The Amazing Story of Phil Moore, Hollywood Star Maker
As the first salaried Black musician at a major studio, he was a leader in shaping the sound of movies—though he was often uncredited.
Why Didn’t Movies about Passing Cast Black Actors?
"Social problem" films were all the rage after World War II. So how could movies about racism be so conservative?
The Mockumentary: A Very Real History
What's the appeal of humor masquerading as seriousness? An entire movie genre stands ready to shed light on that question.
Lon Chaney’s Movie Monsters
You might know him from Phantom of the Opera or The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Sharks Before and After Jaws
The blockbuster Jaws (1975) provoked fear by portraying sharks as "mindless eating machines." But what did people think of sharks before then?
The Satanic Foreign Film That Was Banned in the U.S.
Benjamin Christensen's Häxan was part documentary and part fantasy—and considered too disturbing for public viewing.
The Exploding Women of Early 20th Century “Trick Films”
In “trick films,” women were shown literally exploding over kitchen accidents—the early 1900s way of mining humor out of human tragedies.
Filmmaker Marlon Riggs: “Notice Is Served”
The award-winning Black gay filmmaker, author, and activist Marlon Riggs left a legacy of protest against racism and homophobia.
The First Movie Kiss
The public fascination was so intense that fans soon started demanding live reenactments.
Marijuana Panic Won’t Die, but Reefer Madness Will Live Forever
Originally produced as an exploitation film that drew on racial stereotypes, the ironic revival of Reefer Madness made it a cult classic for stoners.