Phantasmagoria

The Magic Lantern Shows that Influenced Modern Horror

Eighteenth and early nineteenth century audiences were delighted and horrified by these spectral apparitions conjured in dark rooms.
Mae West Belle of the Nineties

The End of American Film Censorship

The Hays Code, a censorship system that saw movies as "business, pure and simple," kept Hollywood on a short leash... until a 1952 Supreme Court decision declared it unconstitutional.
America Under Communism

How Hollywood Thrived Through the Red Scare

A young Richard Nixon started asking studio executives why they didn't produce anti-Communist movies. The studios quickly responded with anti-Red films.
Old movie theater

Weirdly Enough, Movies about TV Prepared America for TV

Ironically, it was movies that helped accustom American viewers to television in the first place, writes Richard Koszarski.
Winnetou

Why East Germany Loved the Wild West

During the Cold War, both the West and East Germany film industries made popular westerns. Yes, westerns. What was that all about?
James Comey

The FBI Goes to the Movies

In its hunt for communists in Hollywood, the FBI criticized the 1946 classic It's A Wonderful Life as subversive propaganda.
drive-in theater

Why Drive-Ins Were More Than Movie Theaters

Drive-ins embodied the suburbanization of middle class families -- and created an entirely new way of watching the movies.
Gwyneth Paltrow at Toronto International Film Festival, 2012

The Glamorous Tradition of Hollywood Lifestyle Advice

For more than a century, Hollywood has been offering Americans lifestyle advice on how to live better, and the public has been gobbling it up.
By Unknown; distributed by Epoch Film Co. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Birth of a Nation”: 100 Years Later

The Birth of a Nation—1915's blockbuster hit and the most popular movie of its day—was released 100 years ago this month.