Cars and movies are among the most influential technologies of the twentieth century. Born in the same era, Hollywood and Detroit developed on parallel paths and rapidly achieved substantial economic and cultural power. Together, they revolutionized leisure time and came to symbolize glamour and mechanized utility to the American public. Early Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille famously remarked that the American “love of motion and speed” was embodied in the two industries. By the end of the 1920s, the Big Three in Detroit had emerged to dominate American car consumption while moviemaking came to be concentrated into five major studios, all in the Los Angeles area. On camera, cars indicate the wealth and social rank of the characters while simultaneously helping to establish a time and place. Behind the scenes, they serve as moving camera platforms and support vehicles. Off the set, they become an integral part of the glamorous celebrity lifestyle.
Hollywood Gallery: Cars of Film and Television
- An Icon Re-invisioned: The Jaguar Sports Car
- Pickups: The Art of Utility
- Fins: Form Without Function
- Art Wall: License Plates: Unlocking the Code
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