And this is where everything changed.
Foreign cinema was a huge factor in the fall of the old school studio system and classical Hollywood as it existed in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The studios had already lost all their theaters through the Paramount Case, so the monopoly was over, but even so, the studio system was still in prime form until now. This is when you start to see it decline. Part of that is the changing culture of the country, part of that is the end of the production code and censorship, and part of it is the influx of foreign films, which proved they could cross over and become part of the marketplace. And part of it is Doris Day. Fucking Doris Day.
Not to mention, more countries were able to have sustained film industries that could churn out movies of merit. The Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars didn’t even have nominees until 1956. But, starting around this time, you started to see more and more foreign films break through and get actual U.S. releases. The films began to be rated on par with American films, and a lot of that is (at least perceptually) due to this movie.
Because when you go over the influx of foreign films that broke through into Hollywood during the 60s, and their importance to the medium of film itself, you have to start with Breathless. (more…)