SCREEN-L Archives

August 1994


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
John R Groch <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Aug 1994 10:50:34 -0400
text/plain (28 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.
Which implies that stars would prefer to make MORE than a film every other
year, if only they could?  I doubt it.  Quite the contrary; it's the old
studio-star system which was onerous, if we think of the star as a worker
(particularly the 7 year/6 month aspect of contract renewals).  Now, by
being free agents, stars can actually make more money by making fewer
movies; their labor, governed by laws of supply and demand, becomes more
valuable as it is less in evidence.  (Of course, this is not to imply that
star salaries are determined soley, or even primarily, in this regard --
or even that such determinations are rational.) And, of course, audience
perceptions of how often an actor is working have also changed; in the
late 30s, in his second-male-lead period, Bogart was making 3-4 films a
year as a matter of course, whereas Tommy Lee Jones is arguably in the
same phase of his career and seems (to me at least) overexposed by being
in two films this summer.
John R. Groch <[log in to unmask]>            |  "Work!  FINISH!  THEN sleep."
English Department/Film Studies Program    |     -- The Monster,
Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260  |        "Bride of Frankenstein"