City of Dreams

During the days of the studio system, Universal Pictures shone as a powerhouse producing a wide variety of films. From lighthearted Deanna Durbin musicals to iconic early horror films, the studio had a strong start under German immigrant Carl Laemmle. From his early days managing a nickelodeon in Chicago, Illinois, to becoming a movie mogul, Laemmle realized a major dream with Universal Pictures.

Laemmle was a master when it came to publicity and promotion and established one of early Hollywood’s key film studios. From the studio’s humble origins to its transformed presence today, Bernard F. Dick examines the history of Universal Pictures in City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures.

In this expanded edition published by the Univesity Press of Kentucky, Dick examines the impact of the Laemmle family and the consequences of ousting the family from the Universal empire. Dick discusses the influence of corporate Hollywood and how Universal was chanced over the years, becoming NBCUniversal and eventually a part of the Universal-International Merger. Additionally, Dick also notes the art of the deal and development of theme parks vs. the art of making films. All the while, while Universa–albeit quite different today–remains.


City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures is available for purchase via the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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