Movies and Film: Some Films About the Film Industry

Some Films About the Film Industry

Though few filmmakers would approach the subject of money in film for fear of boring their audiences, these films try to take you behind the scenes of filmmaking in such a way that you get a glimpse of how the money flows.

  • Boy Meets Girl (directed by Lloyd Bacon, 1938). In old newspaper headline parlance: "Tiny Tot Pix Hit in Stix!" Jimmy Cagney and Pat O'Brien turn a baby into a child star. A perfect combination of greed and sentimentality.
  • Day for Night (directed by Franois Truffaut, France, 1973). Romanticized vision of filmmaking in France. Good bits about insurance and financing woes.
  • Hollywood Shuffle (directed by Robert Townsend, 1987). A biting film about the troubles an African American actor encounters in trying to break into movies. Not precisely about money, it is about what money allows and does not allow on screen.
  • The Player (directed by Robert Altman, 1992). A terrifically satirical view of the power plays and sharklike behavior in the industry.
  • Ed Wood (directed by Tim Burton, 1994). Still another outsider trying to break into Hollywood, but this time the outsider is perhaps the worst filmmaker of all time.
  • Get Shorty (directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, 1995). A comic look at where the moviemaking money comes from.
  • Bowfinger (directed by Frank Oz, 1999). Hilarious account of shoestring director trying to make a film with a major star without letting him know he's in the film.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies and Film © 2001 by Mark Winokur and Bruce Holsinger. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order the e-book book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website. You can also purchase this book at