Performer Ken Murray first arrived in Hollywood in 1927 a relative unknown from his then hometown of Kingston, New York. Instead of sending postcards of Hollywood back to his family, he ... See full summary »
Performer Ken Murray first arrived in Hollywood in 1927 a relative unknown from his then hometown of Kingston, New York. Instead of sending postcards of Hollywood back to his family, he instead purchased a 16mm camera, filmed Hollywood stars - many he didn't even know at the time - and sent the resulting film back to his family. This movie is a compilation of much of that footage taken over thirty-five years, plus some additional professional footage provided by his now Hollywood friends. The footage takes place on the street, on movie sets, and wherever Hollywood stars play and/or relax, including their homes. Some of those stars were well established at the time, while others were just at the beginning of what is now their established careers. Murray himself narrates, telling stories of the footage itself and/or of the personalities involved. Written by
Ken Murray hosts this made-for-TV special and narrates many clips from his home movies of Hollywood, spanning the year 1927 to the early 1960s. (Note that these home movies are silent, and Ken's narration is a voice-over.) You'll see clips of some stars at home, including Robert Cummings swimming with his toddler daughter in their swimming pool, and Jayne Mansfield at home with her husband and children. Ken also shows clips from his vacation in Montana with Glenn Ford, Charles Ruggles, and Van Heflin. You will see Bob Hope in several separate clips, including one with him on the golf course. There's also clips of Bing Crosby playing baseball on an empty sandlot with his three sons. Ken includes some good footage of Sunset Boulevard, Paramount Studios, and Hollywood Boulevard. I also enjoyed seeing clips from a celebrity baseball game used to raise funds during WWII. Other classic stars featured in short clips include Jane Russell, Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Frank Capra, Hope Lange, W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, John Barrymore, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Thomas Mitchell, and others. This hour-long presentation is a cute, nostalgic, and "happy" glimpse at the old studio days of Hollywood. It's completely clean and positive, with no gossip thrown in. Turner Classic Movies shows this documentary at times, and you'll probably enjoy watching it if you love classic film stars.
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