North American rights to the Tri-Ergon system, though the company found it inferior to Movietone and virtually impossible to integrate the two different systems to advantage.[17] In 1927, as well, Fox retained the services of Freeman Owens, who had particular expertise in constructing cameras for synch-sound film.[18] Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1950s. ... The Movietone sound system is method of recording sound for moving pictures which guarantees synchronisation between the sound and the picture. ...


Advanced sound-on-disc – Parallel with improvements in sound-on-film technology, a number of companies were making progress with systems in which movie sound was recorded onto phonograph discs. In sound-on-disc technology from the era, a phonograph turntable is connected by a mechanical interlock to a specially modified film projector, allowing for synchronization. In 1921, the Photokinema sound-on-disc system developed by Orlando Kellum was employed to add synchronized sound sequences to D. W. Griffith's failed silent film Dream Street. A love song, performed by star Ralph Graves, was recorded, as was a sequence of live vocal effects. Apparently, dialogue scenes were also recorded, but the results were unsatisfactory and the film was never publicly screened incorporating them. On May 1, 1921, Dream Street was rereleased, with love song added, at New York City's Town Hall theater, qualifying it—however haphazardly—as the first feature-length film with a live-recorded vocal sequence.[19] There would be no others for more than six years. An interlock is a device used to help prevent a machine from harming its operator or damaging itself by stopping the machine when tripped. ... 35 mm Kinoton movie projector in operation. ... Phono-Kinema (some sources say Photo-Kinema) was a sound-on-disc system for motion pictures invented by Orlando Kellum. ... David Llewelyn Wark D.W. Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American film director. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Poster for Warner Bros.' Don Juan (1926), the first major motion picture to premiere with a full-length synchronized soundtrack. Audio recording engineer George Groves, the first in Hollywood to hold the job, would supervise sound on Woodstock, 44 years later.

In 1925, Warner Bros., then a small Hollywood studio with big ambitions, began experimenting with sound-on-disc systems at New York's Vitagraph Studios, which it had recently purchased. The Warner Bros. technology, named Vitaphone, was publicly introduced on August 6, 1926, with the premiere of the nearly three-hour-long Don Juan; the first feature-length movie to employ a synchronized sound system of any type throughout, its soundtrack contained a musical score and sound effects, but no recorded dialogue—in other words, it had been staged and shot as a silent film. Accompanying Don Juan, however, were eight shorts of musical performances, mostly classical, as well as a four-minute filmed introduction by Will H. Hays, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, all with live-recorded sound. These were the first true sound films exhibited by a Hollywood studio.[20] Don Juan would not go into general release until February of the following year, making the technically similar The Better 'Ole, put out by Warner Bros. in October 1926, the first feature film with synchronized playback throughout to show to a broad audience. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (677x960, 135 KB) low-res image of poster for Warner Bros film Don Juan (1926); fair use in sound film article to support discusssion of the first major motion picture with synch-sound throughout This image is of a movie poster... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (677x960, 135 KB) low-res image of poster for Warner Bros film Don Juan (1926); fair use in sound film article to support discusssion of the first major motion picture with synch-sound throughout This image is of a movie poster... “WB” redirects here. ... Don Juan is a 1926s Warner Bros silent film, directed by Alan Crosland. ... // Who he was Sound pioneer George R. Groves (1901 - 1976) George Robert Groves (1901 - 1976) was a film sound pioneer who played a significant role in developing the technology that brought sound to the silent screen. ... Woodstock (subtitled 3 Days of Peace & Music) is a 1970 documentary on the Woodstock Festival in 1969. ... “WB” redirects here. ... American Vitagraph was a United States movie studio, founded by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith in 1897 and bought by Warner Brothers in 1925. ... The Warner Brothers Vitaphone logo. ... is the 218th day of the year (219th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Don Juan is a 1926s Warner Bros silent film, directed by Alan Crosland. ... In film formats, the soundtrack is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ... A film score is a set of musical compositions written to accompany a film. ... Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of movies, video games, music, or other media. ... Cover of Time Magazine (September 13, 1926) William Harrison Hays (November 5, 1879–March 7, 1954) was the namesake of the Hays Code, chairman of Republican National Committee and U.S. Postmaster General. ... MPAA redirects here. ...


Sound-on-film would ultimately win out over sound-on-disc because of a number of fundamental technical advantages:

  • Synchronization: no interlock system was completely reliable, and sound could fall out of synch due to disc skipping or minute changes in film speed, requiring constant supervision and frequent manual adjustment
  • Editing: discs could not be directly edited, severely limiting the ability to make alterations in their accompanying films after the original release cut
  • Distribution: phonograph discs added extra expense and complication to film distribution
  • Wear and tear: the physical process of playing the discs degraded them, requiring their replacement after approximately twenty screenings

Nonetheless, in the early years, sound-on-disc had the edge over sound-on-film in two substantial ways:

  • Production and capital cost: it was generally less expensive to record sound onto disc than onto film and the central exhibition systems—turntable/interlock/projector—were cheaper to manufacture than the complex image-and-audio-pattern-reading projectors required by sound-on-film
  • Audio quality: phonograph discs, Vitaphone's in particular, had superior dynamic range to most sound-on-film processes of the day, at least during the first few playings—while sound-on-film tended to have better frequency response, this was outweighed by greater distortion and noise

As sound-on-film technology improved, both of these disadvantages were overcome. For other uses, see Dynamic range (disambiguation). ... Frequency response is the measure of any systems response to frequency, but is usually used in connection with electronic amplifiers and similar systems, particularly in relation to audio signals. ... For other uses, see Distortion (disambiguation). ... In science, and especially in physics and telecommunication, noise is fluctuations in and the addition of external factors to the stream of target information (signal) being received at a detector. ...


The third crucial set of innovations marked a major step forward in both the live recording of sound and its effective playback:

Western Electric engineer E. B. Craft, at left, demonstrating the Vitaphone projection system. A Vitaphone disc had a running time of about 11 minutes, enough to match that of a 1,000-foot reel of 35mm film.

Fidelity electronic recording and amplification – Beginning in 1922, the research branch of AT&T's Western Electric manufacturing division began working intensively on recording technology for both sound-on-disc and sound-on film. In 1925, the company publicly introduced a greatly improved system of electronic audio, including sensitive condenser microphones and rubber-line recorders. That May, the company licensed entrepreneur Walter J. Rich to exploit the system for commercial motion pictures; he founded Vitagraph, which Warner Bros. acquired a half interest in just one month later. In April 1926, Warners signed a contract with AT&T for exclusive use of its film sound technology for the redubbed Vitaphone operation, leading to the production of Don Juan and its accompanying shorts over the following months. During the period when Vitaphone had exclusive access to the patents, the fidelity of recordings made for Warners films was markedly superior to those made for the company's sound-on-film competitors. Meanwhile, Bell Labs—the new name for the AT&T research operation—was working at a furious pace on sophisticated sound amplification technology that would allow recordings to be played back over loudspeakers at theater-filling volume. The new moving-coil speaker system was installed in New York's Warners Theatre at the end of July and its patent submission, for what Western Electric called the No. 555 Receiver, was filed on August 4, just two days before the premiere of Don Juan.[21] Image File history File links VitaphoneDemo. ... Image File history File links VitaphoneDemo. ... Company Masthead Logo Logo until circa 1969, also current logo on company web site Logo 1969–1983 Hi Dan! Western Electric (sometimes abbreviated WE and WECo) was an American electrical engineering company, the manufacturing arm of AT&T from 1881 to 1995. ... The Warner Brothers Vitaphone logo. ... This article is about the current AT&T. For the 1885-2005 company, see American Telephone & Telegraph. ... Company Masthead Logo Logo until circa 1969, also current logo on company web site Logo 1969–1983 Hi Dan! Western Electric (sometimes abbreviated WE and WECo) was an American electrical engineering company, the manufacturing arm of AT&T from 1881 to 1995. ... Microphones redirects here. ... Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) was the main research and development arm of the United States Bell System. ... For the Marty Friedman album, see Loudspeaker (album) An inexpensive low fidelity 3. ... is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Late in the year, AT&T/Western Electric created a licensing division, Electrical Research Products Inc. (ERPI), to handle rights to the company's film-related audio technology. Vitaphone still had legal exclusivity, but having lapsed in its royalty payments, effective control of the rights was in ERPI's hands. On December 31, 1926, Warners granted Fox-Case a sublicense for the use of the Western Electric system in exchange for a share of revenues that would go directly to ERPI.[22] The patents of all three concerns were cross-licensed. Superior recording and amplification technology was now available to two Hollywood studios, pursuing two very different methods of sound reproduction. The new year would finally see the emergence of sound cinema as a significant commercial medium. is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Triumph of the "talkies"

In February 1927, an agreement was signed by five leading Hollywood movie companies: the so-called Big Two—Paramount and MGM—a pair of studios in the next rank—Universal and the fading First National—and Cecil B. DeMille's small but prestigious Producers Distributing Corporation (PDC). The five studios agreed to collectively select just one provider for sound conversion. The alliance then sat back and waited to see what sort of results the forerunners came up with. In May, Warner Bros. sold back its exclusivity rights to ERPI (along with the Fox-Case sublicense) and signed a new royalty contract similar to Fox's for use of Western Electric technology. As Fox and Warners pressed forward with sound cinema in different directions, both technologically and commercially—Fox with newsreels and then scored dramas, Warners with talking features—so did ERPI, which sought to corner the market by signing up the five allied studios. Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... This article is about the American media conglomerate. ... The First National Exhibitors Circuit was founded 1917 by the merger of 26 of the biggest First Run cinema chains in the United States of America, controlling more than 600 cinemas, more than 200 of them were First Run cinemas. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ...

Poster from a fully equipped theater in Tacoma, Washington, showing The Jazz Singer, on Vitaphone, and a Fox newsreel, on Movietone, together on the same bill.

The big sound film sensations of the year all took advantage of pre-existing celebrity. On May 20, 1927, at New York's Roxy Theater, Fox Movietone presented a sound film of the takeoff of Charles Lindbergh's celebrated flight to Paris, recorded earlier that day. In June, a Fox sound newsreel depicting his return welcomes in New York and Washington, D.C., was shown. These were the two most acclaimed sound motion pictures to date.[23] In May, as well, Fox had released the first Hollywood fiction film with synchronized dialogue: the short They're Coming to Get Me, starring comedian Chic Sale.[24] After rereleasing a few silent feature hits, such as Seventh Heaven, with recorded music, Fox came out with its first original Movietone feature on September 23: Sunrise, by acclaimed German director F. W. Murnau. As with Don Juan, the film's soundtrack was comprised of a musical score and sound effects (including, in a couple of crowd scenes, "wild", nonspecific vocals). Then, on October 6, 1927, Warner Bros.' The Jazz Singer premiered. It was a smash box office success for the mid-level studio, earning a total of $2.625 million in the U.S. and abroad, almost a million dollars more than the previous record for a Warners film.[25] Produced with the Vitaphone system, most of the film does not contain live-recorded audio, relying, like Sunrise and Don Juan, on a score and effects. When the movie's star, Al Jolson, sings, however, the film shifts to sound recorded on the set, including both his musical performances and two scenes with ad-libbed speech—one of Jolson's character, Jakie Rabinowitz (Jack Robin), addressing a cabaret audience; the other an exchange between him and his mother. Though the success of The Jazz Singer was due largely to Jolson, already established as one of America's biggest music stars, and its limited use of synchronized sound hardly qualified it as an innovative sound film (let alone the "first"), the movie's handsome profits were proof enough to the industry that the technology was worth investing in. Image File history File links JazzSingerAndFox. ... Image File history File links JazzSingerAndFox. ... The Jazz Singer (1927) is a U.S. movie musical and the first feature-length motion picture with talking sequences. ... The Movietone sound system is method of recording sound for moving pictures which guarantees synchronisation between the sound and the picture. ... is the 140th day of the year (141st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Roxy Theater in New York City was a 6,214 seat movie theater at 153 West 50th Street at 7th Avenue, opened on March 11, 1927 by Samuel Roxy Rothafel. ... Movietone News produced cinema newsreels from 1929-1979. ... Charles Augustus Lindbergh (4 February 1902 – 26 August 1974) (aka Lucky Lindy; The Lone Eagle) was an American aviator who was made world famous by being the pilot of the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic made solo from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Paris on 20 May-21... Charles Chic Sale (b. ... For other uses, see Seventh Heaven (disambiguation) Seventh Heaven is a 1927 silent film that was one of the first films to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (then called Best Picture, Production). The film was written by H.H. Caldwell (titles), Benjamin Glazer, Katherine Hilliker (titles... is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (aka Sunrise) is a 1927 American film directed by F.W. Murnau. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 - March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Jazz Singer (1927) is a U.S. movie musical and the first feature-length motion picture with talking sequences. ... Al Jolson (May 26, 1886–October 23, 1950) was a highly acclaimed American singer, comedian and actor of Jewish heritage whose career lasted from 1911 until his death in 1950. ...


