The Coming of Sound During the Late 1920s climaxed a decade of significant change within the American industry. Following the lead of the innovators— Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., and the Fox Film Corporation—all companies moved, virtually en masse, to convert to sound. By the autumn of 1930, Hollywood produced only talkies. The speed of conversion surprised almost everyone. Within twenty-four months a myriad of technical problems were surmounted, stages soundproofed, and theaters wired. Engineers invaded studios to coordinate sight with sound. Playwrights (from the East) replaced title writers; actors without stage experience rushed to sign up for voice lessons. At the time, chaos seemed to reign supreme. However, with some historical distance, we know that, although the switch-over to talkies seemed to come “overnight,” no major company toppled. Indeed the coming of sound produced one of the more lucrative eras in U.S. movie history. Speed of transformation must not be mistaken for disorder or confusion. On the contrary, the major film corporations—Paramount and Loew’s (MGM)—were joined by Fox, Warner, and RKO in a surge of profits, instituting a grip on the marketplace which continues to the present day.