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[log in to unmask] wrote:
 
> In light of the promotion of "Titanic" as the most expensive movie
> ever made, I've been wondering about earlier films that would also
> qualify (i.e., the most expensive movie ever made, up to that point).
>  "Birth of A Nation" and then "Intolerance" come to mind, and I think
> I've heard the same about 20th-Century-Fox's "The Robe" in the 50s.
> Of course, I recall the same hype from "Terminator II" and
> "Waterworld."  I think the fascination is revealing--both of the
> close tie between technological innovation and filmmaking (special
> effects) and of the grandness of scale of mass media (the most
> expensive film will attract the most people).  My question is: are
> there other films that merited the title "most expensive fim to
> date"?
>
> Thanks for your help,
>
> Chris Ames
 
Film producers were early to recognize that
the escalating production costs of films could
be a selling point. Of course, they would often
inflate the costs at the same time they inflated
the grosses.
 
Chris is right that this dates back to the silent
era, and I posted several articles from Variety
and Photoplay on the Silent Film Bookshelf at:
 
http://www.cinemaweb.com/silentfilm/bookshelf/#April1997
 
The 1932 Variety story compares the big silent
pictures against the most successful early sound films.
The 1927 Photoplay piece discusses the increase in
production costs since The Great Train Robbery. Some
other stories look at the costs of the films of D.W.
Griffith.
 
David Pierce
 
Silent Film Sources
http://www.cinemaweb.com/silentfilm
Updates and news the first of every month
http://www.cinemaweb.com/silentfilm/monthly.htm
 
The Silent Film Bookshelf
http://www.cinemaweb.com/silentfilm/bookshelf
 
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/screensite