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Edna May Oliver
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This documentary provides a behind the scenes look at the making of movies in 1925 at the M-G-M Studios in Culver City, California. The studio itself is a small city, encompassing forty-five buildings, including fourteen sound stages (number fourteen which is currently under construction), connected by three miles of paved roads over the forty-three acre property. The stories, the soul of any movie, are vetted through a story department headed by Mrs. M.F. Lee. The approved stories are passed to the scenario writers, supported by the research department, who ensure factual accuracy. Taking the script, the director makes up the storyboards, and casts the lead roles. The director has a plethora of big name stars available at his disposal. The casting office, headed by Robert McIntyre, fills the supporting roles. His office is filled with aspiring actors, hoping to be the next big star. Being M-G-M with many of the movies being "musicals", a large subgroup of the performers are dancers, ... Written by
Although this film has no titles for cast and crew at the beginning of the film, the intertitles identify many of the MGM employees shown, including Joan Crawford under her real name of Lucille LeSueur, "a recent MGM discovery". See more »
This silent documentary short is a studio tour of the newly created MGM studios at the time. We get to see all the stars that were under contract at the time as well as a lot of behind the scenes people and the studio executives, topped off by Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was just getting started at this time. It was an amalgamation of Metro studios and the former Goldwyn Picture Company. Sam Goldwyn was originally Sam Goldfish and he originally was with Famous-Players-Lasky which eventually became Paramount. Goldfish and Edgar Selwyn left Famous-Players-Lasky and formed Goldwyn Pictures taking the first syllable from Goldfish and the last from Selwyn as their company name. Goldfish liked the new name so much he took it for his own.
Well, it could have wound up Selfish Pictures.
Anyway Goldwyn soon left that to branch out on his own as an independent producer. Sam Goldwyn never had anything to do with what became MGM though his name is forever on their product.
It was originally Metro-Goldwyn. Louis B. Mayer as president had enough ego and clout to then get his name tagged on at the end. And it became Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
I believe this short was a kind of cinematic brochure for the new studio that was being launched. I got a very big kick out of a shot with the caption of MGM showing off its new discovery, Lucille LeSeuer who as we all know shortly became Joan Crawford.
The short is a real treat though, hopefully TCM will broadcast it at some point.
And just think about a studio named Metro-Selfish-Mayer.
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