This series shown during the holiday season on TCM has recently been re- broadcast. Narrated in part by the prolific Christopher Plummer, it gives one the sense of the origins, of film, the earlier Swanson and silent film era, and the later studio system, and then TV culture.
You will see many different episodes here, and the facts are well-delineated. The early silent films, with the candle light effects of the film "Queen Kelly" starring Gloria Swanson and produced by financier Joseph P.Kennedy (JFK's father.) This type of series is so very valuable when we see other networks offering serial tripe (Greg Kinnear as JFK on "Reelz" channel).
The era of the movie moguls, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, and his grandson, talking about the business.
We also see the era of the 1950's, Monroe, John Wayne, Jane Russell and the power of Howard Hughes at that time.
There are also some wonderful interviews with Carl Laemmle's niece who recalls the experience of working on "The Phantom of The Opera" ( an amazing original DVD collection now available). There remains an historical Laemmle theater on the Santa Monica promenade today.Visit it if you are in town.
Overall this is a wonderful series which delineates old Hollywood, the star system and many of the past actors who now only leave their indelible, yet fleeting presence. James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner.
How amazing those films were, and we know we shall not see a repetition of this history ever again, sadly, in American cinema. 10/10.
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