Sign in to follow this  
Jayo

"Moguls and Movie Stars"

312 posts in this topic

As I said in the other thread, if only they could refrain from trying to force Flash on us in the web-site.

 

When I tried to view the link for the synopsis of the first episode, I got the text superimposed over a vintage promo of *The Great Train Robbery*. The white-on-white was impossible to read, and this being Flash, you can't select your own font/color/size.

 

I hate hate hate Flash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"I wonder if the WSJ meant that as snark or a compliment. TCM has shown quite a few Richard Schickel (sorry if I'm misspelled his name) docs that I felt were rambling & incoherent. I have higher hopes for this series--more along the lines of what Brownlow has down in the past. I'm so excited."* - helenbaby

 

I share your general reaction to the recent Richard Schickel documentaries. The "Cannes" film and the contemporary filmmakers documentaries (i.e. "Ron Howard") were rather superficial and unenlightening for an audience that already knows alot about the films' subjects. None of them reached the level of substance found in any of the Browlow docs made for TCM ("Irving Thalberg", "Cecil B. DeMille", "Harold Lloyd", for example) or the Bette Davis "Stardust" program, the two-part "Brando" program or the TCM resurrected "John Ford" film made for TCM by other producers.

 

I don't know if you saw Schickel's three-part "The Warner Brothers Story" documentary that played on PBS a few years back. It wasn't all that interesting (Even I gave up on it after the first two episodes.) I think the most engaged TCM-watchers probably thought the same and would have been disappointed if it had appeared on TCM rather than PBS.

 

I think the WSJ reviewer was only being complimentary with her comment about the capacity of the TCM viewer by acknowledging our intelligence and the high expectations that comes with a smart audience. As a group that wants their films shown from the best prints available, without commercial interruption and in the proper aspect ratio, we expect (demand?) alot from TCM. I think that is always in "the back of their minds" when TCM makes programming choices but especially when it undertook a project as mammoth and special as "Moguls And Movie Stars".

 

So, while the upcoming series may not be of interest to a more casual television viewer, the film buffs that are the most avid TCM watchers will probably eat it up.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"When I tried to view the link for the synopsis of the first episode, I got the text superimposed over a vintage promo of The Great Train Robbery. The white-on-white was impossible to read, and this being Flash, you can't select your own font/color/size."* - Fedya

 

Sorry to hear you are struggling with the microsite.

 

When I look at the "synopsis" for the first episode, the "The Great Train Robbery" graphic fades into the background and the text comes up over a dark area. Here's what I see -

5132233240_837f9006e4_z.jpg

(Apologies for the extra-wide margins)

 

And the synopsis display for the second episode -

5132257554_59802a7b75_z.jpg

(Apologies for the extra-wide margins)

 

Don't know why you are seeing the text over a white background.

 

If you are interested in reading the text, go here to access larger screencaptures that are very legible -

Episode One -

MogulsPage01

Episode Two -

MogulsPage02b

 

If it is any help or consolation, the same synopses are reprinted in the Now Playing Guide spread for the series.

 

Are you able to read the materials on the individual pages for the Moguls any easier? (That is much more interesting material than the synopsis pages.) If not, did you try to go "full screen" at the website? That may help some. (Use the "gray box" in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage.)

 

Also, changing the "Display Properties" of your monitor can make the pages "larger" on your screen.

 

Otherwise, it may be time to upgrade your browser or Flash program. I know that is a hassle and a trite, unfriendly recommendation to make but I did it recently and am quite pleased with the result. (Internet Explorer 8)

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hlywdkjk said *I don't know if you saw Schickel's three-part "The Warner Brothers Story" documentary that played on PBS a few years back. It wasn't all that interesting (Even I gave up on it after the first two episodes.) I think the most engaged TCM-watchers probably thought the same and would have been disappointed if it had appeared on TCM rather than PBS.*

 

I did watch and I think I even commented on it on these boards. Typical Schickel doc. I can't find my comments but if I remember correctly, I mentioned similar concerns about it as well as the others they've shown. Didn't he do those earlier docs re: the directors like Ford & Hawks? Those weren't too bad. But you mention the Ron Howard one. I thought it was poorly done as well as the Clint Eastwood one--in fact, I don't think I've liked anyone of the ones he did on the more modern filmmakers. It just seems like he leaves out so much. In the Howard one, it seemed like they glossed over his work as a child actor and in the Eastwood one that important films he did weren't even mentioned. Like I said rambling, incoherent and add incomplete. I realize he has a lot to fit in an hour, but for the most part, unsatisfying. I could make better and I don't know anything about anything.

 

Edited by: helenbaby on Oct 31, 2010 1:10 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Didn't he do those earlier docs re: the directors like Ford & Hawks?*

 

Hey Helenbaby!

