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The Birth of Hollywood: 1907-1920 

California was quickly recognized as the ideal setting for the American film industry, with its relative freedom from patent problems, constant sunshine and varied geography. As early as ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himself - Actor, Director
Jeanine Basinger ...
Herself - Interviewee
Herself - Interviewee
A. Scott Berg ...
Himself - Interviewee
Robert S. Birchard ...
Himself - Interviewee
Donald Bogle ...
Himself - Film Historian
Viola Dana
Scott Eyman ...
Himself - Film Historian
Himself - Interviewee
Mollie Gregory ...
Herself - Novelist / Film Historian
Molly Haskell ...
Herself - Critic / Film Historian
Richard Kozarski ...
Himself - Film Historian
Herself - Niece of Carl Laemmle
Betty Lasky ...
Herself - Daughter of Jesse Lasky


California was quickly recognized as the ideal setting for the American film industry, with its relative freedom from patent problems, constant sunshine and varied geography. As early as 1909, movie makers were hard at work in Hollywood, including William Selig, who had founded one of the country's first movie studios in Chicago. In California, he would develop such performing talent as Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Tom Mix. In 1913 Jesse Lasky, Samuel Goldwyn and Cecil B. DeMille formed a filmmaking company and established themselves among the first generation of Hollywood moguls, producing one of the first feature-length films in the U.S., The Squaw Man (1914). Mack Sennett had his Keystone Kops careening all over the cityscape of Los Angeles and discovered one of the cinema world's towering talents, Charlie Chaplin, who become the best-loved clown of the American silent screen. Other players who quickly became world famous included comedienne Mabel Normand, cowboy star William S. ... Written by Turner Classic Movies

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8 November 2010 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Decent But Not Enough Information is Given
11 November 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Moguls & Movie Stars: The Birth of Hollywood (2010)

*** (out of 4)

The second entry in TCM's "A History of Hollywood" series takes a look at the big studio system as features came into play with the likes of Cecil B. DeMille and THE SQUAW MAN and movie stars like Charles Chaplin and Mary Pickford began to make large sums of money. As with the previous episode, I think there's just way too much footage thrown into such a short running time that it's nearly impossible to get a real view of this era. The film covers nearly thirteen-years worth of productions and trying to push this into 55-minutes was certainly a big challenge. I'm sure those unfamiliar with these early days are going to enjoy the stories and film clips but I think some people are going to know more than what's on display here and they'll probably know even more that isn't discussed here. We get brief talk about animation, Mabel Normand and Roscoe Arbuckle, Mack Sennett and of course THE BIRTH OF A NATION, which ended up changing everything. We briefly hear about Hollywood's need to have political groups in their back pocket and we learn how some filmmakers were willing to push the boundaries with nudity and more exploitation type matters. Again, for those unfamiliar with this portion of Hollywood then I'm sure they're going to learn quite a bit and I'm sure they'll get plenty of great clips that they'll want to check out. I just think as a whole the series doesn't have enough scope and especially when you have so many documentaries out there including Hollywood plus countless other works that take a fuller look at several of the people discussed here.

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