This series surveys the history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios from its creation and rise in the 1920's, its pinnacle in the 30's and 40's to it's decline in the 1950's. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 3-part documentary originally contained a lot of footage of Fred Astaire when it was broadcast on PBS and Turner Classic Movies. The newly released DVD has re-edited the segments in part 3 and deleted all (almost all) the Astaire footage, including clips of him dancing with Gene Kelly and Lucille Bremer - both from Ziegfeld Follies (1945), and solo in Royal Wedding (1951), as Debbie Reynolds shares a story about meeting him and being invited to watch him rehearse. See more »
Following the last ending credit of "Part Three" is displayed the following dedication text: Dedicated to the memory of Samuel Marx and Freddie Bartholomew See more »
Patrick Stewart's irritating introduction aside, this lengthy multi-parter traces the history of MGM from their earliest silents (He Who Gets Slapped, The Student Prince of Heidelberg, Ben-Hur, The Big Parade), through the golden era (Gable, Harlow, Hepburn and Tracy, Astaire and Kelly, Garland, Garson, etc etc), to the fifties television boom and MGM's attempts to adapt, and on to the demise of the studio as a production force in the 1970s and growth as a hotel chain.
The clips are numerous, and of the highest class, although some of the silents look slightly speeded up (my copy of The Big Parade doesn't move as quick as that!) - they are well-chosen, and representative of each era. Better still are the interviewees, Helen Hayes and Maureen O'Sullivan remember Irving Thalberg, Margaret Booth talks of her experience of editing movies from the early days onwards, Van Johnson remembers war film experiences, Mickey Rooney remembers Judy Garland, Luise Rainer and June Allyson recall Louis B Mayer, Freddie Bartholomew and Jackie Cooper talk of being child stars, and on and on.
This series is a treasure and if it doesn't make you want to explore 'the oldies', I don't know what will. Brilliant.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?