 

Yes, Schickel did the wonderful *Men Who Made the Movies* series back in the early 1970s that included segments on Ford, Hawks, Hitchcock, Minnelli, Cukor, King Vidor, Raoul Walsh and Wild Bill Wellman. He also did one with Sam Fuller.

 

Those older documentaries are often much better than his current crop of the last few years.

 

He was also involved in the great *Life Goes to the Movies* which aired on television when we were both much younger. He was one of the writers/consultants on that show. Jack Haley, jr was the director.

 

It would be great if TCM could get the rights to air that one (and restore it). Like the early AFI Lifetime Achievement dinners for Ford, Hitchcock and Cagney, *Life Goes to the Movies* is one I still remember almost forty years later.

 

As for *Moguls and Movie Stars*, Kyle and I saw the first episode together at the TCM Film Festival.

 

I was impressed with the number of historians and all the great rarely seen film footage in the first hour (actually I think it ran about 75 minutes).

 

It has the potential to be as memorable and as good as Kevin Brownlow's seminal *Hollywood* series and I hope it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Also, changing the "Display Properties" of your monitor can make the pages "larger" on your screen.

 

I tried it again, and at least this time I got the white text on a black background. But Flash is still an abomination in that it uses the font face and size the designer wishes to force upon you. If I find text on a normally-designed webpage to be too small, I can use the + key on the numberpad to enlarge the entire page. Flash doesn't do that. Likewise, in a normal page, I can right-click on links and open them in a background tab. With something like the TCM Festival ad on TCM's homepage, it's a Flash ad, and right-clicking on it only brings up the Flash dialog. (Never mind that I don't want moving ads on web-pages. I hate animated .gif ads too.) Flash is also a severe memory hog.

 

> Otherwise, it may be time to upgrade your browser or Flash program. I know that is a hassle and a trite, unfriendly recommendation to make but I did it recently and am quite pleased with the result. (Internet Explorer 8)

 

Or people could learn to display their content in a way that makes it easier for the end user. I'm sorry, but I still find Flash to be an abomination.

 

And when I'm old, and gray, and toothless, and bootless, I'll gum it, 'til I go to heaven, and Flash goes to Hell! ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lynn,

 

I don't think that this is going to be as good as Thames HOLLYWOOD. I'll be very surprised if it is. Who composed the main-title theme by the way?

 

hlywdkjk,

 

The Harold Lloyd documentary (The Third Genius), that was not made for TCM, but rather for Thames Television in 1988, TCM hasn't run it at all since at least 2003. What's more it's not even clear who currently owns the rights. Just like with HOLLYWOOD, Kevin Brownlow's Photoplay Productions doesn't seem to at the present time. The H L Trust did have them for a little while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched Part I: "Peepshow Pioneers" of the seven-part documentary "Moguls and Movie Stars."

 

Wonderful, fascinating to see motion picture history laid out. Just one thing, my understanding is Florence Lawrence was the first movie star, not Mary Pickford. I'm looking forward to the rest of the documentary. It was great to see the grand children of the great moguls.

 

http://www.suite101.com/content/florence-lawrence-first-movie-star-a111999

 

I'm also enjoying the films of these inventors shown after the documentary. Some are over one hundred years old. Unbelievable!

 

TCM...you rock and rule!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Edison film of the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake used to play in the Nickelodeon shop at Disneyland when I was a kid.

 

For a dime or a quarter you could watch the film in an antique nickelodeon.

 

West Coast time has me watching the documentary at 8:00.

 

Kyle may correct my memory but I think the version we saw of *Peepshow Pioneers* at the TCM Festival ran 75 minutes so it will be interesting to see what was cut out (if anything was).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to suggest a rebroadcast of the old PBS series from way back Hollywood and the Stars but I see TCM has produced its own and updated on the same topic. Bravo TCM! I salute and applaud you. When will the boxed set be available for sale?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"Kyle may correct my memory but I think the version we saw of Peepshow Pioneers at the TCM Festival ran 75 minutes so it will be interesting to see what was cut out (if anything was)."* - lzcutter

 

Well, it was well over 60 minutes long 6 months ago. Probably close to 70 minutes. But I can't say for certain which things are "missing" - though I remember a lot longer section on the scientific background and history that led into "magic latern shows" section.

 

What I do think changed was the opening section that lays out the series' episodes. I think the prologue incorporated a lot of talking heads which have all been jettisoned in favor of Christopher Plummer's extended narration. But I may be remembering the "trailer" that was shown to us along with the first episode. (I want to swear that Robert Osborne appeared briefly in the first episode but that might have been the "preview" trailer for the series. I do remember Donald Bogle being in that.)

