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Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood

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Product Description

Moguls & Movie Stars: History of Hollywood Limited Edition w/ Book (DVD)

The true story behind the making of the American movie industry. This seven part series will detail the personalities, relationships, collaborations and conflicts that created an industry and an art form – while also looking at how moviemakers responded to major historical events, such as the Great Depression, WWII and the Civil Rights Movement. Includes footage of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner and Lou Wasserman among the moguls. Each one hour segment will focus on a different era of American movie history, from the invention of the first pictures to the cutting-edge films of the 1960s. Each installment will feature clips and interviews with historians and major Hollywood figures. Ø "Peepshow Pioneers" (1889-1907) Ø "The Birth of Hollywood" (1907-1920) Ø "The Dream Merchants" (1920-1928) Ø "Brother, Can You Spare a Dream?" (1929-1941) Ø "Warriors and Peacemakers" (1941-1950) Ø "Attack of the Small Screens" (1950-1960) Ø "Fade In, Fade Out" (1960-1969)

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A major undertaking for Turner Classic Movies, Moguls & Movie Stars attempts nothing less than its subtitle announces: a history of Hollywood. Across seven hour-long episodes, this documentary miniseries cruises through the major developments of the cinema, with a particular emphasis on how the studio system came to be (and came to collapse). There's even material on the days of pre-cinema--the first episode actually begins in 1889, before moving pictures could be projected on the screen. Even with all that time available to writer-producer Jon Wilkman and his consultants, this is a selective pass through the material; much is left out or glossed over, and certain iconic movie stars stand in for the many left unmentioned. The weight is on those moguls, the ambitious men--mostly hungry immigrants--who saw an opportunity in Southern California's orange groves and created the amazing, vertically integrated system that operated as a "dream factory" for a few silvery decades. The life stories of Louis B. Mayer, Sam Goldwyn, William Fox, and other front-office titans thread through the series, perhaps as a corrective to past Hollywood chronicles that foregrounded the movie star or the director as the real story of the company town. Wilkman also makes sure we know about the indie films of African-American pioneer Oscar Micheaux and the remarkable contributions of female filmmakers of the early silent era, whose stories have often been left out of these accounts. In truth, there won't be much new here for Hollywood history buffs, given the need to hit the high points and then move on to the next thing, but less hardcore enthusiasts will get a pleasant, quick-moving overview. Many talking heads pop up, historians (David Thomson brings his keen critic's gaze to Clark Gable) and insiders (Richard Zanuck, Peter Bogdanovich) alike; the narration is provided by Christopher Plummer, whose patrician tone seems oddly mismatched to this tale of immigrants and scrappers gambling on a disreputable business. Think of the brothers Warner making a fateful decision to sell their father's horse and buy a projector--movie history turns on such risks, and Moguls & Movie Stars has a stack of such stories. --Robert Horton


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Limited Edition, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 420 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004MQ6W5K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,467 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By D. Yarbrough on May 4, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Moguls & Movie Stars: A History Of Hollywood is an excellent documentary series that originally aired on Turner Classic Movies in late 2010. The series covers a wide array of material from the beginning of cinema in the 1880's through the decline of the mogul dominated Hollywood studio system in the 1960's, with everything in between. The set is divided into 7 episodes on 3 discs, running approximately 7 hours. Also included is a 40-page booklet with vintage photographs and each episode has bonus reflections by film historians and writer/producer Jon Wilkman. I will include a very brief description of each episode and the people discussed within them. Each one contains much more than I'm listing and gives you a great idea of how Hollywood went through its many transitions.

Episode 1: Peepshow Pioneers (1889-1907) - The series begins with a look at film in its infancy, taking a look at people such as Thomas Edison, Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès. Also covered is the role of the newly arriving immigrants in America and their role in shaping the history of cinema, particularly in starting some of the earliest Nickelodeons for people to view movies.

