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The B Movie and the African American Audience

Although B's were often formulaic and cheaply made their contribution and cultural significance cannot be overstated. Unlike the A film that served as the main box office draw, the B film functioned differently. Given its lower production cost and its ancillary role next to the A film, a number of smaller studios exploited the B movie as an ideal platform through which to target smaller, marginalized audiences traditionally neglected by Hollywood. For example, Million Dollar Productions was a small, independent film studio that provided African Americans with a new and powerful cinematic voice. Its high quality productions with “all-colored casts” appealed not only to African Americans but to mainstream audiences as well.

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