The standard histories of the cinema account for the emergence of the star system through an appeal to a series of four “events.”1
- The public wanted to know the names of the film performers. A desire was already there.
- The producers resisted revealing the performers' names for two reasons: first, they did not want to pay higher salaries to performers; and second, the performers were in reality well-known legitimate actors who would risk their reputation by appearing by name in films.
- Carl Laemmle, in a move designed to gain an ascendancy over the Patents Trust, introduced the first star, Florence Lawrence. The star system thus emerged out of a struggle ...