IN THE ERA OF VERTICAL INTEGRATION, the star system affected all three branches of the industry. A star’s popularity and drawing power created a ready-made market for his or her pictures, which reduced the risks of production financing. Because a star provided an insurance policy of sorts and a production value, as well as a prestigious trademark for a studio, the star system became the prime means of stabilizing the motion-picture business. At the production level, the screenplay, sets, costumes, lighting, and makeup of a picture were designed to enhance a star’s screen persona, which is to say, the image of a star that found favor with the public. At the distribution level, a star’s name and image dominated advertising and publicity and determined the rental price for the picture. And at the exhibition level, the costs of a star’s salary and promotions were passed on to moviegoers, who validated the system by plunking down a few coins at the box office.