In this "Romance of Celluloid", MGM showcases performers whose careers are just starting. Excerpts from their recently released films are included. The narrator says that moviegoers will ...
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In this "Romance of Celluloid", MGM showcases performers whose careers are just starting. Excerpts from their recently released films are included. The narrator says that moviegoers will have to decide whether these fledgling actors and actresses have that certain quality that made superstars out of MGM players 'Clark Gable', 'Spencer Tracy', and Lana Turner.Written by
David Glagovsky <email@example.com>
Despite being unabashed propaganda, a must for old movie buffs
When I saw "Personalities" as an extra on the Esther Williams DVD, I was a bit confused. With classic MGM releases, Turner Entertainment usually includes a few shorts from the same year as the feature's release. However, "Personalities" came out several years earlier. Shortly after the film began, I understood why. The film is a propaganda piece which features many MGM contract players who they anticipate will be one of the big stars in the future--and Williams is one of these. Now many of the others portrayed in this bit of unabashed self-promotion NEVER became stars, but the likes of Van Johnson, Donna Reed, Susan Peters* and Hedy Lamarr** did--and for old movie buffs like me, it's great to see these predictions and see clips from these folks' early films.
*Sadly, although Peters did become a star, she also was paralyzed in a hunting accident. Although she completed a film after this (playing a conniving wheelchair-bound woman), she committed suicide at age 31.
**The film says that Lamarr was born in the Ukraine! This was absurd, as she was from Austria. However, as the film came out in the midst of WWII and Austria was part of the new Nazi Germany, the studio lied about her heritage in order to avoid any anti-Austrian bias from the public! How much truth is in all the other success stories in this film is also debatable.
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