Episode 2: The Birth of Hollywood (1907-1920) - Most early American movies were filmed in and around large cities, such as New York and Chicago. These locations proved problematic for a lack of variety in shooting locations and for legal reasons. To solve their problems, many key players in the industry began to migrate west to California, establishing Hollywood as a movie maker paradise in the 1910's. Included in this episode are legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Samuel Goldwyn, Cecil B. DeMille, D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on May 9, 2011
Format: DVD
"Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood" is a three-disc DVD set that provides an excellent overview of the development of the American film industry from its peepshow beginnings. Each of its seven segments covers approximately a decade. Unfortunately, the overview ends with 1969, when most of the studios had been absorbed by conglomerates. Therefore, such topics as the rise of the independent film, development of digital technology, competition from pay TV, computers and personal devices, and the resurgence of 3D are not addressed.

However, what is included is first-rate and well edited. Film aficionados might be frustrated that many of the clips are quite short, but the scholarship and information imparted make the series a rich experience that even the most avid fans will embrace. The series details the personalities, relationships, collaborations, and conflicts that created an industry and an art form while also looking at how moviemakers responded to major historical events, such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement. Footage of moguls Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Lou Wasserman is included.

Most of the moguls of the title were European immigrants who turned to movies from other businesses when they sensed opportunity and saw the growing popularity of the flickers. They also liked that people paid to see a movie and then left without taking it with them. The movie could be shown over and over to new audiences as the nickels and dimes added up to big dollars.

The first three episodes offer some of the best material. These represent the silent period and cover the contributions of Thomas Edison, Georges Melies, and the Lumiere brothers as well as early inventions such as the kinetoscope and nickelodeon. Later material may be more familiar, but those episodes, too, contain solid, fascinating information.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By robert a mcaleer on May 1, 2011
Format: DVD
This film is' The Civil War by Ken Burns' of movies- watch it the first-time, its great- the second-time, its better-- do yourself a favor if your a film-fan- buy it !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A kids review on November 13, 2011
Format: DVD
Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood is a well-paced, entertaining, and informative journey into the history of one of the most important industries in worldwide culture. The series documents the rise and fall of the Hollywood moguls and covers a lot of ground on some of the most important stars in cinema. It shouldn't matter if viewers are film buffs, film students, or historians who have an itch for a better understanding of the film industry past. This is essential viewing for everyone wanting an immensely enjoyable and well made documentary experience. The high quality of the series itself makes this release worthy of 5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Celia Trujillo on October 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This comprehensive documentary is wonderfully narrated by Christopher Plummer. It is fascinating to trace the development of the movie industry from its very beginnings and understand how it morphed into the modern phenomenon that has become an integral part of American culture and history. History and movie buffs will be fascinated by the stories of the movie pioneers who started out with meager resources and came to exemplify the American dream. I highly recommend this engrossing series by TCM.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By watchit on August 7, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: This is about the program, NOT the seller. It's hard to follow in the footsteps of at least a dozen earlier documentaries that cover the same territory, and "Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood," despite being earnest and well-financed, turns out to be more retread than exploratory. The story of Hollywood is not linear, but there are better ways to tell it than by contriving such episodes as "Brother Can you Spare a Dream" (the Depression and talkies), "Warriors and Peacemakers" (WW2 and the Red Scare), and "Fade Out, Fade In" (the birth of modern Hollywood). Indeed, "Moguls and Movie Stars" is less about moguls (Columbia's Harry Cohn is practically a footnote, as are such second generation moguls as Dore Schary, William LeBaron, Pandro Berman, Ken Hyman, and William Goetz, than about the films that TCM owns. Scholars Tom Schatz, who wrote about the studio system, is hardly heard from, as is Leonard Maltin; Jeanine Basinger, Daniel Selznick, and Sam Goldwyn, Jr., are highly credible and used well; but TCM's Robert Osborne -- both here and in the special features interviews -- flails like the lightweight he is. Jon Wilkman, who wrote and produced the series, achieved the near-impossible by finding stills and footage rarely, if ever, seen in other documentaries. He also bravely and correctly writes about the Patents Trust, Paramount Consent Degree, Blacklist and consolidation. But there is a blandness to his style that renders the whole series colorless. It's a shame that the industry's premiere television movie network, with its monumental resources, made such an ambitious and yet forgettable series.
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