First shown in 1995, this Tv documentary on the history of MGM ws well made. There were some great quotes along the way.
Louis B.Mayer was either regarded as a benevolent benefactor or a ruthless dictator!
FREDDIE BARTHOLOMEW: “I liked him very much.”
CLARK GABLE: “He was a better actor than any of us – the tears would start,he would faint!”
HELEN HAYES didnt mince words,” I would describe L.B.Mayer as a polished, evil villain!”

Freddie BARTHOLOMEW went on to praise MICKEY ROONEY,
“He was the very best actor out of the whole group of us. He could do anything; tear your heart out,make you laugh, sing and dance.”

GEORGE CUKOR said of Tracy and Hepburn,
” They complimented each other. There was a real rapport between the two of them.”

LUISE RAINER: “Irving Thalberg was an extraordinary,fine,gifted and loveable person.”



Even Mr Mayer himself was quoted: ” When I hear the word ‘prestige’, I know I am going to lose money.!”

Helen Hayes

Helen Hayes

2 responses »

  1. Surely one of the best documentaries made about Hollywood. MGM certainly was the major player there: their slogan “more stars than there are in the heavens” was certainly true! Good to see this has been released on DVD (in the US anyway!) But I did read that it was slightly edited for DVD release. Apparently Fred Astaire’s widow refused to allow clips of him to appear in it. (Maybe she wanted too much cash for the use of his name etc?)

  2. Thanks,Siriami. I didn’t know about the Astaire deletions. What a shame.
    I saw it in 1995, but I should point out the documentary was released in 1992.
    It took till 2009 for the DVD set to be issued.
    I like how the three episodes were called THE LION’S ROAR, THE LION REIGNS SUPREME and LION IN WINTER.
    I seem to be one of a very few who thought Patrick Stewart’s narration was overdone. Voice only would have been fine, not all the elaborate sets and costumes he wore which took away time from film clips and interviews.
    So very few of the people who worked at the great studio are still with us, so it is always good when interviews are filmed and preserved.
    Freddie Barholomew died not long after the documentary was made.

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