From ArticleWorld

In the film world, a B-movie is one which has been made using a smaller budget and which stars lower profile actors than the standard Blockbuster type films. Often they are thought to be less entertaining and of lower quality than more expensive films but this is not always the case. Fans of the B-movie claim that the actors involved often give greater performances than those in bigger films. In addition to this, it is argued that because less emphasis is placed on the costumes and locations, more effort is made on the plot and the acting itself.


The origin of the term B-movie comes from time known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. At this time, it was common for films to be shown in a double feature, meaning that two films were shown consecutively. The main feature was known as the A-movie, and the second film, usually recognised as being somewhat weaker than the first, was the B-movie.

The term was used by everyone in Hollywood and it was not seen as being derogatory. In fact, there were even B-units in some large studios which made only the B-movies. The famous American politician and actor Ronald Reagan made his acting name by starring only in B-movies. It is this distinction between those who act in A-movies and B-movies which has led to today’s referral to actors as being either A-list or B-list.

C- and Z-movies

As satellite television grew in popularity the amount of programmes required to allow for the continued broadcasts on multiple channels grew massively. A new type of film began to appear, one which was not identifiable as being either an A- or a B-movie.

These films were often made specifically to be viewed only on television, rather than in the cinema, and became classified as C-movies. Often these are reasonably entertaining and well made but use simple locations and unknown actors. Z-movies, however, are those which are so poor in quality that they cannot be classed as A-, B- or C-movies. These are not only made with very limited amounts of money, but often they are not made well and appear very unprofessional.