Midterm Essay

Submitted By somya1972
Words: 862
Pages: 4

Gambhir 1

Somya Gambhir
January 29, 2015
Mr. Guarino
US History II
Per. 4

Talkies in the 1920’s
The vitaphone, a device that synchronizes audio and video of a motion picture, was a device that changed the future of movies forever. A major studio in Hollywood, known as the Warner brothers began to emerge into the scene with this device, unknowing of the final result. Fortunately, as many may have guessed, this initiative turned out to change the lives of many people. As many people know as general knowledge, “The Jazz Singer” was the first movie to ever include sound and video together. This is however those people are partially incorrect, the real answer leading into a great amount of details. The bold initiative of the young studio of the Warner
Brothers, along with many talented actors, and also the many problems encountered caused major changes in life of the 1920’s.
Partnered with a company of the name Western Electric, Warner Brothers created a sound­on­disc system, or what is know as th vitaphone. After this breakthrough Warner Brothers began to produce films to evaluate the effect they would have on the audiences. The first film that the studio released was ”Don Juan”, which was a box office hit. Although this picture included the use of the new technology of sound, Warner Brothers had yet to implement dialogue into a film. This is where the well

Gambhir 2

known movie, “The Jazz Singer” comes into play, being the first film to include actual dialogue, and kickstarting the revolution of the motion picture once again. Many people did not know how to approach the incoming talking movies due to the thriving success of the current silent counterparts. Many thought that the talkies would just stay for a short time, as a fad, and things would return to the normal silent ways. Well, these people were very wrong. Not only did the the movies just bring in more people, but they appealed to a larger number of audiences, ones that could not read or were even deaf.
Due to the large successes of these films, the silent films became irrelevant and so their actors. Many foreign actors were outed due to their accents, which were not appreciated by the american viewers. One of the few well known silent film actors that is recognized today is Charlie Chaplin.
As the same applies today, a movie is nothing without its actors. The actors that lived throughout both the silent films and the talkies faced a major change in their lives.
Many of the actors simply were not fit to use their voice in a movie, and some were born for it. The actors who were not able to act in talkies were slowly increasing, due to nationality and other reasons. Unfortunately, the majority of these actors would be soon forgotten, no matter their prior popularity. However, the actors that were fit for the job soon became superstars, creating one hit after the other and becoming more well known. For example, one of these actors was Al Jolson. Although Al was also an immigrant into the United States from Germany, he was brought up at a young age, able to conform his accent to the “norm”. This allowed him to act in many talkie films, such as “The Jazz Singer”. This film kicked of his career and allowed him to perform in