Stars across borders

The vexed question of stars’ exportability

Authored by: Ginette Vincendeau

The Routledge Companion to World Cinema

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138918801
eBook ISBN: 9781315688251
Adobe ISBN:


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The star-system began, in the silent era, as a worldwide phenomenon with stars such as Max Linder, Lillian Gish, Sessue Hayakawa, Pola Negri and Rudolph Valentino reaching the four corners of the globe, unhindered by language. Soon, however, the development of the American studio system and the coming of sound erected linguistic barriers for non-Anglophone actors, while reinforcing the hegemony of Hollywood stars. Performers from outside north America continued to be attracted to Hollywood, either “lured” there by studios or producers, or following their own desire for the glamour, economic might and promise of global fame afforded by US cinema. As a result, for many viewers and scholars alike, “stardom” and “the star-system” have long been synonymous with Hollywood, a fact largely underlined by foundational work within star studies (Morin 1960; Dyer 1979).

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