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Irving Thalberg: Prince of Hollywood (2005)

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1 February 2005 (USA)  »

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Very Good Documentary
31 May 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Irving Thalberg: Prince of Hollywood (2005)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Entertaining documentary about the life and career of Irving Thalberg, the legendary producer who accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Thalberg got his start at Universal but when he switched over to MGM this is when his career really took off as he was involved in some of the biggest pictures that the studio had and turned many stars into legends. The film covers the majority of his career as well as stuff in his personal life including his ill health and his marriage to Norma Shearer. Michael Blake, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. and Bob Thomas are just some of the historians who are interviewed and we also get some archival interviews with the likes of King Vidor and Helen Hayes. If you're unfamiliar with who Thalberg is then this documentary will probably answer all of your questions. It covers how he helped turn MGM into a powerhouse and how he used a style that was pretty much used like a factory to make sure the product got out each week. The documentary also goes into detail about how he would preview a film and then go back for reshoots just to make sure it was as good as it could possibly get. In between all the interviews we get countless film clips from the movies he helped make and we also get a taste of how many actors he pretty much found and turned into stars. The documentary does a very good job at giving you an idea of what Hollywood was like before and after Thalberg.


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