During the Second World War, a convergence of local acting and directingtalent and rising production levels gave birth to the Golden Age of MexicanCinema, a phenomenon facilitated by reduced competition from Hollywood,Argentina, and Europe. However, as of 1946, high output masked a growingmalaise within Mexico’s film industry, manifest in a decline in cinematicoriginality and a dependence on cheaply-made genre pictures. Traditionally,the slow demise of the Golden Age has been blamed on two factors: first,the influence of William Jenkins, an expatriate U.S. investor who developeda near-monopoly of theaters that privileged Hollywood fare at upmarketscreens and financed local production in a way that kept budgets low; second,the creative stagnation of Mexico’s directors, whose union admitted fewnew members. This article explores those allegations while also considering other key factors of the decline: the risk-averse role of producers, thepopulist media policies of the Mexican state, and international trends suchas the resurgence of competing film industries. The article therefore
Copyright © 2012-2013 Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.
Editores: Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
P.O.B. 39040 (69978), Israel.
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