Bijou Follies - 1950s Introduction
Bijou 50's Introduction

The movies faced three challenges in the 1950s. First, more people were staying home to watch television instead of going to movie theaters. Hollywood fought back with some high quality pictures and gimmicks such as CinemaScope, Cinerama, and other widescreen processes as well as action and horror movies filmed in 3-D.

The second challenge was from U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy who led hearings starting in 1951 that led to the blacklisting of 212 actors, directors, writers, and others in the movies. Their careers were put on hold or ruined because of accusations of fellow film people that they were Communists.

The third challenge was the break-up of the studio system during the decade. By 1958, 65 percent of Hollywood movies were being made by independent film companies, often headed by former studio stars.

Some of the reigning stars of the 30s and 40s continued to top the marquees, while newcomers such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, Rock Hudson, Grace Kelly, and rock 'n roller Elvis Presley rose to stardom.