Hollywoodism: How The Jews Invented Hollywood

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Jews, Movies and The American Dream

Hollywoodism: How The Jews Invented – 1998

The of the influence of Eastern European Jewish Emigre culture has had on and the films created in its golden age.

In the golden age of , a group of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe played a pivotal role in shaping the film industry as we know it today. The documentary “Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream” delves into the fascinating story of how these individuals, often feeling like outsiders in America due to their Jewish heritage, found a home and a voice in .

Creating The American Dream

How a Group of Jewish Immigrants Invented the 20th Century American Ideal

The early film industry was dominated by a group of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who went on to found the major studios. As explored in the documentary “Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream”, these men used the power of cinema to shape the American psyche and create a new national ideal – the 20th century American Dream.

From Outsiders to Insiders

The key figures profiled in the film – Carl Laemmle, Harry and Sam Warner, William Fox, Adolph Zukor, and Louis B. Mayer – came from impoverished, fatherless backgrounds in Eastern Europe. As Jewish immigrants, they felt like outsiders in America, unable to fully assimilate into the mainstream.

However, in the burgeoning film industry of early , these men were able to build their own “empire” and become part of the American establishment. Through their movie studios, they gained immense cultural influence and power to shape the national consciousness.

Reflecting Their Own Experiences

The films produced by these Jewish moguls often reflected their own experiences and values as immigrants. Themes of family, community, and overcoming discrimination were common, as the moguls used the screen to depict an idealised version of the American Dream.

Rather than simply reflecting a pre-existing national ideal, the documentary argues that these Jewish immigrants in actually invented the 20th century American Dream. Their backgrounds, business acumen, and cultural perspectives became deeply embedded in the movies that defined American popular culture.

Shaping the American Psyche

Through their control of the film industry, the Jewish moguls were able to exert a powerful influence on the minds of the American public. The values, narratives, and images they promoted on the silver screen became the basis for a new national identity and aspiration.

In this way, the documentary suggests that the American Dream was in many ways a social construction, engineered by a group of outsiders who found a way to assimilate and take control of a key cultural institution. Their movies didn't just reflect American society – they actively shaped it.

The Legacy of “Hollywoodism”

The impact of these Jewish moguls and their cultural creations is still felt today. The American Dream, with its emphasis on upward mobility, individualism, and the pursuit of material success, owes much to the visions projected by in its formative years.

As the documentary “Hollywoodism” reveals, the origins of this quintessentially American ideal can be traced back to a group of Jewish immigrants who used the power of cinema to remake the national consciousness. Their story is a fascinating example of how culture can be engineered to transform a society.

Source: Hollywoodism: How The Jews Invented Hollywood (1998)


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