B movie

B-movieB-moviesB moviessecond featureB filmgenre filmBB-filmB filmsB picture
A B movie or B film is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film.wikipedia
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Exploitation film

exploitationexploitation filmsexploitation cinema
In its post-Golden Age usage, there is ambiguity on both sides of the definition: on the one hand, the primary interest of many inexpensive exploitation films is prurient; on the other, many B movies display a high degree of craft and aesthetic ingenuity.
Exploitation films are generally low-quality "B movies".

Science fiction film

science fictionsci-fiscience-fiction
In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.
From the 1930s to the 1950s, the genre consisted mainly of low-budget B movies.

Eddie Constantine

Eddie and Tania ConstantineEddie
Some actors, such as Bela Lugosi, Eddie Constantine, Bruce Campbell and Pam Grier, worked in B movies for most of their careers.
He became well known for a series of French B movies in which he played secret agent Lemmy Caution and is may be best remembered for his role in Jean-Luc Godard's philosophical science fiction film Alphaville (1965).

Poverty Row

Poverty Row studio
Even smaller production houses, known as Poverty Row studios, made films whose costs might run as low as $3,000, seeking a profit through whatever bookings they could pick up in the gaps left by the larger concerns.
Poverty Row was a slang term used in Hollywood from the late 1920s through the mid-1950s to refer to a variety of small (and mostly short-lived) B movie studios.

Low-budget film

low-budgetlow budgetmicro-budget
A B movie or B film is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film.
Science fiction films, which were once the domain of B movies, frequently require a big budget to accommodate their special effects, but low-cost do-it-yourself computer-generated imagery can make them affordable, especially when they focus on story and characterization.

Double feature

double billdouble-featuredouble-bill
In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified films intended for distribution as the less-publicized bottom half of a double feature (akin to B-sides for recorded music).
In the typical 1930s double bill, the screening began with a variety program consisting of trailers, a newsreel, a cartoon and/or a short film preceding a low-budget second feature (the B movie), followed by a short interlude.

Art film

arthouseart houseart-house
A B movie or B film is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film.
In the 1960s, "art film" became a euphemism in the U.S. for racy Italian and French B-movies.

Western (genre)

Westernwestern filmWesterns
In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.
Released through United Artists, Stagecoach made John Wayne a mainstream screen star in the wake of a decade of headlining B westerns.

Republic Pictures

RepublicRepublic StudiosRepublic Pictures Home Video
It was best known for specializing in Westerns, serials and B films emphasizing mystery and action.

Bryan Foy

BryanBryan Lincoln Foy
He headed the B picture unit at Warner Bros. where he was known as "the keeper of the B's".

Major film studio

major studiomajor studiosmajor film studios
In 1927–28, at the end of the silent era, the production cost of an average feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $190,000 at Fox to $275,000 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Most of today's Big Five also control subsidiaries with their own distribution networks that concentrate on arthouse pictures (e.g. Disney's Fox Searchlight Pictures) or genre films (e.g. Sony's Screen Gems); several of these specialty units were shut down or sold off between 2008 and 2010.

The Three Mesquiteers

Three Mesquiteers
Film historian Jon Tuska has argued that "the 'B' product of the Thirties—the Universal films with [[Tom Mix|[Tom] Mix]], [[Ken Maynard|[Ken] Maynard]], and [[Buck Jones|[Buck] Jones]], the Columbia features with Buck Jones and Tim McCoy, the RKO George O'Brien series, the Republic Westerns with John Wayne and the Three Mesquiteers ... achieved a uniquely American perfection of the well-made story."
The Three Mesquiteers is the umbrella title for a Republic Pictures series of 51 Western B-movies released between 1936 and 1943, including eight films starring John Wayne.

John Wayne

Marion MorrisonMarion Michael Morrisonthe actor
Film historian Jon Tuska has argued that "the 'B' product of the Thirties—the Universal films with [[Tom Mix|[Tom] Mix]], [[Ken Maynard|[Ken] Maynard]], and [[Buck Jones|[Buck] Jones]], the Columbia features with Buck Jones and Tim McCoy, the RKO George O'Brien series, the Republic Westerns with John Wayne and the Three Mesquiteers ... achieved a uniquely American perfection of the well-made story." They are where actors such as John Wayne and Jack Nicholson first became established, and they have provided work for former A movie actors, such as Vincent Price and Karen Black.
Because of Wayne's B-movie status and track record in low-budget Westerns throughout the 1930s, Ford had difficulty getting financing for what was to be an A-budget film.

