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VitagraphAmerica's First Great Motion Picture Studio$
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Andrew A. Erish

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780813181196

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813181196.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022



(p.58) 3 1909–1913

Andrew A. Erish

University Press of Kentucky

Chapter Three charts Vitagraph's ascendency in becoming the world's leader in motion picture production, during which time the company earned one million dollars in annual net profit. This was derived exclusively from foreign earnings due to the mismanagement of the Patents Company's domestic distribution arm. Part of Vitagraph's popularity is attributed to the crediting and promotion of its actors via the creation of the first trade and fan magazines devoted exclusively to the movies. There are in-depth profiles of such leading players "Vitagraph Girl" Florence Turner, matinee idol Maurice Costello, and comedian John Bunny, who was widely regarded as the most recognizable man in the world. The significance of Vitagraph's Los Angeles studio in the production of popular Westerns is considered. The chapter also includes an analysis of the company's development of a sophisticated cinematography aesthetic to complement particular narratives, an approach that later came to be labeled "film noir".

Keywords:   General Film, Maurice Costello, John Bunny, movie star, fan magazine, production company, Westerns, situation comedies, cinematographer, film noir

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