Will ‘Baywatch’ Be on the Final?

In his introductory lecture for “The Politics of Hollywood,” an upper-division course at the University of Texas, government professor David Prindle argues that studying the film and TV industries is not a frivolous pursuit. “We as a nation often use the myths and images from entertainment in public debate about policy,” Prindle says. As an example, he points to “High Noon,” which advocates of the Iraq invasion evoked -- like Marshal Will Kane in the movie, they said, the United States must stand alone against bad guys.

Here are some questions from the exam Prindle administered to the class’ 225 students on Feb. 17:

1. The court order that began the breaking up of the old studio system in 1948 is called the

a. Least Objectionable Program


b. Metro Goldwyn-Mayer

c. Habeus Corpus

d. Divestiture Order

e. Paramount decree


2. Prindle argues that one of the main strategies that motion picture producers have relied on, historically, to lower their risk is use of

a. dishonest advertising

b. bait-and-switch tactics

c. the star system

d. advanced technology

e. foreign artists

5. “The Jazz Singer” illustrates the point that

a. hits were not required under the old studio system


b. the directors of today’s films are modernists

c. the labor market in Hollywood is never in equilibrium

d. sound films are more popular than silent films

e. technological change has had a large impact on the history of Hollywood

6. “Baywatch” lasted so long as a broadcast program because

a. it was popular outside the United States

b. Pamela Anderson Lee is the niece of NBC’s programming chief

c. Bubba liked it


d. it had quality demographics

e. its fans bought its advertised products

8. Allen Scott characterizes the American film industry as exemplifying a(n)

a. virtual enterprise

b. agglomeration economy

c. competitive monopoly

d. industry in decline

e. technology-dependent web

10. ______________ in 2003 was the first film to be released around the world simultaneously

a. “Shaun of the Dead”

b. “The Matrix Reloaded”

c. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”

d. “Shrek”

e. “Spider-Man 2"

11. The broadcast system in the United States differs from the ones in other nations in that it is almost entirely

a. owned by foreigners

b. devoid of material useful for citizenship

c. based on genres

d. financed by advertising

e. filled with storytelling

18. The ___________ of the 1940s and 1950s left a scar on the collective memory of Hollywood artists

a. depression

b. blacklist

c. arrival of television

d. era of live television

e. stardom of Ronald Reagan

20. “Bataan” is an example of a motion picture that was produced as a

a. blockbuster

b. lowest-common-denominator film

c. propaganda vehicle

d. internationalized film

e. tie-in

23. Prindle argues that Hollywood probably has more ____________than does any other industry

a. income

b. foreign interests

c. power in Washington

d. employees

e. awards ceremonies


(1) e; (2) c; (5) e; (6) a; (8) b; (10) b; (11) d; (18) b; (20) c; (23) e