Antitrust and the Movies

Mark Thorton over at the Mises Institute has a very interesting article up today on the role of anti-trust regulation in Hollywood.  Be sure to check it out.  He describes how movies were produced in the “golden age” and how Federal Trade Commission forced them to change it.

In just the magical year of 1939, the studio system made “Gone With the Wind,” “Stagecoach,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Wuthering Heights,” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

It’s no coincidence that 1939 was the high-water mark of the studio system before it was broken up by government as an “oligopoly” — a small number of large, vertically integrated firms that controlled a majority of the business.

This often un-encountered story is a fascinating one for any fans of movies if only for the interesting history of film making explained in the article.