in about 100 words or less
US 420m, B&W, Colour
Producer/Writer: John Wilkman; Narrator: Christopher Plummer
Recently released on DVD, the Turner Classic Movies seven part documentary is a fascinating and brilliantly produced historical account of the men and women who invented and shaped the American film industry. Underpinning the entire series is an exploration of the interplay between business and art and how the development of a near monopoly by movie moguls during the “Golden Age” of Hollywood was eventually deconstructed by changing socio-economic and political conditions in the US and around the world. At seven hours in length, the series is continuously entertaining and enlightening in its presentation of Hollywood’s most fascinating people and their stories as reflections of American society – demonstrating the inextricable links between history and film. Likewise, the series highlights the role which technology has played in the evolution of how we view the movies. Chock full of rare and historical footage, and narrated by Christopher Plummer, with insights from film historians, major Hollywood figures and their descendants, Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood is definitely worth a look for anyone with an interest in American history and film (Klaus Ming May 2011).