Host Henry Fonda follows the creation of the star system with Mary Pickford in the Silent Era through its demise in the early Sixties. Some of the silent stars created archetypes like William S. Hart's strong, silent Westerner, Douglas Fairbanks' swashbuckling adventurer, and Rudolph Valentino's Latin lover. Their mantles were picked in the 30s by Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn and Charles Boyer respectively. Some iconic stars from Hollywood's Golden Era like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Bette Davis, and Clark Gable are given special scrutiny. Fonda concedes that although the studio system that produced these stars has disappeared, the public's need to identify with performers will create the new stars of the future, and speculates which of the current breed of actors and actresses (Shirley Maclaine, Warren Beatty, Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Natale Wood, etc.) will be the stars of tomorrow.
Did You Know?
[about a close-up of Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe
Gable... Monroe... these are only two of the magical names that conjure up almost a lifetime of wondrous illusion. They are among a handful of unique personalities who belong on the roster of great stars, those in whose images audiences over the years have found some illusive fulfillment. The climate that produced them has changed, but the affection born out of need for them remains. This is essentially a love story, a story that begins when ...
Features The Silent Man
Coming 'round the Mountain
Traditional African-American folk song
[Played during John Wayne B movie clip] See more