The title says it all: a terrific TV documentary on the History of Republic PICTURES.... not so much the creation of and decline of THE STUDIO. Clearly lovingly crafted and well edited there are dozens of clips from every genre of feature film made at the studio from 1936 to the mid 50s. The serial chapters and the musical chapters are possibly the zaniest and the witty narration speaks in appreciation to the silliness of a lot of the ideas and spectacle presented. This doco is a must for any collectors of B movie magic.... but I do have serious disappointments about this film and that is the fact that it is only a valentine to the films... the really fascinating (to me and anyone to whom REPUBLIC PICTURES appeals) is the way the studio was formed and why it collapsed in 1958. It is not an honest portrayal of the man behind the Studio: Herbert J Yates, to have omitted his startling and successful business practices, the history an value of Consolidated film laboratories, the use of trucolor, and the maddening promotion of his wife Vera Ralston... just presenting the clips is one wonderful thing, when for another 15 minutes of running time throughout the film (it is only 95 mins or so anyway) we interested viewers could have had a more honest account of this extraordinary production house that only existed for 23 years but had a massive impact on pop culture world wide. Anyone who watches this doco even by mistake will find it fascinating and if greater detail of the rise and decline was presented would only make this good documentary into a great one. THE RKO STORY presented in 6 parts was an epic revelation, and this one could have easily been at that A grade level had it chosen to present the 'behined the scenes' business data and scheming (and uproar). A part 2 as suggested would be equally fascinating.
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