A documentary about the glorious history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and its decline leading to the sale of its back lot and props. By extension this provides a general history of Hollywood's Golden Age and the legendary studio system.
MGM Studios, which was formed the result of a merger between Metro Pictures (owned by the Loews Company) and the Goldwyn Company, was the premier Hollywood movie studio from the mid 1920's to the end of the 1950's, when a court ruling dissolved the close association between movie studios and movie theaters leading to the end of the studio system that controlled what happened in Hollywood, and when television became a rival form of accessible entertainment. Led by Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg but not with obstacles, MGM was the best of the studios at perpetuating the dream that anything was possible, both in front of the cameras and in the lives of Hollywood royalty, namely the movie stars. Within a generation, movies became the largest money making form of entertainment. The public went to see movies in droves even during the depression, wanted to learn about and be close to the personal lives of the Hollywood rich and famous, and aspired to be part of that Hollywood royalty.Written by
Himself - Narrator:
Once upon a time, in the place called California, there was an enchanted kingdom. It was said the streets were paved with gold and it was inhabited by gods and goddesses, sorcerers and elves, wise men, jesters, and kings. For three decades the kingdom flourished, it was loved, for it offered human multitudes a rare and precious gift - escape from the mortal coil into wondrous flights of fantasy.
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Decent documentary that takes a look at the history of MGM. I'm really not sure why the title is what it is since you'd think that a film called "Hollywood" would discuss, well, Hollywood but not this one. The 45-minute documentary takes a look at the history of MGM including how the studio was made, it's golden years, their major stars and their current years. Dick Cavett narrates the action as we take a look at countless movie clips and hear a few things about the people involved in the studio. Louis B. Mayer gets the majority of the attention as we hear about how he got his job and eventually lost it. Film clips are countless but they include: BEN HUR, TARZAN THE APE MAN, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE WIZARD OF OZ, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, SAN FRANCISCO, BOYS TOWN, NATIONAL VELVET, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and ADAM'S RIB among others. The documentary, for its time, is pretty good in giving on the idea of how big the studio was in its heyday and how many terrific stars were under contract there. The most interesting part of this documentary are some clips from an auction where many famous MGM props, including Dorothy's shoes, are being sold. I do wonder how much of this footage is out there because it would make an interesting documentary on its own. For a more detailed look at the history of MGM one should certainly check out MGM: WHEN THE LION ROARS.
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