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Documentary - Moguls & Movie Stars -part 2

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Moguls & Movie Stars
A History of Hollywood
7 episodes 3 DVD
TCM Warner Home Video 2011

The last three episodes of Movies and Moguls: A History of Hollywood focuses on the movies most familiar to a modern audience starting in 1941 with Citizen Kane and typical American war movie to 1969 and Easy Rider. This Turner Classic Movies documentary DVD set is an excellent, informative, and interesting series. This book form set features 7 episodes on 3 DVD. The weak point is the lack of special features aside from a 10-minute talking head intro to each episode. There is also no chapter selection available. For a review of the first for episodes of the Movies and Moguls DVD set click here

Episode 5, Warriors and Peacemakers 1941-1950 opens with the rise of Nazi Germany and Joseph P. Kennedy, RKO shareholder and Ambassador to Britain asking the studio heads to not be so Jewish in the movies so as not to offend.... Orson Welles and Citizen Kane come to Hollywood -those who want a complete story would do well to watch RKO 281. Hollywood gets involved in the war effort. There is a not so subtle dig at war movie hero John Wayne who contributed little to the cause outside of the movies. Also discussed are Cary Grant, writer-director Preston Sturges, Bogart, film noir, the independent and assertive woman character while behind the scenes women lost all power (somebody forgot to ask Ida Lupino) and the death of the contract player. It closes with McCarthy, mentions the short-lived Committee for the First Amendment that tried to fight back. This is the birth of the Black List and television.

Television proved to be a major hurdle for the studios as was suburbanization and the drive-in. Hollywood fought back with Cinerama, Cinemascope, 3-D, and other gimmicks. This is the basic story in The Attack of the Small Screen (1950-60). Television not only changed the game but also changed the language of cinema. Walt Disney was the first to understand vertical integration. The fifties mark the end of the Hollywood Mogul like the Warners or Mayer. This is the lesser episode of the Moguls & Movie Stars DVD set.

Episode 7, Fade Out, Fade In (1960-69) focuses on the transformation of old-time Hollywood. Television starts to attract stars of the silver screen, Hitchcock uses the televisic language to make Psycho, Darryl Zanuck comes out of retirement to save Fox from the Cleopatra disaster, ends up head of the studio again, and gets The Longest Day to save the day. Stanley Kubrick, the Mirich brothers, and the European post-war renaissance, New Wave, and auteur cinema are looked at. Bonnie and Clyde changes the game. Audience demographics change.


Special features for this Turner Classic Movies DVD documentary set are limited to ten-minute talking head previews for each episode.

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