Sol M. Wurtzel

Sol WurtzelSol M. Wurtzel Productions
He developed a formula for creating consistently profitable B movies that are heralded today.

Producers Releasing Corporation

PRCPRC PicturesProducers Releasing Corporation (PRC)
A number of small Hollywood companies had folded around the turn of the decade, including the ambitious Grand National, but a new firm, Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), emerged as third in the Poverty Row hierarchy behind Republic and Monogram.
PRC lasted from 1939-47, churning out low-budget B-movies for the lower half of a double bill or the upper half of a neighborhood cinema showing second-run films.

20th Century Fox

Twentieth Century Fox20th Century-FoxFox
In 1927–28, at the end of the silent era, the production cost of an average feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $190,000 at Fox to $275,000 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The five largest studios—Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox as of 1935), Warner Bros., and RKO Radio Pictures (descendant of FBO)—also belonged to companies with sizable theater chains, further securing the bottom line.
In 1956 Fox engaged Robert Lippert to establish a subsidiary company, Regal Pictures, later Associated Producers Incorporated to film B pictures in CinemaScope (but "branded" RegalScope).

Block booking

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Block booking became standard practice: to get access to a studio's attractive A pictures, many theaters were obliged to rent the company's entire output for a season.
Under block booking, "independent ('unaffiliated') theater owners were forced to take large numbers of [a] studio's pictures sight unseen. Those studios could then parcel out second-rate product along with A-class features and star vehicles, which made both production and distribution operations more economical."

RKO Pictures

RKO Radio PicturesRKORKO Studios
The five largest studios—Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox as of 1935), Warner Bros., and RKO Radio Pictures (descendant of FBO)—also belonged to companies with sizable theater chains, further securing the bottom line.
Richard Dix, Oscar-nominated for his lead performance in Cimarron, would serve as RKO's standby B-movie star until the early 1940s.

Horror film

horrorhorror moviehorror films
In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.
After directing a cavalcade of B movies (low-budget commercial films) for Columbia Pictures in the 1940s, Castle set out on the independent route.

Universal Pictures

Universal StudiosUniversalUniversal Film Manufacturing Company
Two "major-minors"—Universal Studios and rising Columbia Pictures—had production lines roughly similar to, though somewhat better endowed than, the top Poverty Row studios.
The end for the Laemmles came with a lavish version of Show Boat (1936), a remake of its earlier 1929 part-talkie production, and produced as a high-quality, big-budget film rather than as a B-picture.

Short film

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With the widespread arrival of sound film in American theaters in 1929, many independent exhibitors began dropping the then-dominant presentation model, which involved live acts and a broad variety of shorts before a single featured film.
By the 1920s, a ticket purchased a varied program including a feature and several supporting works from categories such as second feature, short comedy, 5–10 minute cartoon, travelogue, and newsreel.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

MGMMGM StudiosMetro Goldwyn Mayer
In 1927–28, at the end of the silent era, the production cost of an average feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $190,000 at Fox to $275,000 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The five largest studios—Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox as of 1935), Warner Bros., and RKO Radio Pictures (descendant of FBO)—also belonged to companies with sizable theater chains, further securing the bottom line.
) Production values remained high, and even "B" pictures carried a polish and gloss that made them expensive to mount.

Eagle-Lion Films

Eagle-LionEagle-Lion ClassicsEagle-Lion Distributors
In 1947 as well, PRC was subsumed by Eagle-Lion, a British company seeking entry to the American market.
The studio became one of the most respected makers of B-movies on what was known as Hollywood's "Poverty Row."

Film genre

genregenresfilm genres
In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s.
Additional ways of categorizing film genres may involve the target audience (for example: children's film, teen film or women's film) or by type of production (e.g., B movie, big-budget blockbuster or low-budget film, such as amateur film).

Film noir

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Particularly in the realm of film noir, A pictures sometimes echoed visual styles generally associated with cheaper films.
Although modestly budgeted, at the high end of the B movie scale, Stranger on the Third Floor still lost its studio, RKO, US$56,000, almost a third of its total cost.