The development of commercial sound cinema had proceeded in fits and starts before The Jazz Singer, and the film's success did not change things overnight. Not till May 1928 did the group of four big studios (PDC had dropped out of the alliance), along with United Artists and others, sign with ERPI for conversion of production facilities and theaters for sound film. Initially, all ERPI-wired theaters were made Vitaphone-compatible; most were equipped to project Movietone reels as well.[26] Even with access to both technologies, however, most of the Hollywood companies remained slow to produce talking features of their own. No studio beside Warner Bros. released even a part-talking feature until the low-budget-oriented Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) premiered The Perfect Crime on June 17, 1928, eight months after The Jazz Singer.[27] FBO had come under the effective control of a Western Electric competitor, General Electric's RCA division, which was looking to market its new sound-on-film system, Photophone. Unlike Fox-Case's Movietone and De Forest's Phonofilm, which were variable-density systems, Photophone was a variable-area system—a refinement in the way the audio signal was inscribed on film that would ultimately become the rule. (In both sorts of system, a specially designed lamp, whose exposure to the film is determined by the audio input, is used to record sound photographically as a series of minuscule lines. In a variable-density process, the lines are of varying darkness; in a variable-area process, the lines are of varying width.) By October, the FBO-RCA alliance would lead to the creation of Hollywood's newest major studio, RKO Pictures. This article is about the film studio. ... Poster for The Cowboy Cop (1926), starring Tom Tyler, one of the best known of FBOs many Western stars. ... is the 168th day of the year (169th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... GE redirects here. ... RCA, formerly an acronym for the Radio Corporation of America, is now a trademark owned by Thomson SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Thomson. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... A photograph with an exposure time of 25 seconds A photograph of a night-time sky with an exposure time of 8 seconds In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium (photographic film or image sensor) during the process of taking a... RKO redirects here. ...

Dorothy Mackaill and Milton Sills in The Barker, First National's inaugural talkie. The film was released in December 1928, two months after Warner Bros. acquired a controlling interest in the studio.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. had released three more talkies in the spring, all profitable, if not at the level of the The Jazz Singer: In March, The Tenderloin appeared; it was billed by Warners as the first feature in which characters spoke their parts, though only 15 of its 88 minutes had dialogue. Glorious Betsy followed in April, and The Lion and the Mouse (31 minutes of dialogue) in May.[28] On July 6, 1928, the first all-talking feature, Lights of New York, premiered. The film cost Warner Bros. only $23,000 to produce, but grossed $1.252 million, a record rate of return surpassing 5,000%. In September, the studio released another Al Jolson part-talking picture, The Singing Fool, which more than doubled The Jazz Singer's earnings record for a Warners movie.[29] This second Jolson screen smash demonstrated the movie musical's ability to turn a song into a national hit: by the following summer, the Jolson number "Sonny Boy" had racked up 2 million record and 1.25 million sheet music sales.[30] September 1928 also saw the release of Paul Terry's Dinner Time, among the first animated cartoons produced with synchronized sound. After seeing it, Walt Disney decided to make one of his Mickey Mouse shorts, Steamboat Willie, with sound as well. Image File history File links BarkerMackaillSills. ... Image File history File links BarkerMackaillSills. ... Dorothy Mackaill Dorothy Mackaill (March 4, 1903 - August 12, 1990) was an British-born American actress, most notably of the silent film era and into the early 1930s. ... Milton Sills Milton Sills (January 12, 1882 - September 15, 1930) was a highly successful American stage and film actor of the early twentieth century. ... The First National Exhibitors Circuit was founded 1917 by the merger of 26 of the biggest First Run cinema chains in the United States of America, controlling more than 600 cinemas, more than 200 of them were First Run cinemas. ... is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Lights of New York (1928) was the first ever feature film that had complete sound sychronization. ... The Singing Fool, a movie, with the lead role of Al Jolson, appeared in 1928, as a follow up movie to his earlier talkies, The Jazz Singer. ... Paul H. Terry (Born February 19, 1887 in San Mateo, California, USA-Died October 25, 1971 in New York, New York, USA) is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, film director and the most prolific film producer in history. ... Dinner Time is a 1928 animated short subject produced and directed by Paul Terry and co-directed by John Foster. ... An animated cartoon is a short, hand-drawn (or made with computers to look similar to something hand-drawn) film for the cinema, television or computer screen, featuring some kind of story or plot (even if it is a very short one). ... For the company founded by Disney, see The Walt Disney Company. ... Mickey Mouse is an Academy Award-winning comic animal cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company. ... Early American actor William Garwood starred in numerous short films, many of which were only 20 minutes in length Short subject is a format description originally coined in the North American film industry in the early period of cinema. ... Steamboat Willie (1928) is an animated cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse released on November 18, 1928. ...


Over the course of 1928, as Warner Bros. began to rake in huge profits due to the popularity of its sound films, the other studios quickened the pace of their conversion to the new technology. Paramount, the industry leader, put out its first talkie in late September, Beggars of Life; though it had just a few lines of dialogue, it demonstrated the studio's recognition of the new medium's power. Interference, Paramount's first all-talker, debuted in November. The process known as "goat glanding" briefly became widespread: soundtracks, sometimes including a smatter of post-dubbed dialogue or song, were added to movies that had been shot, and in some cases released, as silents.[31] A few minutes of singing could qualify such a newly endowed film as a "musical." (Griffith's Dream Street had essentially been a "goat gland.") Expectations swiftly changed, and the sound "fad" of 1927 became standard procedure by 1929. In February 1929, sixteen months after The Jazz Singer's debut, Columbia Pictures became the last of the eight studios that would be known as "majors" during Hollywood's Golden Age to release its first part-talking feature, Lone Wolf's Daughter.[32] Most American movie theaters, especially outside of urban areas, were still not equipped for sound and the studios were not entirely convinced of the talkies' universal appeal—through mid-1930, the majority of Hollywood movies were produced in dual versions, silent as well as talking.[33] Though few in the industry predicted it, silent film as a viable commercial medium in the United States would soon be little more than a memory. The final mainstream purely silent feature put out by a major Hollywood studio was the Hoot Gibson oater Points West, released by Universal Pictures in August 1929.[34] One month earlier, the first all-color, all-talking feature had gone into general release: Warner Bros.' On with the Show! The Columbia Pictures logo from 1993 to the present Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. ... A major film studio is a movie production and distribution company that releases a substantial number of films annually and consistently commands a significant share of box-office revenues in a given market. ... Hoot Gibson (August 6, 1892 - August 23, 1962) was a rodeo champion and a pioneer cowboy film actor, director and producer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Color Fragment from Film. ...


The transition: Europe

Perhaps Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (1929) would be better remembered today if costar Marlene Dietrich, instead of kissing their hands, had been invited to sing.

The Jazz Singer had its European sound premiere at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on September 27, 1928.[35] According to film historian Rachael Low, "Many in the industry realized at once that a change to sound production was inevitable."[36] On January 16, 1929, the first European feature film with a synchronized vocal performance and recorded score premiered: the German production Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (I Kiss Your Hand, Madame).[37] A dialogueless film that contains only a few minutes of singing by star Richard Tauber, it may be thought of as the Old World's combination Dream Street and Don Juan. The movie was made with the sound-on-film system controlled by the German-Dutch firm Tobis, corporate heirs to the Tri-Ergon concern. With an eye toward commanding the emerging European market for sound film, Tobis entered into a compact with its chief competitor, Klangfilm, a subsidiary of Allgemeine Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft (AEG). Early in 1929, the two businesses began comarketing their recording and playback technologies. As ERPI began to wire theaters around Europe, Tobis-Klangfilm claimed that the Western Electric system infringed on the Tri-Ergon patents, stalling the introduction of American technology in many places. Just as RCA had entered the movie business to maximize the value of its recording system, Tobis also established its own production houses, led by Germany's Tobis Filmkunst. Image File history File links DietrichIKIHM.jpg‎ Marlene Dietrich in Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (I Kiss Your Hand, Madame) (1929); fair use in sound film article supporting discussion of movie as the first German (and European) feature-length sound film with recorded vocals This image is a screenshot... Image File history File links DietrichIKIHM.jpg‎ Marlene Dietrich in Ich küsse Ihre Hand, Madame (I Kiss Your Hand, Madame) (1929); fair use in sound film article supporting discussion of movie as the first German (and European) feature-length sound film with recorded vocals This image is a screenshot... Marlene Dietrich IPA: ; (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born American actress, singer and entertainer. ... is the 270th day of the year (271st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Richard Tauber (16 May 1891 – 8 January 1948) was an Austrian tenor acclaimed as one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. ... AEG volt-metre designed by Peter Behrens AEG (Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft) (English Translation: General Electricity Company) was a German producer of electronics and electrical equipment. ...

The Prague-raised star of Blackmail (1929), Anny Ondra, was an industry favorite, but her thick accent became an issue when the film was reshot with sound. Without post-dubbing capacity, her dialogue was simultaneously uttered and recorded offscreen by actress Joan Barry. Ondra's British film career was over.
The Prague-raised star of Blackmail (1929), Anny Ondra, was an industry favorite, but her thick accent became an issue when the film was reshot with sound. Without post-dubbing capacity, her dialogue was simultaneously uttered and recorded offscreen by actress Joan Barry. Ondra's British film career was over.

Over the course of 1929, most of the major European filmmaking countries began joining Hollywood in the changeover to sound. Many of the trend-setting European talkies were shot abroad as production companies leased studios while their own were being converted or as they deliberately targeted markets speaking different languages. One of Europe's first two feature-length dramatic talkies was created in still a different sort of twist on multinational moviemaking: The Crimson Circle was a coproduction between director Friedrich Zelnik's Efzet-Film company and British Sound Film Productions (BSFP). In 1928, the film had been released as the silent Der Rote Kreis in Germany, where it was shot; English dialogue was apparently dubbed in much later using the De Forest Phonofilm process controlled by BSFP's corporate parent. It was given a British trade screening in March 1929, as was a part-talking film made entirely in the UK: The Clue of the New Pin, a British Lion production using the sound-on-disc British Photophone system. In May, Black Waters, a British and Dominions Film Corporation promoted as the first UK all-talker, received its initial trade screening; it had been shot completely in Hollywood with a Western Electric sound-on-film system. None of these pictures made much impact.[38] The first successful European dramatic talkie was the all-British Blackmail. Directed by twenty-nine-year-old Alfred Hitchcock, the movie had its London debut June 21, 1929. Originally shot as a silent, Blackmail was restaged to include dialogue sequences, along with a score and sound effects, before its premiere. A British International Pictures (BIP) production, it was recorded on RCA Photophone, General Electric having bought a share of AEG in order to gain access to the Tobis-Klangfilm markets. Blackmail was a substantial hit; critical response was also positive—notorious curmudgeon Hugh Castle, for example, called it "perhaps the most intelligent mixture of sound and silence we have yet seen."[39] Image File history File links BlackmailStill. ... Image File history File links BlackmailStill. ... Blackmail (1929) was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and stars Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett. ... Anna Sophie Ondráková, known as Anny Ondra (May 15, 1903, Tarnów - February 28, 1987, Hollenstedt near Hamburg) was a Czech/German actress. ... In filmmaking, dubbing or looping is the process of recording or replacing voices for a motion picture. ... World War I recruiting poster John Bull is a national personification of Britain created by Dr. John Arbuthnot in 1712 and popularized first by British print makers and then overseas by illustrators such as American cartoonist Thomas Nast. ... Blackmail (1929) was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and stars Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett. ... Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 â€“ April 29, 1980) was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ... is the 172nd day of the year (173rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC), originally British International Pictures (BIP), was a British film production company active from 1927 until 1970. ...


