It is true that all work and no play makes a man dull. One cannot be always confined in the academic and professional world. A person must have some form of relaxation or a way to unwind and get away from all the worries that the world brings. One way or form of “transcending” yourself from your usual day activities is treating yourself or entertaining by reading some books and magazines, watching television, or maybe a movie. And there is nothing so interesting, exciting, fun and relaxing to watch than a good Hollywood-made movie. What’s so “intriguing” about Hollywood? Let’s all find out….
History. Hollywood is one of the many districts that compose Los Angeles in the US. The same is also considered one of the busiest places in the world. It is most often called the motion picture industry capital of the United States. “Tinseltown” as some would describe it; Hollywood traces its rose to stardom as early as 1906. It was then that the “Rose City Line” (a streetcar line constructed in the middle of the district) route that gave way to the growth and development of Hollywood. If you’re trying to reach the place, there’s a slim chance for you not to miss it because of that ever famous Hollywood sign. It was a real estate man by the name of Harry Chandler who put that gigantic sign to advertise “Hollywoodland”. This sign took him an exact $21,000 in expense and that the advertisement would only be good for eighteen (18) months. 1939 was the year when the sign was finally illuminated by four thousand bulbs with an assigned person on it to take care of its maintenance. The letters L, A, N and D were removed in 1949. The sign has been in that same spot for almost 80 years.
Golden Era. Experts and historians alike say that the “boom” period or the Golden Era when Hollywood became “Hollywood” was during the 1930’s and 1940’s. It was the film industry’s rendezvous point as other countries have suffered tremendous economic problems during the World War. These events gave rise to Hollywood’s commercial success. The glamour and the spotlight of the film industry then was on Germany but it shifted since the US was less tormented in the war.
Throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s, Hollywood house hold names would include stars such as Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Ronald Reagan (yes, the President), Liz Taylor and many more. This era also marked the rising of big and wealthy film producers and studios like the 20th Century Fox, MGM, Universal and Paramount. There were approximately 7,000 films were made during this period as it was believed that more than 75 million people queue to see at least one movie a week. (Including the paparazzis!)
The Second World War threat became an opportunity for big-time film makers because these were the times that films with a “patriotic” ideology were made. These films were made as a medium to bond each one during these rather frightening years. There were also short documentaries made during this time aside from the above film mood. It was also during this time that famous comic duos and comedy flicks rose to stardom. The western “cowboy” settings in movies were also a favorite during this era. However, the release of this movies in the later part of the era were less watched and admired by the fans as they were now busy with the emergence of another form of entertainment that is very much alike the movies – the television.
Hollywood’s interesting Landmarks. Hollywood is not just famous for its glamorous and extravagant aura in the world of film making. It is likewise known for some worth-visiting landmarks. Hollywood is home to the Celebrity Graves and Celebrity Houses as well. There is also the Hollywood Bowl (an amphitheater for music performances). Near to this is the ever historical “Barn”. It is believed that the world’s full length movie was recorded inside it. It is also houses the Hollywood Heritage Museum. The famous Hollywood Hotel is also a must-see destination because it is where the elite members of the showbiz industry of then and now gather to have lunch or dinner.
How can Hollywood be complete without its theaters? There is the monumental Grauman’s Chinese Theater. As one of Hollywood’s famous tourist attractions, the Chinese theater houses a handful of Chinese artifacts. On one of its portions, you will find the foot and hand prints of some of movie world’s icons and legends such as that of Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne.
Live shows and world premieres are commonly staged at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater. At the heart of our “tinsel town” is home to the “Kodak Theater”. It holds a 3,000 seating capacity and is likewise the permanent venue to the Academy Awards. Aside from these famous theaters, there are also the Egyptian and Pantages Theaters. These ones are in charge of featuring the “behind-the-scenes” of movies and such other related features.
To miss the integral part of our Hollywood travel which is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is not a valid excuse. It is a three and a half (3½) mile stretch of pointed stars along the sidewalk where famous names of the stars as well as those who people who have achieved a great contribution in the industry are embedded on it.
There can never be a Hollywood so popular without the award giving bodies that continuously recognizes the ingenuity, talent and abilities of actors and actresses as well as the people behind the film. The most prestigious award giving body is the Hollywood’s Academy Awards or the “Oscars”. It was founded in 1927 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was able to hold its first Awards night in 1929. Below are some noteworthy dates that were memorable especially in Hollywood film making industry with regards to the Oscars:
- 1972 – A special award was given to the legendary Charlie Chaplin;
- 1983 – The British film “Gandhi” wins 8 Oscars;
- 1988 – The film “The Last Emperor” wins 9 Oscars;
- 1998 – “Titanic” wins 11 Oscars
Now let’s dive into some fun and interesting notes as well as information about our movies, stars and everything Hollywood. Do you know that …?
- The highest paid actor today is Mr. Hancock himself, Will Smith. He’s actually worth 80 million dollars a movie. (my, that’s a lot!).
- The highest paid actress on the other hand is Cameron Diaz at 50 million dollars per movie.
- During his visit to London, the ever so famous Charlie Chaplin once received 73,000 letters in just two days! (his eyes really must have got tired!)
- Zorro’s Catherine Zeta Jones has a candy family business but did not mainly give-in to her “sweet cravings” in spite their house was full of it.
- In order to see how well he acts, producers and film organizers had to push the “slow motion” button to see Bruce Lee in action (Eat your heart out Daphne!)
- As convincing as she is when acting, Julia Roberts’ left eye really tears up when she is nervous.
- Main movie characters are three times more likely to smoke than others in reality.
- The exposure of the Marlboro brand in the movies in the 90’s was ten times more than other cigarette brands.
- Pixar and Walt Disney’s may have not noticed this as there was a 2/3 increase of the inclusion of tobacco use in animated and children’s films in 1996-97.
- Then film producer Hal Wallis once said that the only sure thing in show business is an Elvis Presley movie.
- That the original title of the Elvis movie “Love me tender” was oddly coined as “The Reno Brothers”.
- A film reviewer once commented on Elvis’ acting and said that the good-looking guy suffers from itchy underwear and hot shoes (which raised him to stardom).
- In the classic movie “Godfather”, an orange is always seen somewhere in the scene before someone is killed
- “The Jazz Singer” (1927) is the first film to introduce dialogues.
- The first movie to show a woman wearing nothing but bra is “The Psycho” (1960).
- The first Technicolor film was “The Gulf Between Us” (1917).
- Hollywood’s most perfect couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are considered one of the most powerful actor and actress in the world by Guinness Book of Records
- James Bond stars are mostly 6 feet above in height (Daniel Craig excluded. He’s 5’10).
- And these major role players should be or must have an Irish blood.
- The most expensive film ever made really wasn’t Titanic nor Spiderman 3 but the Leo Tolstoy classic “War and Peace”. If adjusted, it would cost a whopping $700 million!
- John Rambo, Rocky Balboa and Sylvester Stallone all share the same birthday – July 6.
- The real life Charlie Chaplin once tried out for a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. He never won as he finished third.
The world of Hollywood entertainment and film industry has been keeping our eyes glued to our televisions sets and movie houses for such a long time already. It has also been keeping the imaginations and unique talents of people who work in their realms busy. Day in and day out, with or without war or depression or crisis of whatever kind, it is always so amazing to see how we could cope up with all these hardships through proper enjoyment and relaxation brought about by Hollywood in all its aspects.