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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Some of the Best and M-G-M's 25th Anniversary were fascinating finds for this film buff
For this review, I'm commenting on two things: The actual short mentioned by title above and recently unearthed footage of the actual M-G-M 25th anniversary dinner that appeared as an extra on the That's Entertainment! HD DVD. Okay, on Some of the Best, Lionel Barrymore does "informal commentary" (that's what it says of him in the credits) about the great achievements of his home studio of the first 25 years as he mentions the various characters and places M-G-M had us get to know and go to. He then intros the best, or most popular, pictures from each year of which I've seen seven (San Francisco, The Good Earth, Boys Town, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, National Velvet, and Easter Parade). Then he plugs many of upcoming films with clips of which I've seen maybe five (Border Incident, Neptune's Daughter, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, In the Good Old Summertime, and Intruder in the Dust). After that, we're treated to a familiar sight: The famous dinner where we pan across various contract stars that would later be included in the That's Entertainment! compilation followed by short clips of players who couldn't make it. This was an interesting promotional short that celebrated both the studio's glorious past and its promising future. An interesting find I watched on YouTube. Now, to the other thing I'm reviewing: The extra I mentioned has not only the panning of the stars sequence but also George Murphy introducing each star as they walk by. I especially liked when Frank Sinatra arrived, he said, "Hi, Frankie." What really fascinated me though was the appearance of the dinner's host: Studio head Louis B. Mayer. He does a speech where he intro's people like Eddie Mannix, an executive who supposedly did some cover-up of some scandals associated with some of the personnel that may, or not, have been started by him. Also, did he also mention a Joe Schenck at the table? Joe may have been the brother of Mr. Mayer's superior, Nick, but he also was a production head at rival 20th Century-Fox. Finally, he mentioned about feeling optimistic about the 26th season and hoped to get proper credit. Little did he, or his seated employees, know that he'd be ousted in a power play between him and head of production Dore Schary a couple of years later...By the way, I'm giving this an 8.
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