B movie

Knowledge Identifier: $B_movie

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B movie

Low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film add

Category: Movies & TV (402)

Launched in 1950.

Countries: United States (72%), U.S. (7%), United Kingdom (5%)

Main connections: Joseph E. Levine, Columbia Pictures, Brian De Palma

Linked to: Grand National Films Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Allied Artists Pictures Corporation, Fox Film Corporation

 

Timeline


 

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1950

Although the U.S. production of movies intended as "'second features"' largely ceased by the end of the 1950s, the term "B movie" continued to be used in the broader sense it maintains today add something

 

In short, low-budget pictures made for her production company, The Filmakers, Lupino explored virtually taboo subjects such as rape in 1950's "Outrage" and 1953's self-explanatory "The Bigamist" add something

 

In the late 1950s, William Castle became known as the great innovator of the B movie publicity gimmick add something

 

Into the 1950s, most Republic and Monogram product was roughly on par with the low end of the majors' output add something

 

The "Duel" release anticipated practices that fueled the B movie industry in the late 1950s; when the top Hollywood studios made them standard two decades after that, the B movie would be hard hit add something

 

The phenomenon of the drive-in movie became one of the defining symbols of American popular culture in the 1950s add something

 

Updating a concept introduced by TV hostess Vampira over three decades before, "MST3K" presented cheap, low-grade movies, primarily science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s, along with running voiceover commentary highlighting the films' shortcomings add something

 

With audiences draining away to television and studios scaling back production schedules, the classic double feature vanished from many American theaters during the 1950s add something


1951

The first prominent victim of the changing market was Eagle-Lion, which released its last films in 1951 add something


1953

By 1953, the old Monogram brand had disappeared, the company having adopted the identity of its higher-end subsidiary, Allied Artists add something

 

Her most famous directorial effort, "The Hitch-Hiker", a 1953 RKO release, is the only example of film noir's classic period directed by a woman add something


1954

In 1954, a young filmmaker named Roger Corman received his first screen credits as writer and associate producer of Allied Artists' "Highway Dragnet" add something

 

Finler lists "The Country Girl" as 1955, when it made most of its money, but it premiered in December 1954 add something


1955

Among the six films he worked on in 1955, Corman produced and directed the first official ARC release, "Apache Woman", and "Day the World Ended", half of Arkoff and Nicholson's first twin-bill package add something

 

In 1955, Corman had a producorial hand in five movies averaging 74,8 minutes add something


1956

American International Pictures , founded in 1956 by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff in a reorganization of their American Releasing Corporation , soon became the leading U.S. studio devoted entirely to B-cost productions add something

 

In 1956, distributor Joseph E. Levine financed the shooting of new footage with American actor Raymond Burr that was edited into the Japanese sci-fi horror film "Godzilla" add something


1957

In other genres, Universal kept its Ma and Pa Kettle series going through 1957, while Allied Artists stuck with the Bowery Boys until 1958 add something

 

RKO, weakened by years of mismanagement, exited the movie industry in 1957 add something


1958

Charles Saunders (director) - The 1958 "English sexploitation movie", "Nudist Paradise", was perhaps the beginning of the end of Saunders' career in films, although he did make a B movie in the same year, called "Womaneater"

 

John Williams - Williams's first film composition was for the 1958 B movie "Daddy-O", and his first screen credit came two years later in "Because They're Young


1959

Best known was Russ Meyer, who released his first successful narrative nudie, the comic "Immoral Mr. Teas", in 1959 add something

 

In 1959, Levine's Embassy Pictures bought the worldwide rights to "Hercules", a cheaply made Italian movie starring American-born bodybuilder Steve Reeves add something

 

The 1959 creature feature "The Tingler" featured Castle's most famous gimmick, Percepto: at the film's climax, buzzers attached to select theater seats would unexpectedly rattle a few audience members, prompting either appropriate screams or even more appropriate laughter add something


1960

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new generation of low-budget film companies emerged that drew from all the different lines of exploitation as well as the sci-fi and teen themes that had been a mainstay since the 1950s add something

 

The 1960s would see exploitation-style themes and imagery become increasingly central to the realm of the B. add something

 

With the loosening of industry censorship constraints, the 1960s saw a major expansion in the commercial viability of a variety of B movie subgenres that became known collectively as "exploitation films" add something

 

In July 1960, the latest Joseph E. Levine sword-and-sandals import, "Hercules Unchained", opened at neighborhood theaters in New York add something


1961

Castle's first film in the "Psycho" vein was "Homicidal" , an early step in the development of the slasher subgenre that would take off in the late 1970s add something

 

