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For the actual history of Hollywood, click here.

In the real world, each era of time throughout history has its own distinctive style and zeitgeist, based on what came before it. It also leaves an indelible mark in all of the eras that come after it. In this way, all periods of history are inextricably linked, and in order to thoroughly comprehend one, one must endeavor to study and understand them all.

Obviously, things get pumped up for movies. Whether or not you believe this is an Acceptable Break From Reality or THE WORST THING TO EVER HAPPEN EVER depends on the viewer, not to mention the restraints of time/watch-ability of an event (most filmgoers won't be impressed with a slow, boring event, however world-changing - and this isn't the Lowest Common Denominator we're talking about — many films have been blasted for this), invoking Rule of Drama and so on. This isn't restricted to film - ancient plays and literature have been doing this on and on.

It should be noted that popular entertainments, whether TV, film or print literature, are products of their times and cater to an audience of that time; thus, they will always bear more resemblance to the society that produces them than to the actual period. For instance, Happy Days, set in the 1950s, looks far more like the 1970s, the decade when it was produced, than does That 70s Show, produced in the early 2000s. Even Homer's Illiad depicts homoeroticism among the Acheans because that was what was expected of manly figures in his day, despite that it probably wasn't as big a fad at the time of the Trojan War. It's also why speculative fiction has such widely varying pictures of "The Future", and why The Jetsons portrays a future of technological marvels, but still assumes the push-button kitchen of tomorrow will be presided over by an apron-wearing housewife; it was beyond comprehension that automation in the home would result in women having lives outside it.

Note that many of these apply to Europe and the United States. Feel free to add the historical eras of other regions.

The most well-known eras of Hollywood History are as follows:

We didn't start the fire, But when we are gone, Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on...

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