Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cinema and crime have been linked in a number of ways throughout history, interweaving age-old themes of art versus reality, cop versus gangster, and obscenity versus censorship. In recent years, however, the focus has been on “art imitates life” versus “life imitates art,” as movies have been scrutinized for their content as not only reflecting crime in our culture but possibly inspiring “copycat” crimes as well Movies, like crime itself, played an important role in the formation of America's cities at the start of the twentieth century. Between 1896 and 1906, the motion picture became a popular and respectable feature of vaudeville acts and entertainment halls; by 1910, weekly attendance at movie houses in Manhattan alone reached nearly one million viewers. The tremendous popularity of storefront theaters created a cultural crisis that led to the regulation of cinema through licensing and censorship. In 1907, the Children's Aid Society brought suits ...