On August 23, the modest-sized Austrian film industry came out with a talkie: G’schichten aus der Steiermark (Stories from Styria), an Eagle Film–Ottoton Film production.[40] On September 30, the first entirely German-made feature-length dramatic talkie, Das Land ohne Frauen (Land Without Women), premiered. A Tobis Filmkunst production, about one-quarter of the movie contained dialogue, which was strictly segregated from the special effects and music. The response was underwhelming.[41] Sweden's first talkie, Konstgjorda Svensson (Artificial Svensson), premiered on October 14. Eight days later, Aubert Franco-Film came out with Le Collier de la reine (The Queen's Necklace), shot at the Epinay studio near Paris. Conceived as a silent film, it was given a Tobis-recorded score and a single talking sequence—the first dialogue scene in a French feature. On October 31, Les Trois masques debuted; a Pathé-Natan film, it is generally regarded as the initial French feature talkie, though it was shot, like Blackmail, at the Elstree studio, just outside of London. The production company had contracted with RCA Photophone and Britain then had the nearest facility with the system. The Braunberger-Richebé talkie La Route est belle, also shot at Elstree, followed a few weeks later.[42] Before the Paris studios were fully sound-equipped—a process that stretched well into 1930—a number of other early French talkies were shot in Germany.[43] The first all-talking German feature, Atlantik, had premiered in Berlin on October 28. Yet another Elstree-made movie, it was rather less German at heart than Les Trois masques and La Route est belle were French; a BIP production with a British scenarist and German director, it was also shot in English as Atlantic.[44] The entirely German Aafa-Film production Dich hab ich geliebt (Because I Loved You) opened three-and-a-half weeks later. It was not "Germany's First Talking Film", as the marketing had it, but it was the first to be released in the United States.[45] {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 287th day of the year (288th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Épinay-sur-Seine is a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris, France. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France. ... Historically, the name Elstree Studios refers to any of several film studios that were based in the town of Elstree and Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, England. ... is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

The first Soviet talkie, Putyovka v zhizn (The Road to Life; 1931), concerns the issue of homeless youth. As Marcel Carné put it, "in the unforgettable images of this spare and pure story we can discern the effort of an entire nation."[46]

In 1930, the first Polish talkies premiered, using sound-on-disc systems: Moralność pani Dulskiej (The Morality of Mrs. Dulska) in March and the all-talking Niebezpieczny romans (Dangerous Love Affair) in October.[47] In Italy, whose once vibrant film industry had become moribund by the late 1920s, the first talkie, La Canzone dell'amore (The Song of Love), also came out in October; within two years, Italian cinema would be enjoying a revival.[48] The first movie spoken in Czech debuted in 1930 as well, Tonka Šibenice (Gallows Toni).[49] Several European nations with minor positions in the field also produced their first talking pictures—Belgium (in French), Denmark, Greece, and Romania.[50] The Soviet Union's robust film industry came out with its first sound features in 1931: Dziga Vertov's nonfiction Entuziazm, with an experimental, dialogueless soundtrack, was released in the spring.[51] In the fall, the Nikolai Ekk drama Putyovka v zhizn (The Road to Life), premiered as the state's first talking picture. Image File history File links Putevka_v_zhisn_poster. ... Image File history File links Putevka_v_zhisn_poster. ... Marcel Carné (August 18, 1906 - October 31, 1996) was an important French film director. ... Dziga Vertov Dziga (Dzyga) Vertov (Russian: , Ukrainian: ) January 2, 1896–February 12, 1954) was a Russian pioneer documentary film and newsreel director. ...


Throughout much of Europe, conversion of exhibition venues lagged well behind production capacity, requiring talkies to be produced in parallel silent versions or simply shown without sound in many places. While the pace of conversion was relatively swift in Britain—with over 60 percent of theaters equipped for sound by the end of 1930, similar to the U.S. figure—in France, by contrast, more than half of theaters nationwide were still projecting in silence by late 1932.[52] According to scholar Colin G. Crisp, "Anxiety about resuscitating the flow of silent films was frequently expressed in the [French] industrial press, and a large section of the industry still saw the silent as a viable artistic and commercial prospect till about 1935."[53] The situation was particularly acute in the Soviet Union; as of spring 1933, fewer than one out of every hundred film projectors in the country was as yet equipped for sound.[54]


The transition: Asia

Director Gosho Heinosuke's Madamu to nyobo (The Neighbor's Wife and Mine; 1931), a production of the Shochiku studio, was the first major commercial and critical success of Japanese sound cinema.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Japan was one of the world's two largest producers of motion pictures, along with the United States. Though the country's film industry was among the first to produce both sound and talking features, the full changeover to sound proceeded much more slowly than in the West. It appears that the first Japanese sound film, Reimai (Dawn), was made in 1926 with the De Forest Phonofilm system.[55] Using the sound-on-disc Minatoki system, the leading Nikkatsu studio produced a pair of talkies in 1929: Taii no musume (The Captain's Daughter) and Furusato (Hometown), the latter directed by Mizoguchi Kenji. The rival Shochiku studio began the successful production of sound-on-film talkies in 1931 using a variable-density process called Tsuchibashi.[56] Two years later, however, more than 80 percent of movies made in the country were still silents. Two of the country's leading directors, Ozu Yasujiro and Naruse Mikio, did not make their first sound films until 1935. As late as 1938, over a third of all movies produced in Japan were shot without dialogue.[57] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3193x2140, 856 KB) image from Madamu to nyobo (1931), directed by Heinosuke Gosho, a Shochiku production; fair use in sound film article representing the first critically and commercially successful Japanese all-talking sound film This image is a screenshot from a... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (3193x2140, 856 KB) image from Madamu to nyobo (1931), directed by Heinosuke Gosho, a Shochiku production; fair use in sound film article representing the first critically and commercially successful Japanese all-talking sound film This image is a screenshot from a... Heinosuke Gosho is a Japanese film director. ... Shochiku Co. ... The Nikkatsu Company ) is Japanese entertainment company well known for its film and television productions. ... Kenji Mizoguchi Kenji Mizoguchi (溝口 健二 Mizoguchi Kenji; May 16, 1898 – August 24, 1956) was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. ... Shochiku Co. ... Yasujiro Ozu (小津 安二郎 Ozu Yasujirō) (December 12, 1903 - December 12, 1963) was an influential Japanese film director. ... Mikio Naruse Mikio Naruse (成瀬巳喜男 Naruse Mikio) (August 20, 1905 – July 2, 1969) was a Japanese film director, writer and producer who directed some 89 films spanning from the end of the silent era (1930) through the sixties (1967). ...


The enduring popularity of the silent medium in Japanese cinema owed in great part to the tradition of the benshi, a live narrator who performed as accompaniment to a film screening. As director Kurosawa Akira later described, the benshi "not only recounted the plot of the films, they enhanced the emotional content by performing the voices and sound effects and providing evocative descriptions of events and images on the screen.... The most popular narrators were stars in their own right, solely responsible for the patronage of a particular theatre."[58] Film historian Mariann Lewinsky argues, Benshi (弁士 in Japanese) were performers who provided live narration for silent Japanese films. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ...

The end of silent film in the West and in Japan was imposed by the industry and the market, not by any inner need or natural evolution.... Silent cinema was a highly pleasurable and fully mature form. It didn't lack anything, least in Japan, where there was always the human voice doing the dialogues and the commentary. Sound films were not better, just more economical. As a cinema owner you didn't have to pay the wages of musicians and benshi any more. And a good benshi was a star demanding star payment.[59]

By the same token, the viability of the benshi system facilitated a gradual transition to sound—allowing the studios to spread out the capital costs of conversion and their directors and technical crews time to become familiar with the new technology.[60]

Alam Ara premiered March 14, 1931, in Bombay. The first Indian talkie was so popular that "police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds." It was shot with the Tanar single-system camera, which recorded sound directly onto the film.
Alam Ara premiered March 14, 1931, in Bombay. The first Indian talkie was so popular that "police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds."[61] It was shot with the Tanar single-system camera, which recorded sound directly onto the film.

The Mandarin-language Gēnǚ hóng mǔdān (, Singsong Girl Red Peony), starring Butterfly Wu, premiered as China's first feature talkie in 1930. By February of that year, production was apparently completed on a sound version of The Devil's Playground, arguably qualifying it as the first Australian talking motion picture; however, the May press screening of Commonwealth Film Contest prizewinner Fellers is the first verifiable public exhibition of an Australian talkie.[62] In September 1930, a song performed by Indian star Sulochana, excerpted from the silent feature Madhuri (1928), was released as a synchronized-sound short, making it that nation's mini–Dream Street.[63] The following year, Ardeshir Irani directed the first Indian talking feature, the Hindi-Urdu Alam Ara, and produced Kalidas, primarily in Tamil with some Telugu. Nineteen-thirty-one also saw the first Bengali-language film, Jamai Sasthi, and the first movie fully spoken in Telugu, Bhakta Prahlada.[64] In 1932, Ayodhyecha Raja became the first movie in which Marathi was spoken to be released (though Sant Tukaram was the first to go through the official censorship process); the first Gujarati-language film, Narsimha Mehta, and all-Tamil talkie, Kalava, debuted as well. The next year, Ardeshir Irani produced the first Persian-language talkie, Dukhtar-e-loor.[65] Also in 1933, the first Cantonese-language films were produced in Hong Kong—Sha zai dongfang (The Idiot's Wedding Night) and Liang xing (Conscience); within two years, the local film industry had fully converted to sound.[66] Korea, where byeonsa held a role and status similar to that of the Japanese benshi, in 1935 became the last country with a significant film industry to produce its first talking picture: Chunhyangjeon (春香傳/춘향전) is based on the seventeenth-century pansori folktale "Chunhyangga," of which as many as fourteen film versions have been made to date.[67] Image File history File links AlamAra. ... Image File history File links AlamAra. ... Alam Ara (The Light of the World; 1931), directed by Ardeshir Irani, was the first Indian sound film. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sulochana (1907 - 1983, real name Ruby Myers) was an Indian actress of half European ancestry. ... Ardeshir Irani was an early director, actor, and producer in Bollywood. ... Alam Ara (The Light of the World; 1931), directed by Ardeshir Irani, was the first Indian sound film. ... Korean cinema encompasses the motion picture industries of North Korea and South Korea. ... Pansori is a genre of Korean music. ... The Chunhyangga is one of the five surviving stories of the Korean pansori storytelling tradition. ...


Consequences

Technology

Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), one of the first sound films about sound filmmaking, depicts microphones dangling from the rafters and multiple cameras shooting simultaneously from out of soundproofed booths. The poster shows a camera unboothed and unblimped, as it might be when shooting a musical number with a prerecorded soundtrack.

In the short term, the introduction of live sound recording caused major difficulties in production. Cameras were noisy, so a soundproofed cabinet was used in many of the earliest talkies to isolate the loud equipment from the actors, at the expense of a drastic reduction in the ability to move the camera. For a time, multiple-camera shooting was used to compensate for the loss of mobility and innovative studio technicians could often find ways to liberate the camera for particular shots. The necessity of staying within range of still microphones meant that actors also often had to limit their movements unnaturally. Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), from First National Pictures (which Warner Bros. had taken control of thanks to its profitable adventure into sound), gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the techniques involved in shooting early talkies. Several of the fundamental problems caused by the transition to sound were soon solved with new camera casings, known as "blimps," designed to suppress noise and boom microphones that could be held just out of frame and moved with the actors. In 1931, a major improvement in playback fidelity was introduced: three-way speaker systems in which sound was separated into low, medium, and high frequencies and sent respectively to a large bass "woofer," a midrange driver, and a treble "tweeter."[68] Image File history File linksMetadata ShowgirlHollywood. ... Image File history File linksMetadata ShowgirlHollywood. ... A boom operator is an assistant of the production sound mixer. ...


As David Bordwell describes, technological improvements continued at a swift pace: "Between 1932 and 1935, [Western Electric and RCA] created directional microphones, increased the frequency range of film recording, reduced ground noise...and extended the volume range." These technical advances often meant new aesthetic opportunities: "Increasing the fidelity of recording...heightened the dramatic possibilities of vocal timbre, pitch, and loudness."[69] Another basic problem—famously spoofed in the 1952 film Singin' in the Rain—was that some silent-era actors simply did not have attractive voices; though this issue was frequently overstated, there were related concerns about general vocal quality and the casting of performers for their dramatic skills in roles also requiring singing talent beyond their own. By 1935, rerecording of vocals by the original or different actors in postproduction, a process known as "looping," had become practical. The ultraviolet recording system introduced by RCA in 1936 improved the reproduction of sibilants and high notes.[70] David Bordwell is a film scholar. ... For other uses, see Singin in the Rain. ...


With Hollywood's wholesale adoption of the talkies, the competition between the two fundamental approaches to sound-film production was soon resolved. Over the course of 1930–31, the only major players using sound-on-disc, Warner Bros. and First National, changed over to sound-on-film recording. Vitaphone's dominating presence in sound-equipped theaters, however, meant that for years to come all of the Hollywood studios pressed and distributed sound-on-disc versions of their films alongside the sound-on-film prints. Fox Movietone soon followed Vitaphone into disuse as a recording and reproduction method, leaving two major American systems: the variable-area RCA Photophone and Western Electric's own variable-density process, a substantial improvement on the cross-licensed Movietone.[71] Under RCA's instigation, the two parent companies made their projection equipment compatible, meaning films shot with one system could be screened in theaters equipped for the other.[72] This left one big issue—the Tobis-Klangfilm challenge. In May 1930, Western Electric won an Austrian lawsuit that voided protection for certain Tri-Ergon patents, helping bring Tobis-Klangfilm to the negotiating table.[73] The following month an accord was reached on patent cross-licensing, full playback compatibility, and the division of the world into three parts for the provision of equipment. As a contemporary report describes:

Tobis-Klangfilm has the exclusive rights to provide equipment for: Germany, Danzig, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Holland, the Dutch Indies, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Finland. The Americans have the exclusive rights for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Russia. All other countries, among them Italy, France, and England, are open to both parties.[74]

The agreement did not resolve all the patent disputes, and further negotiations were undertaken and concords signed over the course of the 1930s. During these years, as well, the American studios began abandoning the Western Electric system for RCA Photophone's variable-area approach—by the end of 1936, only Paramount, MGM, and United Artists still had contracts with ERPI.[75]


Labor

The unkind cover of Photoplay, December 1929, featuring Norma Talmadge. As film historian David Thomson puts it, "sound proved the incongruity of [her] salon prettiness and tenement voice."[76]

While the introduction of sound led to a boom in the motion picture industry, it had an adverse effect on the employability of a host of Hollywood actors of the time. Suddenly those without stage experience were regarded as suspect by the studios; as suggested above, those whose heavy accents or otherwise discordant voices had previously been concealed were particularly at risk. The career of major silent star Norma Talmadge effectively came to an end in this way. The celebrated Swiss actor Emil Jannings returned to Europe. John Gilbert's voice was fine, but audiences found it an awkward match with his swashbuckling persona, and his star faded as well. Clara Bow's speaking voice was sometimes blamed for the demise of her brilliant career, but the truth is that she was too hot to handle.[77] Audiences now seemed to perceive certain silent-era stars as old-fashioned, even those who had the talent to succeed in the sound era. And, as actress Louise Brooks suggested, there were other issues: Image File history File links PhotoplayDec. ... Image File history File links PhotoplayDec. ... Edna Purviance on the cover of Photoplay magazine Photoplay was one of the first film fan magazines. ... Norma Talmadge Norma Talmadge (May 26, 1893 – December 24, 1957) was an American actress. ... For other persons of the same name, see David Thomson. ... Norma Talmadge Norma Talmadge (May 26, 1893 – December 24, 1957) was an American actress. ... Emil Jannings (July 23, 1884 - January 3, 1950) was an actor and the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor. ... John Gilbert John Gilbert (July 10, 1899 - January 9, 1936) was an actor and major star of the silent film era. ... Clara Gordon Bow (July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) was an American actress and sex symbol who rose to fame in the silent film era of the 1920s. ... Louise Brooks (14 November 1906 – 8 August 1985) was an American dancer, showgirl, and silent film actress. ...

