Double feature

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The screening of a double feature was a widespread strategy of cinema operators , especially in the 1930s and 1940s, to show the B-films acquired involuntarily through the block system together with attractive A-films . Two films could be watched one after the other with one cinema ticket .


In the late 1920s -Jahren cinema operators began two films for the price to show a ticket to the decline in sales the time of the Great Depression compensate. These double features were often composed of an A-film with high production values ​​and an (often shorter) B-film from the low-budget area , but there were also double features that only consisted of B-films. Often, when the program changed in the cinema, the old, expiring film and the new film, approaching , were shown together as a double feature . The total length of the two films together usually did not exceed 180 minutes.

Double features were particularly widespread in the United States and England in the 1930s and 1940s and resulted from the company policy of Hollywood studios, which forced cinema owners to buy the B films in the block with the A films . Under the influence of growing television competition and the end of the studio system , the oligopolistic position of the studios with regard to distribution policy also ended. The practice of the double feature became less common - especially since the running lengths of the films increased and these were no longer suitable for a double screening - and disappeared for good in the early 1950s.

Nowadays, double features are mainly performed as nostalgic reminiscences in art house cinemas and as a common thread they usually have thematic or staging similarities. As a homage to the Grindhouse cinemas , Robert Rodríguez and Quentin Tarantino conceived their film project of the same name ( Grindhouse ) as a double feature . Some of the sequels run today together with their predecessors, for example Iron Man and Iron Man 2 . In addition, previews are often offered (on Wednesdays or occasionally on Sundays) before the actual cinema release.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Ursula Vossen: Double Feature . In: Thomas Koebner (Hrsg.): Sachlexikon des Films . 2nd Edition. Reclam, 2006, ISBN 978-3-15-010625-9 , pp. 155 f .
  2. a b James zu Hüningen: Double Feature . In: Lexikon der Filmbegriffe, edited by Hans. J. Wulff and Theo Bender.