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United States Crime Films Case Study

by Suleman


This paper aims to trace United States Crime films Case Study and Background Of Film Industry with historical perspective of the genre in the film industry. Additionally, the article will address the various historical styles since the invention of the film industry in the US. The evolution of the film industry has witnessed the rise of different film genres. Production of film genres is meant to appeal to the various audience’s tastes and preferences. Film genre refers to the multiple categories and forms in which these films get produced.

Defined independently, the genre in cinema refers to the recurring pattern of styles and themes employed in move production. Some most common film genres are action, romance, thriller, comedy, Horror and pornographic films (Tim, 2017). The films above purpose to spread a message in forms of themes. The context of film production controls the ideas to a greater extent. The prevailing parties in movie production are actors, scriptwriters, movie directors, movie producers, and marketers.

History of Film Industry

To understand the evolution in the film industry, we need to explore the history behind this evolution. In America, the first milestone in the film industry started with Thomas Edison inventing the Kinematoscope in late 1891. Consequently, three years later, Edison aired his first film dubbed “Black Diamond Express.”

The coming to the scene of Edison would later set the platform for a new form of entertainment in the US. However, Edison’s film lacked to connect with the audience due to the use of static images. Griffith got motivated to work towards solving the issue of static images (Kelly, 2010). Griffith gets credit for inventing editing that revolutionized the film industry to date.

Griffith shot his movie called “In Old California” in 1910 using editing skills. Griffith followed up with what would revolutionize the film industry for years to come by shooting “The Birth of a Nation” in 1915 in Hollywood. The Birth of a Nation was a depiction of the Civil War. The film additionally depicted the effects of the war. The representation was an improved version in that audiences were able to connect with the happenings in the movie. However, Griffins movie got criticized for fuelling racism.

United States Crime Films Case Study

After Griffin’s breakthrough, there was the production of more films in subsequent years. Additionally, there increased the fame of theatre halls. Individuals streamed in halls to get entertained. The film production field saw the entrance of the William Fox and the famous Warner Brothers. The Warner brothers later established a studio called “Warner Bros.” there was also the entry of other studios like the Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and RKO which still rule the US film industry.

In the early 1920s, there was the inception of “Slapstick comedy” as a new genre in the film industry. Charlie Chaplin was the architect of slapstick comedy, and he happened to double up as the star, director and producer. Chaplin played the role of both a comic and pathetic character in oversized clothing.

His famous movie first produced in late 1936 dubbed “Modern Times.” However, Charlie’s successful film was the “Great Dictator” which aped Adolf Hitler. The entry of slack comedy allowed Swashbucklers genre which builds on Slapstick comedy. Eventually, historical films and melodramas characterized this age of film production.

The transition that happened in the film industry between 1930 and 1940 refers to as “The Golden Age of American Film.” New genres of the film like the production of animated cartoons filled the production industry. During the golden age, each studio had its own set of salaried employees. Additionally, this age experience the entry of adventure and fantasy film genres.

The adventure film “Tarzan the Ape Man” by Johnny Weissmuller appeared during this era. During this period, the famous horror movie genre also got into the film market. A horror movie “Frankenstein” hit the market with Dracula Boris Karloff playing the monster character while Bela Lugosi enacted the vampire role. The current horror movie production borrows much of its style and themes from the Golden age.

The low moment in the film industry happened in the 1940s. The scenes of the World War II saw the film industry experience blackouts. However, the war subsided, and in the process, another film genre came into the scene-the Film noir genre (Spicer, 2010). The film noir genre was meant to connect the public in film production. Film noir genre enacted the back and white side of the general US citizens. The first film noir film produced was “The Maltese Falcon” by Humphrey Bogart. History has it that the rivals between television and film industry took center stage in the 1950s.

The categorization of American films took shape in the 1950s with blockbusters and independent categories standing out. The aging rock and roll music film genre also happened in the 1950s with the production of films such as “Rock Around the Clock and Love Me Tender.” There was also the entry of spectacular epics in the industry with films like “The Ten Commandments.”

This age got preceded by the war films in the 1960s with the eventual entry of the “New Hollywood” in 1970s (Rafter and Brown, 2011).  The 1970Ss season saw the entry of violent movies like the “Taxi Driver” by Scorsese that depicted adverse violence and child prostitution.

From the 1980s up to date, the film industry has seen the production of films with a different view. The film “Driving Miss Daisy” by Bruce Beresford showed the advocacy for women rights. The movie gives a narration of an old American lady who prefers to be driven by a driver of Africa-American race. The film tries to fight women inequality and prejudice in Southern America. The age of 1980s also encountered a children-centered movie called “Dead Poets Society” by Peter Weir. In his film, Peter Weir is seen advocating for the need of young people learning to embrace independence and following their dreams without losing focus due to external pressures.