Studio heads, now forced into unprecedented decisions, decided to begin with the actors, the least palatable, the most vulnerable part of movie production. It was such a splendid opportunity, anyhow, for breaking contracts, cutting salaries, and taming the stars.... Me, they gave the salary treatment. I could stay on without the raise my contract called for, or quit, [Paramount studio chief B. P.] Schulberg said, using the questionable dodge of whether I'd be good for the talkies. Questionable, I say, because I spoke decent English in a decent voice and came from the theater. So without hesitation I quit.[78]

Lillian Gish departed, back to the stage, and other leading figures soon left acting entirely: Colleen Moore, Gloria Swanson, and Hollywood's most famous performing couple, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Buster Keaton was eager to explore the new medium, but when his studio, MGM, made the changeover to sound, he was quickly stripped of creative control. Though a number of Keaton's early talkies made impressive profits, they were artistically dismal.[79] Lillian Diana de Guiche (October 14, 1893 – February 27, 1993), was an Oscar-nominated American actress, better known as Lillian Gish. ... Colleen Moore, born Kathleen Morrison (August 19, 1900 – January 25, 1988) was an American film actress, and one of the most fashionable stars of the silent film era. ... Gloria Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning American Hollywood actress. ... Douglas Fairbanks (May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939) was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer, who became noted for his swashbuckling roles in silent movies such as The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921), Robin Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and The Black Pirate (1926). ... For the Katie Melua song, see Mary Pickford (Used to Eat Roses). ... Joseph Francis Kieran Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an Academy Award-winning American silent film comic actor and filmmaker. ...


Several of the new medium's biggest attractions came from vaudeville and the musical theater, where performers such as Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Jeanette MacDonald, and the Marx Brothers were accustomed to the demands of both dialogue and song. James Cagney and Joan Blondell, who had teamed on Broadway, were brought west together by Warner Bros. in 1930. A few actors were major stars during both the silent and the sound eras: Richard Barthelmess, Clive Brook, Bebe Daniels, Norma Shearer, the comedy team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and the incomparable Charlie Chaplin, whose City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936) employed sound almost exclusively for music and effects. Janet Gaynor became a top star with the synch-sound but dialogueless Seventh Heaven and Sunrise, as did Joan Crawford with the technologically similar Our Dancing Daughters (1928). Greta Garbo was the one non–native English speaker to achieve Hollywood stardom on either side of the great sound divide. One of 12 Eddie Cantor caricatures by Frederick J. Garner for a 1933 Brown & Bigelow advertising card set. ... Jeanette MacDonald Jeanette MacDonald (June 18, 1903 – January 14, 1965) was a singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier (Love Me Tonight, The Merry Widow) and Nelson Eddy (Naughty Marietta, Rose Marie, and Maytime). ... This article is about the comedian siblings. ... James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Blondell in Nightmare Alley (1947) Rose Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979) was an Oscar-nominated American actress. ... Richard (Dick) Barthelmess (May 9, 1895 - August 17, 1963) was a silent film star. ... Clive Brook (1 June 1887 - 17 November 1974) was a British actor. ... Bebe Daniels (January 14, 1901 - March 16, 1971) was an American actress. ... Edith Norma Shearer (August 10, 1902 (some sources indicate 1900) – June 12, 1983) was an Academy Award-winning Canadian-American actress. ... Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer and director, famous as part of the comedy double act Laurel and Hardy, whose career stretched from the silent films of the early 20th Century until post-World War II. // Stan Laurel... Oliver Hardy (born Norvell Hardy; January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957) was an American actor, most remembered for his role in one of the worlds most famous double acts, Laurel and Hardy, with his friend Stan Laurel. ... Yaweh redirects here. ... City Lights is a 1931 film written by, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. ... Modern Times is a 1936 film by Charlie Chaplin that has his famous Little Tramp character struggling to survive in the modern, industrialized world. ... Janet Gaynor (October 6, 1906 – September 14, 1984) was an American actress who, in 1928, became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... For other persons named Joan Crawford, see Joan Crawford (disambiguation). ... A film from the late twenties. ... Greta Garbo (September 18, 1905 – April 15, 1990) was a Swedish-born actress during Hollywoods silent film period and part of its Golden Age. ...


As talking pictures emerged, with their prerecorded musical tracks, an increasing number of moviehouse orchestra musicians found themselves out of work.[80] More than just their position as film accompanists was usurped; according to historian Preston J. Hubbard, "During the 1920s live musical performances at first-run theaters became an exceedingly important aspect of the American cinema."[81] With the coming of the talkies, those featured performances—usually staged as preludes—were largely eliminated as well. The American Federation of Musicians took out newspaper advertisements protesting the replacement of live musicians with mechanical playing devices. One 1929 ad that appeared in the Pittsburgh Press features an image of a can labeled "Canned Music / Big Noise Brand / Guaranteed to Produce No Intellectual or Emotional Reaction Whatever" and reads in part: The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is a labor union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada. ... The Pittsburgh Press, now defunct, was a major daily newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ...

Canned Music on Trial
This is the case of Art vs. Mechanical Music in theatres. The defendant stands accused in front of the American people of attempted corruption of musical appreciation and discouragement of musical education. Theatres in many cities are offering synchronised mechanical music as a substitute for Real Music. If the theatre-going public accepts this vitiation of its entertainment program a deplorable decline in the Art of Music is inevitable. Musical authorities know that the soul of the Art is lost in mechanisation. It cannot be otherwise because the quality of music is dependent on the mood of the artist, upon the human contact, without which the essence of intellectual stimulation and emotional rapture is lost.[82]

By the following year, a reported 22,000 U.S. moviehouse musicians had lost their jobs.[83]


Commerce

Premiering February 1, 1929, MGM's The Broadway Melody was the first smash-hit talkie from a studio other than Warner Bros. and the first sound film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In September 1926, Jack Warner, head of Warner Bros., was quoted to the effect that talking pictures would never be viable: "They fail to take into account the international language of the silent pictures, and the unconscious share of each onlooker in creating the play, the action, the plot, and the imagined dialogue for himself."[84] Much to his company's benefit, he would be proven very wrong—between the 1927–28 and 1928–29 fiscal years, Warners' profits surged from $2 million to $14 million. Sound film, in fact, was a clear boon to all the major players in the industry. During that same twelve-month span, Paramount's profits rose by $7 million, Fox's by $3.5 million, and Loew's/MGM's by $3 million.[85] RKO, which hadn't even existed in September 1928 and whose parent production company, FBO, was in the Hollywood minor leagues, by the end of 1929 was established as one of America's leading entertainment businesses. Image File history File links BroadwayMelodyPoster. ... Image File history File links BroadwayMelodyPoster. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... The Broadway Melody (1929) was the first Sound film to win an Oscar for Best Picture. ... ©A.M.P.A.S.® The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to artists working in the motion picture industry. ... This article is about Jack Warner, the head of Warner Brothers. ...


Even as the Wall Street crash of October 1929 helped plunge the United States and ultimately the global economy into depression, the popularity of the talkies at first seemed to keep Hollywood immune. The 1929–30 exhibition season was even better for the motion picture industry than the previous, with ticket sales and overall profits hitting new highs. Reality finally struck later in 1930, but sound had clearly secured Hollywood's position as one of the most important industrial fields, both commercially and culturally, in the United States. In 1929, film box-office receipts comprised 16.6 percent of total spending by Americans on recreation; by 1931, the figure had reached 21.8 percent. The motion picture business would command similar figures for the next decade and a half.[86] Hollywood ruled on the larger stage, as well. The American movie industry—already the world's most powerful—set an export record in 1929 that, by the applied measure of total feet of exposed film, was 27 percent higher than the year before.[87] Concerns that language differences would hamper U.S. film exports turned out to be largely unfounded. In fact, the expense of sound conversion was a major obstacle to many overseas producers, relatively undercapitalized by Hollywood standards. The production of multiple versions of export-bound talkies in different languages, a common approach at first, largely ceased by mid-1931, replaced by post-dubbing and subtitling. Despite trade restrictions imposed in most foreign markets, by 1937, American films commanded about 70 percent of screen time around the globe.[88] Crowd gathering on Wall Street. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ...


Just as the leading Hollywood studios gained from sound in relation to their foreign competitors, they did the same at home. As historian Richard B. Jewell describes, "The sound revolution crushed many small film companies and producers who were unable to meet the financial demands of sound conversion."[89] The combination of sound and the Great Depression led to a wholesale shakeout in the business, resulting in the hierarchy of the Big Five integrated companies (MGM, Paramount, Fox, Warners, RKO) and the three smaller studios also called "majors" (Columbia, Universal, United Artists) that would predominate through the 1950s. Historian Thomas Schatz describes the ancillary effects:

[B]ecause the studios were forced to streamline operations and rely on their own resources, their individual house styles and corporate personalities came into much sharper focus. Thus the watershed period from the coming of sound into the early Depression saw the studio system finally coalesce, with the individual studios coming to terms with their own identities and their respective positions within the industry.[90] The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1950s. ...

The other country in which sound cinema had an immediate major commercial impact was India. As one distributor of the period said, "With the coming of the talkies, the Indian motion picture came into its own as a definite and distinctive piece of creation. This was achieved by music."[91] From its earliest days, Indian sound cinema has been defined by the musical—Alam Ara featured seven songs; a year later, Indrasabha would feature seventy. While the European film industries fought an endless battle against the popularity and economic muscle of Hollywood, ten years after the debut of Alam Ara, over 90 percent of the films showing on Indian screens were made within the country.[92] Most of India's early talkies were shot in Bombay, which remains the leading production center, but sound filmmaking soon spread across the multilingual nation. Within just a few weeks of Alam Ara's March 1931 premiere, the Calcutta-based Madan Pictures had released both the Hindi Shirin Farhad and the Bengali Jamai Sasthi.[93] The Hindustani Heer Ranjha was produced in Lahore, Punjab, the following year. In 1934, Sati Sulochana, the first Kannada talking picture to be released, was shot in Kolhapur, Maharashtra; Srinivasa Kalyanam became the first Tamil talkie actually shot in Tamil Nadu.[94] Once the first talkie features appeared, the conversion to full sound production happened as rapidly in India as it did in the United States. Already by 1932, the majority of feature productions were in sound; two years later, 164 of the 172 Indian feature films were talking pictures.[95] From 1934 through the present, with the sole exception of 1952, India has been among the top three movie-producing countries in the world every single year. , Bombay redirects here. ... , “Calcutta” redirects here. ...   (Urdu: لاہور, Punjabi: لہور, pronounced ) is the capital of the Punjab and is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. ... This article is about the geographical region. ... Sati Sulochana (Kannada: ) is a film made in Kannada language. ... , Kolhapur   (Marathi:कोल्हापूर) is a city situated in the south west corner of Maharashtra, India. ... , Maharashtra (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र , IPA  , translation: Great Nation) is Indias third largest state in area and second largest in population after Uttar Pradesh. ... Tamil Nadu (தமிழ் நாடு, Land of the Tamils) is a state at the southern tip of India. ...


Aesthetic quality

The earliest sound film to make most latter-day shortlists for "greatest movie ever made," L'Atalante (1934) placed tenth in Time Out's centenary poll of film industry professionals and critics.

