Early Hollywood was financed by Italian immigrants – as our new documentary shows

Mar 09, 2024 763

BY: Valentina Signorelli and Cecilia Zoppelletto

What do Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney and Frank Capra have in common? The same Italian banker. Early Hollywood movies have been widely studied and investigated. But surprisingly little is known about their financing, and how the contributions of low-income immigrants helped shape the Hollywood film industry – especially Italians.

Approximately 4 million people from disadvantaged backgrounds had arrived in the US via Ellis Island by 1920. They have often been portrayed in film as delinquents of New York’s Lower East Side. This stereotypical character assigned to Italians persisted for decades, and was revived by the popularity of mafia movies and TV shows such as The Sopranos.

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SOURCE: https://theconversation.com

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