Exploitation movies in the original sense continued to appear: 1961's "Damaged Goods", a cautionary tale about a young lady whose boyfriend's promiscuity leads to venereal disease, comes complete with enormous, grotesque closeups of VD's physical effects add something


1968

The Production Code was officially scrapped in 1968, to be replaced by the first version of the modern rating system add something


1969

As production of TV movies expanded with the introduction of the "ABC Movie of the Week" in 1969, soon followed by the dedication of other network slots to original features, time and financial factors shifted the medium progressively into B picture territory add something

 

In May 1969, the most important exploitation movie of the era premiered at the Cannes Film Festival add something


1970

Asian martial arts films began appearing as imports regularly during the 1970s add something

 

David Cook credits AIP with leading the way "in demographic exploitation, target marketing, and saturation booking, all of which would become standard procedure for the majors in planning and releasing their mass-market 'event' films" by the late 1970s add something

 

He played a similar part in five films originally released in 1970, two for AIP and three for his own New World: the average length was 89,8 minutes add something

 

In 1970, a low-budget crime drama shot in 16 mm by first-time American director Barbara Loden won the international critics' prize at the Venice Film Festival add something

 

In the 1970s, original feature-length programming increasingly began to echo the B movie as well add something

 

In the late 1970s, AIP had turned to producing relatively expensive films like the very successful "Amityville Horror" and the disastrous "Meteor" in 1979 add something


1971

One of the first films adopted by the new circuit in 1971 was the three-year-old "Night of the Living Dead" add something


1973

Described by Paul as "essentially an American-International teenybopper pic with a lot more spit and polish", it was 1973's third biggest film and, likewise, by far the highest-earning teen-themed movie yet made add something

 

In 1973, American International gave a shot to young director Brian De Palma add something


1974

As Roger Ebert explained in one 1974 review, "Horror and exploitation films almost always turn a profit if they're brought in at the right price add something


1978

Bob Drake (musician) - He moved to Denver , Colorado in 1978 where he worked for a while as a sound engineer on $B_horror_movie (B_movie) sets


1979

One of the first leading casualties of the new economic regime was venerable B studio Allied Artists, which declared bankruptcy in April 1979 add something


1980

In the 1980s, with the growth of cable television, the C grade began to be applied with increasing frequency to low-quality genre films used as filler programming for that market add something

 

Most of the B movie production houses founded during the exploitation era collapsed or were subsumed by larger companies as the field's financial situation changed in the early 1980s add something

 

One of the most successful 1980s B studios was a survivor from the heyday of the exploitation era, Troma Pictures, founded in 1974 add something

 

The studio was sold off and dissolved as a moviemaking concern by the end of 1980 add something

 

The term, popularized beginning in the 1980s with publications of Weldon's such as "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film" and "Psychotronic Video" magazine, has subsequently been adopted by other critics and fans add something

 

Morrissey - A third book, "Exit Smiling," which was actually written first and which dealt with obscure B movie actors, was initially rejected and remained unpublished until 1998

 

Brett Halsey - He had a prolific career in $B_pictures (B_movie) and in European-made feature films, and created the role of John Abbott on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless", a role he held from May 1980 to March 1981, before being replaced by Jerry Douglas


1981

In 1981, New Line put out "Polyester", a John Waters movie with a small budget and an old-school exploitation gimmick: Odorama add something


1984

In 1984, New Horizons released a critically applauded movie set amid the punk scene written and directed by Penelope Spheeris add something


1985

One of the few successful B studio startups of the decade was Rome-based Empire Pictures, whose first production, "Ghoulies", reached theaters in 1985 add something


1987

Gregory Dark - Dark directed or produced more than 30 action films and erotic thrillers as head of production for Axis Films, a B movie company, from 1987 to 1995


1990

Corman would go on to direct over fifty feature films through 1990 add something


1994

In 1994, New Line was sold to the &Turner_Broadcasting_System; it was soon being run as a midsized studio with a broad range of product alongside Warner Bros. within the Time Warner conglomerate add something


2005

In 2005, the top ten movies at the U.S. box office included three adaptations of children's fantasy novels , a child-targeted cartoon, a comic book adaptation, a sci-fi series installment, a sci-fi remake, and a "King Kong" remake add something


2006

Fox launched a new subsidiary in 2006, Fox Atomic, to concentrate on teen-oriented genre films add something


2007

As of 2007, he remained active as a producer, with more than 350 movies to his credit add something


2009

The newfangled B movie division was shut down in 2009 add something


2014

Brian Thompson (actor) - In 2014, he produced, wrote and starred in the B movie, "The Extendables"