In the first, 1930 edition of his global survey The Film Till Now, cinema pundit Paul Rotha declared, "A film in which the speech and sound effects are perfectly synchronised and coincide with their visual image on the screen is absolutely contrary to the aims of cinema. It is a degenerate and misguided attempt to destroy the real use of the film and cannot be accepted as coming within the true boundaries of the cinema."[96] Such opinions were not rare among those who cared about cinema as an art form; Alfred Hitchcock, though he directed the first commercially successful talkie produced in Europe, held that "the silent pictures were the purest form of cinema" and scoffed at many early sound films as delivering little beside "photographs of people talking."[97] Image File history File links LAtalantePoster. ... Image File history File links LAtalantePoster. ... LAtalante is a 1934 French film directed by Jean Vigo and starring Jean Dasté, Dita Parlo and Michel Simon. ... Time-out can mean: sport time-out, a break in play that may be called by a side to formulate strategy or respond to an players injury. ... Paul Rotha (*June 3th, 1907- March 7th 1984) was a socialist british film maker and film historian. ...


Most latter-day film historians and aficionados agree that silent film had reached an aesthetic peak by the late 1920s and that the early years of sound cinema delivered little that was comparable to the best of the silents. For instance, despite fading into relative obscurity once its era had passed, silent cinema is represented by eleven films in Time Out's Centenary of Cinema Top One Hundred poll, held in 1995. The earliest sound film to place is the French L'Atalante (1934), directed by Jean Vigo; the earliest Hollywood sound film to qualify is Bringing Up Baby (1938), directed by Howard Hawks. The first year in which sound film production predominated over silent film—not only in the United States, but also in the West considered as a whole—was 1929; yet the years 1929 through 1931 (for that matter, 1929 through 1933) are represented by three dialogueless pictures (Pandora's Box [1929; often misdated 1928], Zemlya [1930], City Lights [1931]) and zero talkies in the Time Out poll. Time-out can mean: sport time-out, a break in play that may be called by a side to formulate strategy or respond to an players injury. ... LAtalante is a 1934 French film directed by Jean Vigo and starring Jean Dasté, Dita Parlo and Michel Simon. ... Jean Vigo (April 26, 1905 – October 5, 1934) was a short-lived French film director, who helped in the establishment of poetic realism in film in the 1930s and went on to be a posthumous influence on the French nouvelle vague of the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Bringing up Baby is a 1938 screwball comedy which tells the story of a scientist who winds up in various predicaments with a woman who has a unique sense of logic and a leopard named Baby. ... Howard Winchester Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. ... Pandoras Box (Die Büchse der Pandora) was a German silent film directed by G.W. Pabst and released in 1929. ... Earth (Russian and Ukrainian: Земля, translit. ... City Lights is a 1931 film written by, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. ...


Sound's short-term effect on cinematic art may be gauged in more detail by considering those movies from the transition period—the last years of commercial silent film production and the first years of talking pictures—in the West that are widely cited as masterpieces, as recorded in recent major media polls of all-time best international movies (though some listed as silent films, like Sunrise and City Lights, premiered with recorded scores and sound effects, they are now customarily referred to by historians and industry professionals as "silents"—spoken dialogue regarded as the crucial distinguishing factor between silent and sound dramatic cinema). From the six-year period 1927–32, eleven silent films are broadly recognized as masterpieces and only one talkie (TO= Time Out; VV=Village Voice; S&S=Sight & Sound):[98] The Village Voice is a New York City-based weekly newspaper featuring investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts reviews and events listings for New York City. ... Sight & Sound is a British monthly magazine about film. ...


Silent films

Peter Lorre in M (1931). "Many early talkies felt they had to talk all the time", writes Roger Ebert, "but [director Fritz] Lang allows his camera to prowl through the streets and dives, providing a rat's-eye view."
Peter Lorre in M (1931). "Many early talkies felt they had to talk all the time", writes Roger Ebert, "but [director Fritz] Lang allows his camera to prowl through the streets and dives, providing a rat's-eye view."[99]

Talkies The General is a 1927 silent comedy about a bumbling Confederate engineer (train driver) who pursues Union spies who steal his beloved locomotive, The General, which incidentally also carries his estranged girlfriend as well. ... For other uses, see Metropolis (disambiguation). ... Napoléon is an epic (1927) silent French film directed by Abel Gance that tells the story of the rise of Napoleon I of France. ... October: Ten Days That Shook The World (Russian: ; transliteration: ) is a Soviet silent film made in 1927 by Sergei Eisenstein, sometimes referred to simply as October in English. ... The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne dArc) was a silent film released in France in 1928 based on the trial records of Joan of Arc. ... Steamboat Bill Jr. ... Opening shot A street in the morning In this shot, Mikhail Kaufman acts as a cameraman risking his life in search of the best shot Man with a Movie Camera, sometimes The Man with the Movie Camera, The Man with a Camera, The Man With the Kinocamera, or Living Russia... Image File history File links LangM.jpg‎ publicity still from the original movie version of M (1931), directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre; fair use in sound film article representing first sound film broadly recognized as a masterpiece This work is a copyrighted publicity photograph. ... Image File history File links LangM.jpg‎ publicity still from the original movie version of M (1931), directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre; fair use in sound film article representing first sound film broadly recognized as a masterpiece This work is a copyrighted publicity photograph. ... Peter Lorre (June 26, 1904 – March 23, 1964), born László Löwenstein, was an Hungarian[1] - Austrian - American actor frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner. ... M (original German title: M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, M - a city in search of a murderer) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ... Friedrich Christian Anton Fritz Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of Expressionism. ... Friedrich Christian Anton Fritz Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of Expressionism. ...

  • 1927: negligible talkie production
  • 1928: none
  • 1929: none
  • 1930: none
  • 1931: M (Germany; VV 01, S&S 02)
  • 1932: none

The first sound feature film to receive near-universal critical approbation was Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel); premiering on April 1, 1930, it was directed by Josef von Sternberg in both German and English versions for Berlin's UFA studio. The first American talkie to be widely honored was All Quiet on the Western Front, directed by Lewis Milestone, which premiered April 21. The other internationally acclaimed sound drama of the year was Westfront 1918, directed by G. W. Pabst for Nero-Film of Berlin. Cultural historians consider the French L'Âge d'or, directed by Luis Buñuel, which appeared in October 1930, to be of great aesthetic import, though more as a signal expression of the surrealist movement than as cinema per se. The earliest sound movie now acknowledged by most film historians as a masterpiece is Nero-Film's M, directed by Fritz Lang, which premiered May 11, 1931. M (original German title: M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, M - a city in search of a murderer) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou. ... Der Blaue Engel (English: The Blue Angel) is a film directed by Josef von Sternberg in 1930, and is one of the most famous films made by Marlene Dietrich. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Josef von Sternberg (29 May 1894 – 22 December 1969) was an Austrian-American film director. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... All Quiet on the Western Front is the name of two films based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet on the Western Front, one a cinematic treatment directed by Lewis Milestone, the other a television film directed by Delbert Mann. ... Lewis Milestone (born Lev Milstein) (September 30, 1895 - September 25, 1980) was an accomplished, and award-winning motion picture director. ... is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Westfront 1918 is German director G.W. Pabsts 1930 film about World War I in Germany based on the novel Vier von der Infanterie by Ernst Johannsen. ... Georg Wilhelm Pabst (August 25, 1885 - May 29, 1967) was a film director. ... LÂge dOr (The Golden Age) is a 1930 surrealist film directed by Luis Buñuel and written by Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. The film was financed to the tune of a million francs by the nobleman Vicomte de Noailles, who commissioned a film every year for his... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Max Ernst. ... M (original German title: M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, M - a city in search of a murderer) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou. ... Friedrich Christian Anton Fritz Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of Expressionism. ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Cinematic form

Image of sumo wrestlers from Melodie der Welt (1929), "one of the initial successes of a new art form," in André Bazin's description. "It flung the whole earth onto the screen in a jigsaw of visual images and sounds."
Image of sumo wrestlers from Melodie der Welt (1929), "one of the initial successes of a new art form," in André Bazin's description. "It flung the whole earth onto the screen in a jigsaw of visual images and sounds."[100]

"Talking film is as little needed as a singing book."[101] Such was the blunt proclamation of critic Viktor Shklovsky, one of the leaders of the Russian formalist movement, in 1927. While some regarded sound as irreconcilable with film art, others saw it as opening a new field of creative opportunity. The following year, a group of Soviet filmmakers, including Sergei Eisenstein, proclaimed that the use of image and sound in juxtaposition, the so-called contrapuntal method, would raise the cinema to "unprecedented power and cultural height. Such a method for constructing the sound-film will not confine it to a national market, as must happen with the photographing of plays, but will give a greater possibility than ever before for the circulation throughout the world of a filmically expressed idea."[102] Image File history File links MDWimage. ... Image File history File links MDWimage. ... André Bazin on the cover of the third volume of the original edition of Quest-ce que le cinéma? André Bazin (April 18, 1918 – November 11, 1958) was a renowned and influential French film critic and film theorist. ... Viktor Borisovich Shklovsky (or Shklovskii) (January 24, 1893–December 6, 1984) was a Russian and Soviet critic, writer, and pamphleteer. ... // Introduction The distinctive feature of Russian Formalism is the emphasis on the functional role of literary devices and the original conception of the evolution of literary history. ... Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн) (January 23, 1898 – February 11, 1948) was a revolutionary Soviet Russian film director and film theorist noted in particular for his silent films Strike, Battleship Potemkin and Oktober. ...


On March 12, 1929, the first feature-length talking picture made in Germany had its premiere. The inaugural Tobis Filmkunst production, it was not a drama, but a documentary sponsored by a shipping line: Melodie der Welt (Melody of the World), directed by Walter Ruttmann.[103] This was also perhaps the first feature film anywhere to significantly explore the artistic possibilities of joining the motion picture with recorded sound. As described by scholar William Moritz, the movie is "intricate, dynamic, fast-paced...juxtapos[ing] similar cultural habits from countries around the world, with a superb orchestral score...and many synchronized sound effects."[104] Composer Lou Lichtveld was among a number of contemporary artists struck by the film: "Melodie der Welt became the first important sound documentary, the first in which musical and unmusical sounds were composed into a single unit and in which image and sound are controlled by one and the same impulse."[105] Melodie der Welt was a direct influence on the industrial film Philips Radio (1931), directed by Dutch avant-garde filmmaker Joris Ivens and scored by Lichtveld, who described its audiovisual aims: is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Walter Ruttmann (born December 28, 1887 in Frankfurt am Main; died July 15, 1941 in Berlin) was a German film director and along with Hans Richter the most important practitioner of experimental film. ... Sponsored film, or ephemeral film, as defined by film archivist Rick Prelinger, is film made by a particular sponsor for a specific purpose other than as a work of art: the films were designed to serve a specific pragmatic purpose for a limited time. ... Joris Ivens (November 18, 1898–June 28, 1989) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker and devout communist. ...

[T]o render the half-musical impressions of factory sounds in a complex audio world that moved from absolute music to the purely documentary noises of nature. In this film every intermediate stage can be found: such as the movement of the machine interpreted by the music, the noises of the machine dominating the musical background, the music itself is the documentary, and those scenes where the pure sound of the machine goes solo.[106]

Many similar experiments were pursued by Dziga Vertov in his 1931 Entuziazm and by Chaplin in Modern Times, a half-decade later.


A few innovative commercial directors immediately saw the ways in which sound could be employed as an integral part of cinematic storytelling, beyond the obvious function of recording speech. In Blackmail, Hitchcock manipulated the reproduction of a character's monologue so the word "knife" would leap out from a blurry stream of sound, reflecting the subjective impression of the protagonist, who is desperate to conceal her involvement in a fatal stabbing.[107] In his first film, the Paramount Applause (1929), Rouben Mamoulian created the illusion of acoustic depth by varying the volume of ambient sound in proportion to the distance of shots. At a certain point, Mamoulian wanted the audience to hear one character singing at the same time as another prays; according to the director, "They said we couldn't record the two things—the song and the prayer—on one mike and one channel. So I said to the sound man, 'Why not use two mikes and two channels and combine the two tracks in printing?'"[108] Such methods would eventually become standard procedure in popular filmmaking. Rouben Mamoulian (October 8, 1897 – December 4, 1987) was an American film and theatre director. ...

Writing soon after the 1931 release of Le Million, critic James Agate called it "one of the two best films I have ever seen. What the other one is I have no notion."[109]

One of the first commercial films to take full advantage of the new opportunities provided by recorded sound was Le Million, directed by René Clair and produced by Tobis's French division. Premiering in Paris in April 1931 and New York a month later, the picture was both a critical and popular success. A musical comedy with a barebones plot, it is memorable for its formal accomplishments, in particular, its emphatically artificial treatment of sound. As described by scholar Donald Crafton, Image File history File linksMetadata LeMillionPoster. ... Image File history File linksMetadata LeMillionPoster. ... Le Million is a 1931 musical/comedy film directed by René Clair. ... James Agate (1877-1947) was a British writer famous for his witticisms. ... Le Million is a 1931 musical/comedy film directed by René Clair. ... René Clair (November 11, 1898 – March 15, 1981) was a French filmmaker. ...

