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Studio System

During the middle of the 20th Century to approximately the late 1960's early 1970's several major Hollywood studios controlled most of all Feature Filmmaking from Production to Distribution as well as the owned the Movie Theater chains themselves. Actors, even the most prominent ones, where under "Contract" to respective studios and received a contract fee and could only appear in or do publicity for films produced by their own studio. Sometimes actors were lent for a fee to other studios. Most film production took place on the studio lot in soundstages. This was the studio system at its peak. By the 1970s semi-independently produced film like Easy Rider and The Godfather changed the studio system paradigm where independent producers of films, though often with the support of a major movie studio would produce films. Cary Grant was also one of the first actors to break out of the studio system becoming an independent contract player. His example also contributed to the changes in the Studio System and the autonomy of major stars, their agents and managers as the industry functions today.