Studio system is most commonly used in reference to classical Hollywood cinema, a style of filmmaking that emerged during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood—an era of American filmmaking that spanned the 1920 through the 1940s. The term refers to a system of film production that was structured in a highly rationalized, vertically integrated, and industrial manner. The studio system in classical Hollywood cinema practiced a method of film production in which production chiefs (e.g., Irving Thalberg) navigated the equilibrium between artistic creation and economic conditions and thus served as crucial figures. While its origins can be traced to the Golden Age, the studio system has also shaped contemporary media. This entry provides an overview of the studio system, then explores its origins, influence, ...

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