Le Million never lets us forget that the acoustic component is as much a construction as the whitewashed sets. [It] replaced dialogue with actors singing and talking in rhyming couplets. Clair created teasing confusions between on- and off-screen sound. He also experimented with asynchronous audio tricks, as in the famous scene in which a chase after a coat is synched to the cheers of an invisible football (or rugby) crowd.[110]

These and similar techniques became part of the vocabulary of the sound comedy film, though as special effects and "color", not as the basis for the kind of comprehensive, non-naturalistic design achieved by Clair. Outside of the comedic field, the sort of bold play with sound exemplified by Melodie der Welt and Le Million would be pursued very rarely in commercial production. Hollywood, in particular, incorporated sound into a reliable system of genre-based moviemaking, in which the formal possibilities of the new medium were subordinated to the traditional goals of star affirmation and straightforward storytelling. As accurately predicted in 1928 by Frank Woods, secretary of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, "The talking pictures of the future will follow the general line of treatment heretofore developed by the silent drama.... The talking scenes will require different handling, but the general construction of the story will be much the same."[111] Naturalism is a movement in theater, film, and literature that seeks to replicate a believable everyday reality, as opposed to such movements as Romanticism or Surrealism, in which subjects may receive highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment. ... For the gay mens lifestyle magazine, see Genre (magazine). ... Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood, California Founded on May 11, 1927 in California, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures. ...


See also

  • History of film
  • Sound stage
  • Film soundtrack
  • Category:Film sound production for articles concerning the development of cinematic sound recording

The History of film spans over a hundred years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st. ... Soundstage redirects here. ... A film soundtrack is the music that is from or inspired by a feature film. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Robinson (1997), p. 23.
  2. ^ Robertson (2001) claims that German inventor and filmmaker Oskar Messter began projecting sound motion pictures at 21 Unter den Linden in September 1896 (p. 168), but this seems to be an error. Koerber (1996) notes that after Messter acquired the Cinema Unter den Linden (located in the back room of a restaurant), it reopened under his management on September 21, 1896 (p. 53), but no source beside Robertson describes Messter as screening sound films before 1903.
  3. ^ Altman (2005), p. 158; Cosandey (1996).
  4. ^ Sound engineer Mark Ulano, in "The Movies Are Born a Child of the Phonograph" (part 2 of his essay "Moving Pictures That Talk"), describes the Phono-Cinéma-Théâtre version of synchronized sound cinema:

    This system used an operator adjusted non-linkage form of primitive synchronization. The scenes to be shown were first filmed, and then the performers recorded their dialogue or songs on the Lioretograph (usually a Le Eclat concert cylinder format phonograph) trying to match tempo with the projected filmed performance. In showing the films, synchronization of sorts was achieved by adjusting the hand cranked film projector's speed to match the phonograph. the projectionist was equipped with a telephone through which he listened to the phonograph which was located in the orchestra pit.

  5. ^ If there was a drawback to the Elgéphone, it was apparently not a lack of volume. Dan Gilmore describes its predecessor technology in his 2004 essay "What's Louder than Loud? The Auxetophone": "Was the Auxetophone loud? It was painfully loud." For a more detailed report of Auxetophone-induced discomfort, see The Auxetophone and Other Compressed-Air Gramophones.
  6. ^ Altman (2005), p. 158–165.
  7. ^ Eyman (1997), pp. 30–31.
  8. ^ Gomery (1985), pp. 54–55.
  9. ^ Erik Magnus Cambell [sic] Tigerstedt entry in Föreningen Svenskt Filmljud; A Country That Innovates essay by Kari Sipilä, part of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland's Virtual Finland website. See also A. M. Pertti Kuusela, E.M.C Tigerstedt "Suomen Edison" (Insinööritieto Oy: 1981).
  10. ^ Sponable (1947), part 2.
  11. ^ Crafton (1997), pp. 51–52; Moone (2004); Łotysz (2006). Note that Crafton and Łotysz describe the demonstration as taking place at an AIEE conference. Moone, writing for the journal of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, says the audience was "members of the Urbana chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers."
  12. ^ The information on the April 1923 Phonofilms screening contained in the main text is per the majority of available sources. A minority of sources claim, variously, that (a) the date was April 1, (b) the venue was the Rialto Theater, and/or (c) the feature, Bella Donna, had sound. The best piece of evidence in support of the majority description is the contemporary New York Times review of Bella Donna, which appeared on April 16 and which makes no reference to the film having any recorded sound at all.
  13. ^ A few sources indicate that the film was released in 1923, but the two most recent authoritative histories that discuss the film—Crafton (1997), p. 66; Hijiya (1992), p. 103—both give 1924. It is generally accepted that De Forest recorded a synchronized musical score for director Fritz Lang's Siegfried (1924) when it arrived in the United States the year after its German debut—which would make it the first feature film with synchronized sound throughout—but seemingly no two sources agree on when the recording took place or if the film was ever actually presented with synch-sound. The August 24, 1925, New York Times review of Siegfried, following its apparent American premiere at New York City's Century Theater the night before, describes a live orchestra performing the score. The De Forest recording was likely made then.
  14. ^ Quoted in Lasky (1989), p. 20.
  15. ^ Low (1997a), p. 203; Low (1997b), p. 183.
  16. ^ Crisp (1997), pp. 97–98; Crafton (1997), pp. 419–420.
  17. ^ Sponable (1947), part 4.
  18. ^ See Freeman Harrison Owens (1890–1979) entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. A number of sources erroneously state that Owens's and/or the Tri-Ergon patents were essential to the creation of the Fox-Case Movietone system.
  19. ^ Bradley (1996), p. 4; Gomery (2005), p. 29. Crafton (1997) misleadingly implies that Griffith's film had not previously been exhibited commercially before its sound-enhanced premiere. He also misidentifies Ralph Graves as Richard Grace (p. 58).
  20. ^
    Roy Smeck performing on the ukelele in the Vitaphone sound short His Pastimes (1926).
    Roy Smeck performing on the ukelele in the Vitaphone sound short His Pastimes (1926).
    The eight musical shorts were Caro Nome, An Evening on the Don, La Fiesta, His Pastimes, The Kreutzer Sonata, Mischa Elman, Overture "Tannhäuser", and Vesti La Giubba.
  21. ^ Motion Picture Sound 1910–1929 and Sound Recording Research at Bell Labs detailed chronologies; part of Steven E. Schoenherr's Recording Technology History resource.
  22. ^ Gomery (2005), pp. 42, 50. See also Motion Picture Sound 1910–1929, perhaps the best online source for details on these developments, though here it fails to note that Fox's original deal for the Western Electric technology involved a sublicensing arrangement.
  23. ^ Gomery (2005), p. 51.
  24. ^ Lasky (1989), pp. 21–22.
  25. ^ Glancy (1995), p. 4 [online]. The previous highest-grossing Warner Bros. film was Don Juan, which Glancy notes earned $1.693 million, foreign and domestic. Historian Douglas Crafton (1997) seeks to downplay the "total domestic gross income" of The Jazz Singer, $1.97 million (p. 528), but that figure alone would have constituted a record for the studio. Crafton's claim that The Jazz Singer "was in a distinct second or third tier of attractions compared to the most popular films of the day and even other Vitaphone talkies" (p. 529) offers a skewed perspective. While the movie was no match for the half-dozen biggest hits of the decade, the available evidence suggests that it was one of the three highest-earning films released in 1927 and that overall its performance was comparable to the other two, The King of Kings and Wings. It is undisputed that its total earnings were more than double those of the next four Vitaphone talkies; the first three of which, according to Glancy's analysis of in-house Warner Bros. figures, "earned just under $1,000,000 each", and the fourth, Lights of New York, a quarter-million more.
  26. ^ Crafton (1997), p. 148.
  27. ^ Crafton (1997), p. 140.
  28. ^ Hirschhorn (1979), pp. 59, 60.
  29. ^ Glancy (1995), pp. 4–5. Schatz (1998) says the production cost of Lights of New York totaled $75,000 (p. 64). Even if this number is accurate, the rate of return was still over 1,600%.
  30. ^ Robertson (2001), p. 180.
  31. ^ Crafton (1997) describes the term's derivation: "The skeptical press disparigingly referred to these [retrofitted films] as 'goat glands'...from outrageous cures for impotency practiced in the 1920s, including restorative elixers, tonics, and surgical procedures. It implied that producers were trying to put some new life into their old films" (pp. 168–169).
  32. ^ The first official releases from RKO (which produced only all-talking pictures) appeared still later in the year, but after the October 1928 merger that created it, the company put out a number of talkies produced by its FBO constituent.
  33. ^ Crafton (1997), pp. 169–171, 253–254.
  34. ^ In 1931, two Hollywood studios would release special projects without spoken dialogue (now customarily classified as "silents"): Charles Chaplin's City Lights (United Artists) and F. W. Murnau and Robert Flaherty's Tabu (Paramount). The last totally silent feature produced in the United States for general distribution was The Poor Millionaire, released by Biltmore Pictures in April 1930. Four other silent features, all low-budget Westerns, were also released in 1930 (Robertson [2001], p. 173).
  35. ^ As Thomas J. Saunders (1994) reports, it premiered the same month in Berlin, but as a silent. "Not until June 1929 did Berlin experience the sensation of sound as New York had in 1927—a premiere boasting dialogue and song": The Singing Fool (p. 224). In Paris, The Jazz Singer had its sound premiere in January 1929 (Crisp [1997], p. 101).
  36. ^ Low (1997a), p. 191.
  37. ^ How the Pictures Learned to Talk: The Emergence of German Sound Film historical survey; part of the filmportal.de website.
  38. ^ Low (1997a), pp. 178, 203–205; Low (1997b), p. 183; Der Rote Kreis Deutsches Filminstitut entry; Crafton (1997), pp. 432. Note also that IMDb.com incorrectly refers to Der Rote Kreis/The Crimson Circle as a British International Pictures (BIP) coproduction (it also spells Zelnik's first name "Frederic"). The authentic BIP production Kitty is sometimes included among the candidates for "first British talkie." In fact, the film was produced and premiered as a silent for its original 1928 release. The stars later came to New York to record dialogue, with which the film was rereleased in June 1929, after much better credentialed candidates. See sources cited above.
  39. ^ Quoted in Spoto (1984), p. 136.
  40. ^ Wagenleitner (1994), p. 253; Robertson (2001), p. 10.
  41. ^ Jelavich (2006), pp. 215–216; Crafton (1997), p. 595, n. 59.
  42. ^ Crisp (1997), p. 103; Epinay ville du cinéma part of the Epinay-sur-Seine municipal website; Le Collier de la reine All Movie Guide description by Hal Erickson; Le cinéma français en 1930 chronology also covering 1929; part of the Cine-studies website. In his 2002 book Genre, Myth, and Convention in the French Cinema, 1929–1939 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), Crisp says that Le Collier de la reine was "'merely' sonorized, not dialogued" (p. 381), but all other available detailed descriptions (including his own from 1997) mention a dialogue sequence. Note also that Crisp gives October 31 as the debut date of Les Trois masques and Cine-studies gives its release ("sortie") date as November 2. Note finally, where Crisp defines in Genre, Myth, and Convention a "feature" as being a minimum of sixty minutes long, this article follows the equally common, and Wikipedia-prevalent, standard of forty minutes or longer.
  43. ^ Crisp (1997), p. 103.
  44. ^ Chapman (2003), p. 82; Chronomedia: 1929 chronology of media developments during the year—part of the Terra Media website.
  45. ^ See the January 25, 1930, New York Times review for a description.
  46. ^ Carné (1932), p. 105.
  47. ^ Haltof (2002), p. 24.
  48. ^ See Nichols and Bazzoni (1995), p. 98, for a description of La Canzone dell'amore and its premiere.
  49. ^ According to Il Cinema Ritrovato, the program for XXI Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero (Bologna; November 22–29, 1992), the film was shot in Paris. According to the IMDb entry on the film, it was a Czech-German coproduction. The two claims are not necessarily contradictory. According to the Czech-Slovak Film Database, it was shot as a silent film in Germany. Per CSFD, soundtracks for Czech, German, and French versions were then recorded at the Gaumont studio in the Paris suburb of Joinville.
  50. ^
    Poster for Acabaram-se os otários (1929), performed in Portuguese. The first Brazilian talkie was also the first anywhere in an Iberian language.
    See Robertson (2001), pp. 10–14. Robertson claims Switzerland produced its first talkie in 1930, but it has not been possible to independently confirm this. The first talkies from Finland, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, and Turkey appeared in 1931, the first talkies from Ireland (English-language) and Spain and the first in Slovak in 1932, the first Dutch talkie in 1933, and the first Bulgarian talkie in 1934. In the Americas, the first Canadian talkie came out in 1929—North of '49 was a remake of the previous year's silent His Destiny. The first Brazilian talkie, Acabaram-se os otários (The End of the Simpletons), also appeared in 1929. That year, as well, the first Yiddish talkies were produced in New York: East Side Sadie (originally a silent), followed by Ad Mosay (The Eternal Prayer) (Crafton [1997], p. 414). Sources differ on whether Más fuerte que el deber, the first Mexican (and Spanish-language) talkie, came out in 1930 or 1931. The first Argentine talkie appeared in 1931 and the first Chilean talkie in 1934. Robertson asserts that the first Cuban feature talkie was a 1930 production called El Caballero de Max; every other published source surveyed cites La Serpiente roja (1937). Nineteen-thirty-one saw the first talkie produced on the African continent: South Africa's Mocdetjie, in Afrikaans. Egypt's Arabic Onchoudet el Fouad (1932) and Morocco's French-language Itto (1934) followed.
  51. ^ Several sources name Zemlya zhazhdet (The Earth Is Thirsty), directed by Yuli Raizman, as the first Soviet sound feature. Originally produced and premiered as a silent in 1930, it was rereleased with a non-talking, music-and-effects soundtrack the following year.
  52. ^ Crisp (1997), p. 101; Crafton (1997), p. 155.
  53. ^ Crisp (1997), p. 101–102.
  54. ^ Kenez (2001), p. 123.
  55. ^ Burch (1979), pp. 145–146. Note that Burch misdates Madamu to nyobo as 1932. He also incorrectly claims that Ozu Yasujiro and Naruse Mikio made no sound films before 1936. In fact, Ozu's Hakoiri musume (An Innocent Maid, aka The Young Virgin) and Naruse's Tsuma yo bara no yo ni (Wife! Be Like a Rose!), both acclaimed talking features, were produced and released in 1935.
  56. ^ Anderson and Richie (1982), p. 77.
  57. ^ Freiberg (1987), p. 76.
  58. ^ Quoted in Freiberg (1987), p. 76.
  59. ^ A Page of Madness (1927) interview with Mariann Lewinsky by Jasper Sharp, March 7, 2002; part of the Midnight Eye website.
  60. ^ See Freiburg (2000), "The Film Industry."
  61. ^ Quoted in Chatterji (1999), "The History of Sound."
  62. ^ Reade (1981), pp. 79–80.
  63. ^ Chronomedia: 1930; The Early Talkie part of the Film City website.
  64. ^ Pradeep (2006); Narasimham (2006); Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (2002), p. 254; Tamil Cinema History—The Early Days: 1916–1936 part of the IndoLink Tamil Cinema website.
  65. ^ Chapman (2003), p. 328; Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (2002), p. 255; Chatterji (1999), "The First Sound Films"; Bhuyan (2006), "Alam Ara: Platinum Jubilee of Sound in Indian Cinema." In March 1934 came the release of the first Kannada talking picture, Sathi Sulochana (Guy [2004]); Bhakta Dhruva (aka Dhruva Kumar) was released soon after, though it was actually completed first (Rajadhyaksha and Willemen [2002], pp. 258, 260). A few websites refer to the 1932 version of Heer Ranjha as the first Punjabi talkie; the most reliable sources all agree, however, that it is performed in Hindustani. The first Punjabi-language film is Pind di Kuri (aka Sheila; 1935). The first Assamese-language film, Joymati, also came out in 1935. Many websites echo each other in dating the first Oriya talkie, Sita Bibaha, as 1934, but the most authoritative and most detailed sources to definitively date it both give 1936 (Chapman [2003], p. 328; "Sita Bibaha: The First Oriya Cellulolid Romance" essay by Saswat Pattanayak—part of the Ornet Archives discussion list). The Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (2002) entry gives "1934?" (p. 260).
  66. ^ Lai (2000), "The Cantonese Arena."
  67. ^ "Korean Cinema and Hollywood" essay by Oh Sungji; "Formation of Korean Film Industry Under Japanese Occupation" essay by Noh Kwang-Woo.
  68. ^ Millard (2005), p. 189.
  69. ^ Bordwell (1985), pp. 300–301, 302.
  70. ^ Bordwell and Thompson (1995), p. 124; Bordwell (1985), pp. 301, 302. Note that Bordwell's assertion in the earlier text, "Until the late 1930s, the post-dubbing of voices gave poor fidelity, so most dialogue was recorded direct" (p. 302), refers to a 1932 source. His later (coauthored) description, which refers to the viability of looping in 1935, appears to replace the earlier one, as it should: in fact, then and now, "most" movie dialogue is recorded direct.
  71. ^ See Bernds (1999), part 1.
  72. ^ See Crafton (1997), pp. 142–145.
  73. ^ Crafton (1997), p. 435.
  74. ^ "Outcome of Paris" (1930).
  75. ^
    Example of a variable-area sound track—the width of the white area is proportional to the amplitude of the audio signal at each instant.
    Crafton (1997), p. 160.
  76. ^ Thomson (1998), p. 732.
  77. ^ See Crafton (1997), pp. 461, 491, 498–501, 508.
  78. ^ Brooks (1956).
  79. ^ See Dardis (1980), pp. 190–191, for an analysis of the profitability of Keaton's early sound films.
  80. ^ American Federation of Musicians/History "1927 – With the release of the first 'talkie,' The Jazz Singer, orchestras in movie theaters were displaced. The AFM had its first encounter with wholesale unemployment brought about by technology. Within three years, 22,000 theater jobs for musicians who accompanied silent movies were lost, while only a few hundred jobs for musicians performing on soundtracks were created by the new technology. 1928 – While continuing to protest the loss of jobs due to the use of 'canned music' with motion pictures, the AFM set minimum wage scales for Vitaphone, Movietone and phonograph record work. Because synchronizing music with pictures for the movies was particularly difficult, the AFM was able to set high prices for this work."
  81. ^ Hubbard (1985), p. 429.
  82. ^ "Canned Music on Trial" part of Duke University's Ad*Access project. The text of the ad continues:

