Tum asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

what were the impacts of sound in film?

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The addition of sound did not simply mean that actors could now talk; it meant big changes in the way that films were produced. Scenarists now had also to be dialogue writers. Literary types from the other arts were imported to Hollywood to help write the new talkies: Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway, for example.

    Actors now had to be paragons of articulateness and fluency as well as pantomime artists. Certain exotic roles became far less fashionable, in part because foreign accents were harder to understand with primitive microphone and amplification technologies, in part because the fantasy of the Asian vamp or the Italian villain seemed more kitschy with the added reality of sound, and in part because some foreign types began to seem rather stereotypical and xenophobic. With the exception of Chico Marx, dumb immigrant Italians started disappearing from the screen, along with Jewish shyster lawyers. Native American stereotypes—monosyllabic grunts and all—persisted much longer, but finally began being scrutinized in the 1950s, and even satirized in such films as Blazing Saddles (1974) by the 1970s.

    Some verbal kinds of comedy—most conspicuously typified by the Marx Brothers—was simply not possible until sound. A host of comedians came from vaudeville and the stage to help round off the new cast of talking characters: Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns and Gracie Allen, and so on. At least one new comedy genre sprang up at this time: screwball comedy, a combination of romantic comedy and some very silly behavior, that relied on sophisticated banter of the leading couple. The traces of screwball remain in our culture to the present day in films like Pretty Woman (1990) or When Harry Met Sally (1989), and in many prime-time sitcoms.

    And, of course, at least one whole genre would not have been possible without sound: the musical. With a volatile history, going in and out of popularity very often, this genre persists in some form to the present day, from the "backstage musical" of the late 1920s, to the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers films of the Great Depression, to the big color MGM productions of the 1950s, to the MTV video, to the rockumentary, to the musical interludes of The Simpsons.


  • 7 years ago

    One of the less obvious impacts was the diminishing of international distribution. With silents, it was easy enough to insert title cards of the local language. Putting on a whole different soundtrack was a much bigger deal. The technology to add subtitles didn't come along until later. The original Bela Lugosi "Dracula" had a Spanish-language version filmed in parallel, using Spanish-speaking actors using the same sets. This was quite unusual.

  • 7 years ago

    Acting styles had to change. In silents, exaggerated movements and gestures helped convey what was happening, above and beyond and dialogue put up on the screen. With sound, more natural movements became the norm, as actors could now use voice inflection and tone to indicate their emotional state, as well as speak. Actors now had to memorize scripts, often several pages/minutes worth in one scene. This meant that simply being good looking was not enough to make one a great actor or actress. Despite common stereotypes, actors with brains now became a hotter commodity.

    it also meant that some actors and actresses couldn't make the transition from silents to sound. Either their voices did not sound good, or they couldn't break the habits learned in silents, including the exaggerated gesturing.

    It also widened the types of movies that could be made. Romantic movies and comedies, as well as action films were fairly easy to do in silent format, but more complex stories, such as mysteries or dramas, were very difficult to do. With the ability to have actors convey information to the audience with monologues or dialogues, writers could develop far more convoluted story plots. This also led to movies tending to be longer, as story lines and characters could be more fully developed.

  • 7 years ago

    Do your own homework! The answers are in your textbook. Any answers you get here are not necessarily going to be what your teacher is looking for and it will be obvious to everyone that you were cheating.

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  • tuffy
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Many good actors didn't have a voice that was adequate to make the transition.

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