Released as part of the studio's 25th anniversary (Silver) celebration, the film shows highlights of MGM's major productions from 1924 through 1948. Subtitle depicted: "Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership".
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Leo - the lion - proud trade mark of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. This year, 1949, marks his silver anniversary. Twenty-five years in which his familiar roar has preceded those four famous words, which signify the very best in motion picture entertainment: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Presents!
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MGM celebrates the past - and predicts (and promotes) the future
This would've been a good bonus feature on the That's Entertainment DVD box set! It contains footage (seen in TE) from the famous 25th anniversary dinner, where MGM's stars sat on display at looong tables, eating, chatting (wish we could hear what they're saying), looking bored/uncomfortable, or hamming it up for the cameras. I've seen this footage many times, but I never tire of trying to identify the celebs, quickly, while the camera pans over them. Hey, it's a fun game - play it with a friend!
But the bulk of this clip show is, naturally, the clips. There's a special intro by Lionel Barrymore about the anniversary, followed by a montage of Some Of The Best films MGM made in their first 25 years. One movie from each year is highlighted. I notice a few of these scenes were virtually lifted and used in That's Entertainment later - nice that some of the editing was already done for them!
Then they show sneak peeks of movies that were currently in production. The dramatic scenes (in some cases *melodramatic* - boy, was Deborah Kerr overacting in her scene from "Edward, My Son" - it's hysterical!), and the presentation reminded me of soap operas on TV that show previews of upcoming episodes to get you to tune in next week. It's fascinating to see which films MGM thought would be the Important Prestige Pictures of 1949! Several of these are obscure now and didn't really become classics. Still, the clips whet your appetite and make you want to watch the whole movie - which, of course, was the point. It's too bad many of them are unavailable on home video.
Little did they know as they were celebrating, that in just a few years Dore Schary would take control of MGM, the Hayes Code would be demolished, vulgarity/violence/shock-value would rule the day ...and the Golden Age of Hollywood would be over. Ah well, we'll always have the first 25 years!
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