    Is Music Worth Saving?
    No great volume of evidence is required to answer this question. Music is a well-nigh universally beloved art. From the beginning of history, men have turned to musical expression to lighten the burdens of life, to make them happier. Aborigines, lowest in the scale of savagery, chant their song to tribal gods and play upon pipes and shark-skin drums. Musical development has kept pace with good taste and ethics throughout the ages, and has influenced the gentler nature of man more powerfully perhaps than any other factor. Has it remained for the Great Age of Science to snub the Art by setting up in its place a pale and feeble shadow of itself?
    American Federation of Musicians (Comprising 140,000 musicians in the United States and Canada), Joseph N. Weber, President. Broadway, New York City. is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Friedrich Christian Anton Fritz Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of Expressionism. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File linksMetadata HisPastimes. ... Image File history File linksMetadata HisPastimes. ... Cover of a 1928 instructional book for ukulele by Roy Smeck, the Wizard of the Strings. ... For other uses, see King of Kings (disambiguation). ... Wings is a 1927 silent movie about World War I fighter pilots produced and released by Paramount Pictures. ... The Lights of New York (1928) was the first ever feature film that had complete sound sychronization. ... For the Jamaican musician named Charlie Chaplin, see Charlie Chaplin (singer). ... City Lights is a 1931 film written by, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 - March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... Robert Joseph Flaherty (February 16, 1884, Iron Mountain, Michigan, United States - July 23, 1951, Dummerston, Vermont) was a filmmaker who directed and produced the first feature length documentary (Nanook of the North) in 1922. ... Tabu (also called Tabu, a Story of the South Seas) is a 1931 film which tells the story of two lovers in the South Seas, who must escape their village when the girl is chosen as the holy maid to the gods. ... Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC), originally British International Pictures (BIP), was a British film production company active from 1927 until 1970. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 306th day of the year (307th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Joinville-le-Pont is a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (257x867, 80 KB) low-res image of poster for Acabaram-se os otários (The End of the Simpletons; 1929); fair use in sound film article representing the first Brazilian and Portuguese-language sound film This image is of a movie... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (257x867, 80 KB) low-res image of poster for Acabaram-se os otários (The End of the Simpletons; 1929); fair use in sound film article representing the first Brazilian and Portuguese-language sound film This image is of a movie... This article is about a subdivision of the Romance language family. ... Yasujiro Ozu (小津 安二郎 Ozu Yasujirō) (December 12, 1903 - December 12, 1963) was an influential Japanese film director. ... Mikio Naruse Mikio Naruse (成瀬巳喜男 Naruse Mikio) (August 20, 1905 – July 2, 1969) was a Japanese film director, writer and producer who directed some 89 films spanning from the end of the silent era (1930) through the sixties (1967). ... Heer Ranjha (Punjabi: , ) is one of the four popular tragic romances of the Punjab. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 338 × 598 pixelsFull resolution (1288 × 2280 pixel, file size: 518 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This photo was made by me and my wife, and is released into the public domain as far as we are concerned, the underlying image is... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 338 × 598 pixelsFull resolution (1288 × 2280 pixel, file size: 518 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This photo was made by me and my wife, and is released into the public domain as far as we are concerned, the underlying image is... This article is about audible acoustic waves. ...

  83. ^ Oderman (2000), p. 188.
  84. ^ "Talking Movies" (1926).
  85. ^ Gomery (1985), pp. 66–67. Gomery describes the difference in profits simply between 1928 and 1929, but it seems clear from the figures cited that he is referring to the fiscal years that ended September 30. The fiscal year roughly paralleled (but was still almost a month off from) the traditional Hollywood programming year—the prime exhibition season began the first week of September with Labor Day and ran through Memorial Day at the end of May; this was followed by a fourteen-week "open season", when films with minimal expectations were released and many theaters shut down for the hot summer months. See Crafton (1997), pp. 183, 268.
  86. ^ Finler (1988), p. 34.
  87. ^ Segrave (1997) gives the figures as 282 million feet in 1929 compared to 222 million feet the year before (p. 79). Incredibly, Crafton (1997) reports the new mark this way: "Exports in 1929 set a new record: 282,215,480 feet (against the old record of 9,000,000 feet in 1919)" (p. 418). What old record? In 1913, for instance, the U.S. exported 32 million feet of exposed film (Segrave [1997], p. 65). Note also that Crafton says of the 1929 exports, "Of course, most of this footage was silent," though he provides no figures (p. 418). In contrast, if not necessarily contradiction, Segrave points to the following: "At the very end of 1929 the New York Times reported that most U.S. talkies went abroad as originally created for domestic screening" (p. 77).
  88. ^
    All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, was the first American sound film to win near-universal critical praise. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
    Eckes and Zeiler (2003), p. 102.
  89. ^ Jewell (1982), p. 9.
  90. ^ Schatz (1998), p. 70.
  91. ^ Quoted in Ganti (2004), p. 11.
  92. ^ Ganti (2004), p. 11.
  93. ^ Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (2002), p. 254; Joshi (2003), p. 14.
  94. ^ Guy (2004); Tamil Cinema History—The Early Days: 1916–1936.
  95. ^ Rajadhyaksha and Willemen (2002), pp. 30, 32.
  96. ^ Quoted in Agate (1972), p. 82.
  97. ^ Quoted in Chapman (2003), p. 93.
  98. ^ Time Out Film Guide (2000), pp. x–xi (top 100 poll conducted in 1995); Village Voice: 100 Best Films of the 20th Century (2001) posted on the filmsite.org website; Sight and Sound Top Ten Poll 2002 listing all 60 films to receive five or more votes.
  99. ^ Ebert (2002), p. 277.
  100. ^ Bazin (1967), p. 155.
  101. ^ Quoted in Kenez (2001), p. 123.
  102. ^ Eisenstein (1928), p. 259.
  103. ^ There is disagreement on the running time of the film. The Deutsches Filminstitut's webpage on the film gives 48 minutes; the 35 Millimeter website's entry gives 40 minutes. According to filmportal.de, it is "some 40 minutes."
  104. ^ Moritz (2003), p. 25.
  105. ^ Quoted in Dibbets (1999), pp. 85–86.
  106. ^ Quoted in Dibbets (1999), p. 85.
  107. ^ See Spoto (1984), pp. 132–133; Truffaut (1984), pp. 63–65.
  108. ^ Milne (1980), p. 659. See also Crafton (1997), pp. 334–338.
  109. ^ Agate (1972), p. 98.
  110. ^ Crafton (1997), p. 377.
  111. ^ Quoted in Bordwell (1985), p. 298. See also Bordwell and Thompson (1995), p. 125.

Image File history File linksMetadata AllQuietWesternFrontPosterA.jpg‎ low-res-image of poster for All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), the first American sound film to receive near-universal critical praise This image is being linked here; though the picture is subject to copyright I (DCGeist) feel it is covered... Image File history File linksMetadata AllQuietWesternFrontPosterA.jpg‎ low-res-image of poster for All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), the first American sound film to receive near-universal critical praise This image is being linked here; though the picture is subject to copyright I (DCGeist) feel it is covered... All Quiet on the Western Front is the name of two films based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet on the Western Front, one a cinematic treatment directed by Lewis Milestone, the other a television film directed by Delbert Mann. ... Erich Maria Remarque (June 22, 1898 – September 25, 1970) was the pseudonym of Erich Paul Remark, a German author. ...

