"Movie": How a Single Word Shaped Hollywood Cinema

Gary D. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


A corruption of the early cinema phrase “moving picture,” the slang word “movie” dates to the nickelodeon era. Created by a small number of anonymous American audience members, “movie” quickly became the favored term used by their peers, even though it met with much resistance and disdain from a film industry that believed it to be undignified. Despite efforts to halt its usage, the word “movie” survived and developed an important relational quality with Hollywood cinema. Though eschewed by many critics, scholars, and students, the term remains a key example of the influence and power of the American film audience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalFilm and History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


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