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The film business in the United States and Britain during the 1930s

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  • Westminster Business School
  • Economics


Film was a most important product in the lives of the people during the 1930s. This paper sets out to analyse the underlying economic arrangements of the film industries of the U.S. and Britain during the decade in producing and diffusing this commodity-type to the population at large. In doing this, the paper finds a highly competitive industry that was built around showing films that audiences wanted to see, irrespective of the extent of vertical integration. It also examines the nature of the inter-relationship between the two industries and finds an asymmetry between the popularity of British films in the American market and that of American films in the British market. Our explanation for this is that the efforts of British firms on the American market were not sufficiently sustained to make a significant impact on American audiences.

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