WITH ALL OF the documentaries about movies that we've had compete for our attention during the years., one would think that all had been said and everything had been covered. Well, that's what we thought until in 2010, TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES aired this multi-episode gem.
THOROUGH AND QUITE unpretentious, the series clearly rejects plush modern sets and high priced & well known on screen personalities; who are employed as "Host/Narrator." Instead, the series opts for solid research, the rarest of available surviving films, excellent writing and a very memorable original score on the soundtrack.
AS FAR AS the Historical aspects, MOGULS & MOVIE STARS traces the origins of the Movies, not just to Edison or Lumierre, but deep into the 19th Century. It was during this period that we find some of Motion Picturs ancestors; prominent in this Genelogy is an invention known as "The Magic Lantern". Using powerful lights and a series of slides, it was among the Modern Wonders of the World.
ONE ASPECT OF the story of Movies is covered quite well. That would be answering the question of just how did how did the phenomenon known as the Studios come into being? How did we wind up with such names as MGM, Warner Brothers, 20ty Century-Fox, Paramount, RKO, Universal, etc., become household words in just a few years? Moguls & Movie Stars does a fine job in shedding plenty of light in this area.
WHEREAS PREVIOUS Documentaries have told of how motion picture came to be and how people would plunk down their hard earned nickels to watch short filmed records of a guy chopping wood, Batleships in Havana harbor or Cowboys and Indians of the contemporary West. MOGULS goes far beyond that; even to informing that the Movie Industry once rivaled that of Steel, Oil, Railroads and Automobile.
TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES has rerun the series and most likely will again. It is also available on a set of DVD's for the home entertainment market. Either way, if you haven't seen it, do it. It is a great primer for the Movie Buff, The Serious Film Student or a Historian of the American Experience.