For the first half of the twentieth century, no American industry boasted a more motley and prolific trade press than movies—a cutthroat landscape that set the stage for battle by ink. In 1930, Martin Quigley, publisher of Exhibitors Herald, conspired with Hollywood studios to eliminate all competing trade papers, yet this attempt and each one thereafter collapsed. Exploring the communities that constituted key subscribers, Ink-Stained Hollywood tells the story of how a heterogeneous trade press triumphed by appealing to the foundational aspects of industry culture—taste, vanity, partisanship, and exclusivity. In captivating detail, Eric Hoyt chronicles the histories of well-known trade papers (Variety, Motion Picture Herald) alongside important yet forgotten publications (Film Spectator, Film Mercury, and Camera!). Challenging the canon of film periodicals, we are offered new interpretative frameworks for understanding print journalism’s relationship with cinema and its impact today.
“I know of no other work like this one—a history of American movie trade journalism from the beginnings of cinema to the 1930s. This book constitutes such a deep dive into the archive of these materials, it’s astonishing.” ERIC SMOODIN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
“A terrific study of the rise of film industry trade journals and their behind-the-scenes maneuvering, fights, and back-stabbing. Ink-Stained Hollywood is beautifully written—spry, funny, lively, approachable, yet incredibly knowledgeable.” KATHRYN H. FULLER-SEELEY, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
ERIC HOYT is the Kahl Family Professor of Media Production at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is author of Hollywood Vault: Film Libraries before Home Video and is Director of the Media History Digital Library and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.
Hoyt, E. 2022. Ink-Stained Hollywood: The Triumph of American Cinema’s Trade Press. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.122
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