Why are the 1920s called the Roaring Twenties? – Vintage 20S Flapper Dresses
When I started researching the 20th Century, and specifically looking at the 1920s and the 1950s with a focus on film, I was intrigued to find that the 1920s are almost entirely omitted in all mainstream movies. Films from the 1920 to 1920 are all about 1920, even when there might be an actual 1920. If anyone knows what I mean with regards to movies set in the 1900s, you’re invited to e-mail me with that information. If the 1940s or 1950s are absent from mainstream films, what about the 1920s? (The other films that are missing the 1920s, at least from a film-oriented point of view, include World War V, The Seven Samurai, Dances With Wolves, and The Wizard Of Oz.)
One theory put forth is that the 1920s were simply considered too rough when the 20th Century was taking the place of classical Hollywood. The 1920s were a transition period, and so film makers looked to make movies that were as authentic as possible while dealing with all of the same issues as the 19th Century.
To further support this theory, many of these films are from the years in between the wars or the rise of the modern American film. You might even have heard of The Great War or the first World War. This gives us a nice mix of Hollywood genres mixed together, which makes the 1920s feel like a more “real” era for film than the decades it covers.
Now how does the 1920s affect our stories?
Why do most films seem to ignore the 20th Century in films set in the 1920s?
Why is the 1920s a weird time period for movies?
One film that shows a clear lack of awareness of the 1920s is The Great Train Robbery, released in 1919. This is a movie that is filled with characters who are more interested in looking at what they’re wearing than what happens to them. The story in this movie starts in 1901, when a band of robbers are stopped outside a train station. However, only four months later we don’t see those characters again. All we see from them after that is a new train being pulled out of the tunnel they were standing in.
Another movie that focuses a lot on the 1920s is The Golden Age of Animation, from 1930-1939. This movie is probably the most well-known example of a film that’s set in the late 20th Century, and thus is mostly ignored by mainstream movies in this era
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