Sources

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  • Bernds, Edward (1999). Mr. Bernds Goes to Hollywood: My Early Life and Career in Sound Recording at Columbia With Frank Capra and Others. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press (excerpted online). ISBN 0-8108-3602-5
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  • Bordwell, David (1985). "The Introduction of Sound," chap. in Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson, The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style & Mode of Production to 1960, pp. 298–308. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-06054-8
  • Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson (1995 [1993]). "Technological Change and Classical Film Style," chap. in Balio, Tino, Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930–1939, pp. 109–141. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20334-8
  • Bradley, Edwin M. (1996). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927 Through 1932. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-2029-4
  • Bradley, Edwin M. (2005). The First Hollywood Sound Shorts, 1926–1931. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1030-2
  • Brooks, Louise (1956). "Mr. Pabst," Image, no. 5, September 7.
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  • Carné, Marcel (1932). "Cinema and the World," trans. Claudia Gorbman, in French Film Theory and Criticism: A History/Anthology, 1907–1939. Volume 2: 1929–1939, ed. Richard Abel, pp. 102–105. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05518-1
  • Chapman, James (2003). Cinemas of the World: Film and Society from 1895 to the Present. London: Reaktion Books. ISBN 1-86189-162-8
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  • Cosandey, Roland (1996). "François (or Franz) Dussaud (1870–1953)," in Who's Who of Victorian Cinema: A Worldwide Survey, ed. Stephen Herbert and Luke McKernan. London: BFI Publishing (available online). ISBN 0-85170-539-1
  • Crafton, Donald (1997). The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926–1931. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. ISBN 0-684-19585-2
  • Crisp, Colin G. (1997). The Classic French Cinema, 1930–1960. Bloomington/London: Indiana University Press/I. B. Tauris. ISBN 0-253-21115-8
  • Dardis, Tom (1980 [1979]). Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down. Middlesex, England, and New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-005701-3
  • Dibbets, Karel (1999). "High-tech Avant-garde: Philips Radio," in Joris Ivens and the Documentary Context, ed. Kees Bakker, pp. 72–86. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 90-5356-425-X
  • Ebert, Roger (2002). The Great Movies. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1038-9
  • Eckes, Alfred E. and Thomas W. Zeiler (2003). Globalization and the American Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80409-4
  • Eisenstein, Sergei et al. (1928). "A Statement," in his Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (1957 [1949]), trans. Jay Leyda, pp. 257–260. New York: Meridian (available online).
  • Eyman, Scott (1997). The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution 1926–1930. New York: Simon & Schuster (chapter 1 available online). ISBN 0-684-81162-6
  • Finler, Joel W. (1988). The Hollywood Story. New York: Crown. ISBN 0-517-56576-5
  • Freiberg, Freda (1987). "The Transition to Sound in Japan," in History on/and/in Film, ed. Tom O'Regan and Brian Shoesmith, pp. 76–80. Perth: History & Film Association of Australia (available online).
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  • Gomery, Douglas (1985). "The Coming of Sound: Technological Change in the American Film Industry," in Technology and Culture—The Film Reader (2005), ed. Andrew Utterson, pp. 53–67. Oxford and New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-31984-6
  • Gomery, Douglas (2005). The Coming of Sound: A History. New York and Oxon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-96900-X
  • Guy, Randor (2004). "First Film to Talk in Kannada," The Hindu, December 31 (available online).
  • Haltof, Marek (2002). Polish National Cinema. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books. ISBN 1-57181-275-X
  • Hijiya, James A. (1992). Lee De Forest and the Fatherhood of Radio. Cranbury, N.J., and London: Associated University Presses. ISBN 0-934223-23-8
  • Hirschhorn, Clive (1979). The Warner Bros. Story. New York: Crown. ISBN 0-517-53834-2
  • Hubbard, Preston J. (1985). "Synchronized Sound and Movie-House Musicians, 1926–29," American Music, vol. 3, no. 4, Winter.
  • Jelavich, Peter (2006). Berlin Alexanderplatz: Radio, Film, and the Death of Weimar Culture. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-24363-3
  • Jewell, Richard B., with Vernon Harbin (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House/Crown. ISBN 0-517-54656-6
  • Joshi, Lalit Mohan (2003). Bollywood: Popular Indian Cinema. London: Dakini. ISBN 0-9537032-2-3
  • Kenez, Peter (2001). Cinema and Soviet Society from the Revolution to the Death of Stalin. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-86064-632-8
  • Koerber, Martin (1996). "Oskar Messter, Film Pioneer: Early Cinema Between Science, Spectacle, and Commerce," in A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades, ed. Thomas Elsaesser, pp. 51–61. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 90-5356-172-2
  • Lai, Linda (2000). "Hong Kong Cinema in the 1930s: Docility, Social Hygiene, Pleasure-Seeking & the Consolidation of the Film Industry," Screening the Past, no. 11, November 1 (available online).
  • Lasky, Betty (1989). RKO: The Biggest Little Major of Them All. Santa Monica, Calif.: Roundtable. ISBN 0-915677-41-5
  • Liebman, Roy (2003). Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1279-8
  • Łotysz, Sławomir (2006). "Contributions of Polish Jews: Joseph Tykociński–Tykociner (1877–1969), Pioneer of Sound on Film," Gazeta, vol. 13, no. 3, winter–spring (available online).
  • Low, Rachael (1997a [1971]). The History of the British Film 1918–1929 (The History of British Film, Volume IV). Oxford and New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-15649-1
  • Low, Rachael (1997b [1985]). The History of the British Film 1929–1939: Film Making in 1930s Britain (The History of British Film, Volume VII). Oxford and New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-15451-0
  • Millard, Andre J. (2005). America on Record: A History of Recorded Sound, 2d ed. Cambridge et al.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83515-1
  • Milne, Tom (1980). "Rouben Mamoulian," in Cinema: A Critical Dictionary, ed. Richard Roud, pp. 658–663. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-22257-7
  • Moone, Tom (2004). "Joseph Tykociner: Pioneer of Sound on Film," Ingenuity, vol. 9, no. 1, March (available online).
  • Moritz, William (2003). Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-86196-634-1
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  • Oderman, Stuart (2000). Lillian Gish: A Life on Stage and Screen. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0644-5
  • "Outcome of Paris: Accord Signed/Total Interchangeability—Globe Divided into Three Patent Zones—Patent Exchange" (1930), Film-Kurier, July 22 (available online).
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  • Reade, Eric (1981 [1979]). History and Heartburn: The Saga of Australian Film, 1896–1978. East Brunswick, N.J.: Associated University Presses. ISBN 0-8386-3082-0
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  • Segrave, Kerry (1997). American Films Abroad: Hollywood's Domination of the World's Movie Screens from the 1890s to the Present. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0346-2
  • Sponable, E. I. (1947). "Historical Development of Sound Films", Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, vol. 48, nos. 4–5, April/May (available online).
  • Spoto, Donald (1984 [1983]). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 0-345-31462-X
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  • Truffaut, François (1984 [1983]). Hitchcock, rev. ed. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-52601-4
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The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (titled A Biographical Dictionary of Film in early editions) is a non-fiction reference book written by film critic David Thomson and originally published in 1975. ...

External links

  • "Documentary and the Coming of Sound" essay on the impact of synch-sound on nonfiction film by scholar Bill Nichols
  • Edison: The Marriage of Sight and Sound brief discussion of Edison's experiments; part of the Library of Congress/Inventing Entertainment website
  • Film Sound History well-organized bibliography of online articles and resources; part of the FilmSound website
  • Hollywood Goes for Sound charts showing transition to sound production by Hollywood studios, 1928–1929; part of the Terra Media website
  • "Hollywood Learns to Sing" essay on early film musicals by John Kenrick
  • "Let's Hear It for Sound" essay on the positive effects of sound on cinema technology by Bob Allen
  • "Moving Pictures That Talk" essay by audio engineer and historian Mark Ulano
  • 100 Years of Cinema Loudspeakers detailed chronology by John Aldred
  • Progressive Silent Film List (PSFL)/Early Sound Films comprehensive and detailed listing of first generation of sound films from around the world; part of the Silent Era website
  • Recording Technology History extensive chronology of developments, including subsites, by Steven E. Schoenherr; see, in particular, Motion Picture Sound
  • A Selected Bibliography of Sound and Music for Moving Pictures compiled by Miguel Mera, Royal College of Music, London; part of the School of Sound website
  • The Silent Film Bookshelf links to crucial primary and secondary source documents, a number of which cover the era of transition to sound
  • "The Sound of Sound" essay on theatrical sound reproduction by historian Rick Altman
  • Sound Stage—The History of Motion Picture Sound informative illustrated survey; part of the American WideScreen Museum website
  • The Speed of Sound chapter 1 of book by historian Scott Eyman; excerpt focuses on developments through the mid-1920s
  • Vitaphone Varieties essays by amateur motion picture historian Jeff Cohen on the system and the films made with it
  • "Why The Jazz Singer?" essay speculating on the basic source of the film's impact by Bob Allen (note that Allen erroneously describes The Jazz Singer as "one of the big box office hits of all time"—it was not)
  • "'You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet, Folks—Listen to This!': The Sound that Shook Hollywood" article on the transition to sound by historian Guy Flatley; part of the MovieCrazed website

Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ...

Historical writings

  • "The Art of Sound" May 1929 essay by filmmaker and critic René Clair
  • "Asynchronism as a Principle of Sound Film" 1934 essay by filmmaker and theorist V. I. Pudovkin
  • "Dialogue and Sound" essay by film historian and critic Siegfried Kracauer; first published in his book Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (1960)
  • "The Film to Come" essay by producer and composer Guido Bagier; first published in Film-Kurier, January 7, 1928
  • Handbook for Projectionists technical manual covering all major U.S. systems; issued by RCA Photophone, 1930
  • "Historical Development of Sound Films" chronology by sound-film pioneer E. I. Sponable; first published in Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, April/May 1947
  • "Madam, Will You Talk?" article on the history of Bell Laboratories' early research into sound film, by Stanley Watkins, Western Electric engineer; first published in Bell Laboratories Record, August 1946
  • "Merger of the Sound Film Industry—The Founding Agenda of Tobis" corporate manifesto first published in Film-Kurier, July 20, 1928
  • "The Official Communiqué: Foundations of the Sound-Film Accord Sales Prospects for the German Electronics Industry" article first published in Film-Kurier, July 23, 1930
  • Operating Instructions for Synchronous Reproducing Equipment technical manual for Western Electric theatrical sound projector system; issued by ERPI, December 1928
  • "Outcome of Paris: Accord Signed/Total Interchangeability—Globe Divided into Three Patent Zones—Patent Exchange" article first published in Film-Kurier, July 22, 1930
  • "The Singing Fool" review by film theorist and critic Rudolf Arnheim, ca. 1929
  • "Sound-Film Confusion" 1929 essay by Rudolf Arnheim
  • "Sound Here and There" essay by composer Paul Dessau; first published in Der Film, August 1, 1929
  • "Sound in Films" essay by director Alberto Cavalcanti; first published in Films, November 1939
  • "A Statement" polemic arguing for contrapuntal use of cinematic sound by Soviet filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein, V. I. Pudovkin, and G. V. Alexandrov; first published in Zhizn iskusstva (Life of the Art), August 5, 1928
  • "Theory of the Film: Sound" 1945 essay by film theorist and critic Béla Balázs
  • "What Radio Has Meant to Talking Movies" prescient essay by Universal sound engineer Charles Feldstead; first published in Radio News, April 1931

René Clair (November 11, 1898 – March 15, 1981) was a French filmmaker. ... Vsevolod Pudovkin Vsevolod Illarionovich Pudovkin (Russian: ) (February 16, 1893 - June 20, 1953) was a Russian film director who developed influential theories of montage. ... Siegfried Kracauer (February 8, 1889, Frankfurt am Main, Germany – November 26, 1966, New York) was a German-American writer, journalist, sociologist, and cultural critic, particularly of media such as film, as well as the urban form. ... Rudolf Arnheim (July 15, 1904 — June 9, 2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist and perceptual psychologist. ... Paul Dessau (b. ... Alberto de Almeida Cavalcanti (February 6, 1897 – August 23, 1982) was a Brazilian-born film director and producer. ... Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн) (January 23, 1898 – February 11, 1948) was a revolutionary Soviet Russian film director and film theorist noted in particular for his silent films Strike, Battleship Potemkin and Oktober. ... Béla Balázs (August 4, 1884, Szeged – May 17, 1949, Budapest), born Herbert Bauer, was a Hungarian-Jewish film critic, aesthete, writer and poet. ...

Historical recordings

  • Ben Bernie and All the Lads excerpts from ca. 1924 Phonofilm sound film; part of The Red Hot Jazz Archive website
  • Dickson Experimental Sound Film discussion by restoration editor Walter Murch and clips of 1894/95 Edison sound film
  • A Few Minutes With Eddie Cantor 1924 Phonofilm sound film; part of Archive.org
  • President Coolidge, Taken on the White House Lawn 1924 Phonofilm sound film; part of Archive.org
  • Sound-on-Film brief discussion accompanied by Quicktime version of 1930s Bell Labs cartoon describing the process, with available transcript; part of the IEEE Virtual Museum website
  • Voice Trial—Kinetophone Actor Audition by Frank Lenord mp3 audio file of undated audition
  • Voice Trial—Kinetophone Actor Audition by Siegfried Von Schultz mp3 audio file of undated audition
Walter Murch speaking 13 March 2005 Walter Scott Murch (born July 12, 1943) is an Academy Award–winning film editor/sound mixer. ...

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Sound recording and the ability to photograph and reproduce motion pictures began intersecting at the very beginning, 1895!!!!.
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