This term describes American mainstream cinema as practised by the big Hollywood film production studios (roughly ranging from the early 20th century until the late 1960s). The main purpose of a classical Hollywood film was to tell the viewer a certain kind of story, in which one or more of the characters (usually played by big-name Hollywood stars) was/were facing a succession of problems while trying to reach their goals. Usually, the problems in such films were resolved in a way that emphasized formal closure – the so-called “Happy End”. The classical Hollywood style (often shortened to “classical style”) also did its best to hide the mechanisms of filmmaking by making the underlying filmic techniques as unobtrusive as possible (this is sometimes called “Invisible storytelling”). It was against this backdrop that the so-called style of continuity editing was developed and refined.
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