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Flickering EmpireHow Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry$
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Michael Glover Smith and Adam Selzer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231174497

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231174497.001.0001

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The Golden Age of Selig Polyscope

The Golden Age of Selig Polyscope

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter Nine The Golden Age of Selig Polyscope
Source:
Flickering Empire
Author(s):

Michael Glover Smith

Adam Selzer

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231174497.003.0009

This chapter focuses on the success of Selig Polyscope and its contribution to the development of Chicago's film industry. Selig Polyscope upgraded the production values of its films by taking full advantage of its new studio facilities in Chicago and making historical epics with impressively designed costumes and sets. One of the most ambitious Selig productions after opening the new Chicago studio was an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, the first picture to effectively illustrate the superiority of southern California's exterior locations; it was, essentially, the “big bang” of Hollywood filmmaking. The Count of Monte Cristo was directed by Francis Boggs, with Thomas Persons as cinematographer. In Chicago, Colonel William Selig launched a massive publicity campaign in an attempt to make motion pictures a more acceptable form of entertainment for people other than just the working class. The year 1914 was good for Selig as a film producer; Selig Polyscope's western studio was thriving at this time as well.

Keywords:   film industry, Selig Polyscope, films, Chicago, The Count of Monte Cristo, California, filmmaking, William Selig, motion pictures, western studio

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