One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A trademark for: a system for recording sound on a film negative, formerly used chiefly in making newsreels; a film made using this system. Also used allusively of the very formal style of presentation characteristic of newsreels produced by the Movietone Company. Usually attributive Compare phonofilm, "Vitaphone".
1920s; earliest use found in The New York Times. From movie + tone.
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