WHEN HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE STRUCTURE of the United States film industry after World War II, they describe it as a period of the ending of mass production of films and the diffusion of independent production. Following the detailed and influential study by Michael Conant of the 1948 Paramount case, 1 scholars generally assume that the decree allowed independent film-making to flourish and eventually to dominate the industrial structure. I would propose, however, that the 1948 consent decree was only one factor, and merely a reinforcing one, in a general transition away from a regular output and mass production of films to fewer releases and higher-priced product.