Crime Films: “The Musketeers Pig Alley”

For better understanding, it is good to note that crime films interpretation depends on communities in which they get filmed (Rafter, 2008). The film proves to be the powerful channel of preventing crime. Criminal movies have crime representation as the central theme. Additionally, these crime film highlights the ahead implications of participating in the offense.

Crime films also offer a social, cultural and political representation of corruption in the society. A good crime film should enact the scenes like jail, courtroom and even the involvement of political forces to capture the complexity of the crime scene. Below is a critical analysis of a sample crime film dubbed “The Musketeers Pig Alley.”

Griffith produced the Musketeers Pig alley film in 1912. The Musketeers Pig Alley is about the poor musician and his woman. The couple happens to live on the other side of New York City.  The man gets robbed in the neighborhood. However, after sometimes it so happens that this man gets trapped in mob shout out. It is during this scene that this man recognizes the gangster who robbed him of his cash.

From the title of the movie, “Pig Alley” the audience gets introduced to the other side of the other side of the glamorous New York City. Already, the audience gets to get a view that the story takes place on the other side of the city. The revelation of the setting gets the audience psychologically prepared to know what happens I the “Alley.” From this point, a relation has formed between the crime film and the insecure side of New York against. The contradiction between New York and Pig alley contravene audience expectations of the social orientation of the city.

The theme of the movie is the crime. Crime as an idea runs across the film due to the many criminal occurrences in the film (Spina and Ferdinando, 2017) . The robbing of the main character in the immediate neighborhood confirms the existence of crime in our environments. This movie paints a picture that people can never get the assurance of enjoying security in their environments. Additionally, the mob shoot-out in the alley fuels the theme of insecurity on the other side of the city.

The political, industrial and social aspects play out in this movie. Focusing on the political aspect, one realizes the existent disparities between New York and the Pig Alley. The high rate of insecurity and crime in the alley points to political ignorance. Issues of security are politically motivated. Through enactment of security policies, the situation at the alley can get reclamation before it worsens.

Furthermore, the technical aspects also feature in the movie. I think crime persists because most youths in the alley are jobless. The existence of unemployment is brought about by low industrialization in the Pig Alley. The issue of low manufacturing also comes into light when we look at this poor musician struggling to make ends meet. As a musician, we would expect such a guy to live a comfortable life. The situation of poor musician means the Pig alley has no space for the music industry.

Likewise, the issue of social orientation pops up. We encounter an underage girl trying to provide for her mother. Societies have neglected the role of protecting children. After the death of this girl’s mother, we encounter her get robbed by young boys. The community depicted in the picture does not show the value for children. Children get into crimes to survive. Children abuse drugs and alcohol in clubs.

The sexual, gender and race aspects also occur in the film. Most of the gangsters depicted in the movie are of the Africa-America race, and this begs the question whether on Africa-American Us citizens get involved in crime at the expense of other race. Also, the issue of sexuality stands out. The girl child appears as a vessel for use by men. One of the men in the club wanted to drug the orphaned girl with the intention of exploiting her sexuality. Also, the virtue of the man saving the girl projects issues of feminist and masculinity.


Since its inception, the film has experienced various evolutions to get where it stands. The film industry plays a vital role in society today. We get to interact with various genres in the in the film world. From the above discussion, one realizes that film is not all about entertainment. There are many aspects that film projects in society. Through the contextual setting, the film offers a glimpse of what happens in our communities. The contributions of members towards the attainment of better societies also comes in play.

The crime genre, for example, tries to address the need for societies to shun crime. The film industry also plays a role in shaping political temperatures in countries. The use of film to comment on political matters does happen. For economic purposes, the world of film has employed many Americans both directly and indirectly. Through the film industries, our worldviews get to change. We get to appreciate the existence of diverse viewpoints and ideas. Film industry converges cultures to one place through entertainment.


  • Kelly, J. (2014).The Evolution of Every Movie Genre, in One Massive Chart. Retrieved from https://mic.com/articles/101772/the-evolution-of-every-movie-genre-in-one-massive-chart#.csjiPM1tF
  • Rafter, N., & Brown, M. (2011). Criminology goes to the movies: Crime theory and
  • Popular culture. New York: New York University Press
  • Spicer, A. (2010). Historical dictionary of film noir. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press
  • Spina &Ferdinando. (2017). Crime Films. 10.1093/acre fore/9780190264079.013.30
  • Tim, D. (2017). Film Genres: Origins and types. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.filmsite.org/filmgenres.html
  • The Brief History of American Film. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://gepeskonyv.btk.elte.hu/adatok/Anglisztika/49Pint%E9r/LRSetup/USA/CULTURE/AMERICAN%20FILM%20HISTORY.htm

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