Who Killed the Mexican Film Industry? The Decline of the Golden Age, 1946-1960

How to Cite

Paxman, A. (2019). Who Killed the Mexican Film Industry? The Decline of the Golden Age, 1946-1960. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 29(1). Retrieved from http://eial.tau.ac.il/index.php/eial/article/view/1556

Abstract

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

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