Text in English and German. The surprising success of Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and Easy Rider in the late 60s marks a turning-point in the history of the American cinema, as these are films that differ fundamentally from the traditional Hollywood style. They revised the traditional genre formulae and overturned the rules of classical narrative structure, but they were also aimed at a young audience influenced by alternative culture, a group that the big studios had ignored until then. The American film industry, which was in financial crisis and a phase of artistic stagnation in the sixties because it had tried to meet increasing competition from television by producing blockbusters, started to think again, and became more receptive to new ideas. This created a degree of artistic scope that young directors and filmmakers with artistic ambitions were not slow to exploit in order to realise their creative ideas in the context of mainstream cinema. A period of artistic renewal began, of a kind that had never been possible before in America on such a radical scale.The first wave of New Hollywood was starting to die down in 1971, as the films were often too experimental, too self-referential and too alien for a mass audience, and the market for the limited target group of a young audience interested in culture was quickly saturated. But important stimuli emerged, and made it possible for a series of film-makers like Robert Altman, Arthur Penn, Mike Nichols, Alan Pakula, Sydney Pollack, Stanley Kubrick, Sam Peckinpah, Paul Mazursky, Hal Ashby and ultimately an exceptional figure like Woody Allen establish themselves permanently. They were joined in the seventies by the younger generation of so-called 'whiz kids' like Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Martin Scorcese, Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Paul Schrader or George Lucas. They all represented the liberation of the director from the dictates of the studio, the acquisition of a right to have individual artistic handwriting and the era of the director as superstar.