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August 1994


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Shawn Levy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 3 Aug 1994 17:34:58 -0700
text/plain (22 lines)
On Tue, 2 Aug 1994, Gene Stavis wrote:
 James Cagney made dozens of
> films in his first two or three years at Warner Brothers. Today a star is
> lucky to get a film every other year. And stars can be created almost out of
> thin air today. No training, no B-pictures, no experience with a variety of
> roles and directors. A star has one hit and becomes a corporation with a
> virtual fiefdom of representatives and hangers-on - a creature who can
> dictate script approval, director approval, advertising, etc.
Well....Cagney wasn't quite a star when he was *that* busy -- even WB
kept real stars at a premium once they'd proven their earning power.  And
remember that the system of actors getting script approval, etc. began as
early as the late '40s when many stars -- Cagney prominent among them --
formed their own production companies.  As for instant stars:  Dean
Martin and Jerry Lewis produced their third film for themselves in 1950,
and I can't name too many actors who can say as much today (if any)....
    Shawn Levy          | "August,
                        |         you're just an erotic hallucination,
                        |  just so much feverishly produced kazoo music,
 [log in to unmask]    |  are you serious?"