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 <email@example.com>
The on-screen subtitles (and running times taken from the TCM print) for the three individual parts are: "Part One: The Lion's Roar" (02:02:06) "Part Two: The Lion Reigns Supreme" (02:01:00) "Part Three: The Lion in Winter" (02:02:24) 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 »
"MGM: When the Lion Roars" is a 1992 documentary hosted by Patrick Stewart. Shown in three parts on Turner Classic Movies, it tells the story of the monolithic studio from its beginnings, taking us through the influence of the great Irving Thalberg, after his death, during World War II, after the war, the growth of television, and MGM's eventual demise.
All of the studios had a particular look to their films and a strong point of view. MGM was known for its huge array of stars, its opulence, its classy musicals, and its family entertainment, especially under the aegis of Louis B. Mayer. Even its "B" movies, such as Dr. Kildare, had "A" movie quality.
The studio's main problem was its lack of foresight and lack of awareness that the audience changed over time. The belief was that television was a fad, for instance - major error. And all the studios suffered when the courts broke up studio ownership of the movie theaters.
The documentary is highly entertaining, filled with interviews, scenes, and musical numbers. Stewart voices the incorrect information that Jean Harlow died because her mother's religion didn't allow her to have treatment. Jean Harlow died of kidney disease, for which there was no cure, no transplant, no dialysis. She had plenty of medical attention, but there was nothing anyone could do once she developed the disease.
Very enjoyable and well worth seeing.
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