The Grand Tour: The History of Universal, Hollywood's First Great Studio, From 1912 to the Present
Fifty and Better Winter Session
This course will cover the history of Universal Studios including its early embrace of television, which turned the studio into a giant production factory. We will discuss Carl Laemmle, an innovative pioneer who built the studio and was responsible for some of the early, ground-breaking decisions. We will also talk about Lon Chaney and other big names in the silent era.
We will continue through the 1930s discussing some of the early “talkie” hits including Dracula and Frankenstein. Although they were successful, poor decision-making led to Laemmle’s ouster. Into the 1940s and 1950s, lots of changes turned up some popular movies. The 1960s was where Alfred Hitchcock ended his career and where Steven Spielberg's began, ushering in the era of the Movie Blockbuster.
We will touch upon the Universal conglomerate which includes the music business and the hugely popular Universal Studios Tours and Theme Parks.
Matthew Weisman received his MFA in Film from Columbia University School of the Arts where he also taught classes in Cinema Studies. He has taught several continuing education courses in film and television history and appreciation both online and in the classroom.
Fifty and Better was designed to offer university-level courses and lectures (no tests, no homework) taught by experts in the field, and to host social engagement activities for people age 50 and older.
Register by 3 p.m., Jan. 16