Lula and Tony are celebrating their twenty year anniversary... of working at MGM, ever since it opened. They then hand off the duties of telling MGM's story then and now to an off screen narrator. The 1924 story includes the making of MGM's first motion picture, The Big Parade (1925), one of the great pictures of all time, and the rise of who would become some of MGM's most renowned stars. The narrator then talks about world events in 1924 that formed part of the American consciousness of the time. The story then shifts to 1944, when MGM is considered the most important single entity in the motion picture business, with approximately 5,000 people working on the Hollywood studio property every day. Many current productions are featured, with a focus on what is named the official twentieth anniversary film, The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), which, like many other MGM productions, is taken from the pages of a world class novel. The current MGM stable of star players is then presented ...Written by
If you don't mind cameo scenes shooting by faster than bullets, this 9-minutes is loaded. It's supposed to be 20-years of studio activity from 1924-1944, but we really only get glimpses of the first and last years. We do get a slick review of lush MGM productions from 1924, (Ben Hur, The Big Parade, et al.). However, the 30's are skipped over and we go directly to 1944, and the studio's cavalcade of stars plus features from that war year. (And did I see correctly, or is that a Code-defying young couple cuddling on the same bed! And what movie, pray tell, was that?) But most impressively, we get an aerial view of MGM's massive production facilities spread out like a city. And a big one. Wow!
Basically, the 9-minutes amounts to a studio promo. Nonetheless, it's still a nostalgic sprint across a Hollywood album of familiar faces and features. So old film fans, it's a short that remains flavorful despite the dispatch.
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