Tuesday, 21 September 2010

What is a B-Movie?

- A B-movie is a movie which is made on a relatively low budget, when compared with major feature films. The B-movie genre is quite diverse, ranging from cheesy science fiction movies to taut modern thrillers.
- The B in B-movie is a refernce to the B-movie's traditional place on a double feature marquees. Originally, B-movies were developed to have something to fill the second slot in a double feature, allowing theatre patrons to feel like they were getting their money's worth. A B-movie would be made with lesser known actors and significantly less money, generating a film which would consistently generate a return on investment, thanks to being paired with a major feature film.
- The double feature started to decline in the 1950s, as films became longer, but the B-movie endured. The term came to be used more generally to refer to any low budget film, with B-movies appearing in a range of genres including westerns, science fiction, thrillers, horror, fantasy, exploitation and mystery. The B-movie became associated with a campy style, wooden acting, and crude sets and costumes, creating a distinctive look and feel.
- Many actors and actresses got their start in B-movies, while others went on to make their careers in the B-movie world. B-movies have also been used as a proving ground for directors, producers, and other people who work in the film industry, and some even went on to become major hits. A number of B-movies have also achieved cult classic status, with fans being attracted to the cheesiness of these films.
- In the modern day, some people refer to low budget films which lack the sobriety of independent films as B-movies. Some people actually enjoy working on such projects, taking it as an opportunity to be silly and have a good time, although such films can also be serious in their own right.
- Westerns were a Golden Age B-movie staple, while low budget sci-fi and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.
- Individual B-movies were often ignored by critics.
- John Wayne and Jack Nicholson first became established in B-movies.

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