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Dennis McDougal discusses the history of Los Angeles boosterism, especially the efforts of Harry Chandler.
"Hot babes," good weather, and blooming roses were all used to lure people from the East Coast to L.A.
Eve Golden compares YouTube to vaudeville acts, because both are venues where famous and unknown performers are given equal opportunity.
Golden demonstrates this by showcasing a clip of a "singing duck."
Rob Leicester Wagner credits the 1921 Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle scandal for the transformation of the "docile" press to the "monster we see today."
Wagner believes the manslaughter and rape charges Arbuckle faced caused the "birth of scandal coverage."
Author, journalist, and filmmaker Richard Schickel describes how the introduction of sound drastically changed film.
Arguing that sound effects were more important than dialogue, Schickel focuses on how the Warner Brothers used sound to create grittier, more authentic movies.
Film historian Neal Gabler argues that, unlike opera or ballet, film is inherently accessible to everyone.
"You don't eat popcorn at the symphony," he says.
Archivist for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Barbara Hall recalls the events of the First Academy Awards in May of 1929, which began as a small private banquet.
Eve Golden discusses the popularity of animal acts as openers on a vaudeville bill.
"It is not natural for a bear to rollerskate," she says.
Sam Watters says the houses of Hollywood actors during the 1920s were constructed to maintain a public image of the celebrity resident.
Although Orson Welles was a fervent supporter of Roosevelt, film historians Leo Braudy and David Thomson examine his ambivalence toward politics and authority figures.
Braudy and Thomson say the character of Citizen Kane foreshadows Welles own tragic downfall.
Film historians Leo Braudy and David Thomson contemplate if Citizen Kane was a subconscious projection of the personalities of William Randolph Hearst or Orson Welles.
Braudy and Thomson see connections between Welles' early life and Charles Foster Kane.
Armond Fields describes how government regulations during World War I affected vaudeville.
With shorter show lengths, lower lights, and reduced heating, these regulations hurt the theater industry.
Professor Emily Thompson recounts how Hollywood studios engaged in fierce competition for the ownership of sound effects like lightning and thunder, which she considers "valuable trade secrets."
Author Mark Vieira describes how Irving Thalberg revolutionized filmmaking.
Viera explains that Thalberg formalized the process of writing a script and shooting the film which, before Thalberg, was a casual step-by-step process that allowed directors great economic freedom.
Neal Gabler explains that by documenting their struggle with assimilation, Jewish filmmakers inadvertently redefined ideas of American identity.
Gabler draws from The Jazz Singer to make his conclusions about the American dream.
Janet Fireman argues that the film Citizen Kane severely damaged the reputation of actress Marion Davies.
Fireman believes that, unlike her character Susan Alexander, Davies was a generous, funny, and talented entertainer.
Professor Steven Ross remembers the formation of Depression-era motion picture industry unions.
Ross argues that a confidential goal of the Academy awards was to quell labor problems and dramatic pay cuts.
Film historian Leo Braudy and David Thomson question the legacy of Citizen Kane as a "seminal experience" on modern film.
They wonder if technological advancement might make Citizen Kane obsolete or outdated.