 

But we warned that day last April that what we were seeing was a "very rough cut" of the first episode. It was fun revisiting it tonight but I am really looking forward to seeing a brand new episode next week.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"When will the boxed set be available for sale?"* - Im4Movies2

 

Those of us that saw the "rough cut" in April were told it would become available after the first of the year.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*What I do think changed was the opening section that lays out the series' episodes. I think the prologue incorporated a lot of talking heads which have all been jettisoned in favor of Christopher Plummer's extended narration.*

 

Chief,

 

I think they definitely "jettisoned' some of the talking heads after we saw the "very rough cut". I'm actually glad they did (I do agree with you that it was cut because of the added introduction with C. Plummer) as it feels less academic than it originally did. Was glad to see Bob Birchard and Marc Wanamaker make the cut.

 

For the record, I enjoyed it very much and in some ways it reminded me of and was an homage to *Hollywood* the wonderful Kevin Brownlow series. To *M&MS* credit, it didn't feel like a retread of *Hollywood* and at times it was as evocative as that series.

 

I really enjoyed hearing from the relatives of the moguls and look forward to more of their stories.

 

*But I may be remembering the "trailer" that was shown to us along with the first episode. (I want to swear that Robert Osborne appeared briefly in the first episode but that might have been the "preview" trailer for the series. I do remember Donald Bogle being in that.)*

 

Donald Bogle was definitely in the original cut as was Robert O. I suspect we will be seeing plenty of both in the episodes ahead. (I remember because we talked about him introducing the "Censored Cartoons" that we both planned to see on Saturday evening.)

 

Am I imagining or did they incorporate parts of the original trailer into the introduction?

 

I did wonder if there were previews for next week's episode at the 5:00/8:00 broadcast versus the encore screening.

 

I was really looking forward to seeing some info on next week's episode.

 

Congrats to Tom Brown and everyone at TCM and Wilkman Productions for a job well done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am generally overly critical of most documentaries, especially anything that relates to something I actually know something about. (which is pretty narrow, heh) My standards are pretty high and I can sit in my cushy chair and tear apart teeny nuances in films deemed "cheating" like re-using the same shot twice.

IMGP2584.JPG

(me clicking the remote in front of the tube)

 

I was stunned when my entire family said they were interested in watching M&MS with me last night, I thought it would be boring for them. Well was I pleasantly surprised!

 

The documentary was very well written with just the right mix of old films, stills and new footage to illustrate the narration. The mix of interviews was balanced and fit perfectly. The flow never lagged and it kept our interest, never pandered nor went over heads.

 

I grew up in Rochester NY and had been brought up with an early understanding of optics, film & the equipment. I've watched classic film since I was a kid and reading about Hollywood for 20 years. Most documentaries don't really explain the early progression of the film entertainment industry well, but this one sure met my high expectations. When they were talking about Magic Lantern slides, I blurted out, "Well SHOW us what the heck they are!" and sure enough two seconds later, one was demonstrated! Perfect.

 

Afterwards, we had a nice discussion about American culture of the era, Nickelodeons, Edison and to my amazement, both MrTiki & TikiKid were fired up to see Pt 2! This installment reached a film novice, a tough sell 13 year old and a seasoned Cinefile. I think that's remarkable.

Bravo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so lucky, TikiSoo! Give that family of yours a big hug!

 

I had to record the Moguls doc because Mr. Favell just HAD to watch his sitcoms, even though they will be repeated ad infinitum over time. I watched a little bit of the later showing but will have to give it my full attention at a later date.

 

Congrats to the Tiki family!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"Moguls & Movie Stars? studies Hollywood dreams and nightmares*

 

 

 

Walt Disney had it easy. Mickey Mouse wasn?t a difficult star.

 

 

But Jack Warner battled James Cagney, Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland, among others.

 

 

TCM?s epic ?Moguls & Movie Stars? is beautifully arranged scrapbook of Hollywood history that salutes hard-driven businessmen. In covering so much time ? 1889 to 1969 ? and so many people, this documentary isn?t especially deep.

 

 

But the seven-part series, which debuts at 8 tonight, is a fun, fast-moving overview of one of America?s greatest industries. Christopher Plummer reads the narration with obvious delight. The speakers include Sidney Lumet, Peter Bogdanovich, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Richard Zanuck, Gore Vidal and TCM host Robert Osborne.

 

The moguls get the top billing, but the most memorable bits concern the movie stars.

 

Cagney briefly worked as a female impersonator and spoke Yiddish. Edward G. Robinson spoke eight languages. Shirley Temple saved Fox, and Mae West rescued Paramount. Historian David Thomson says of Cary Grant, ?You could not believe how insecure he was.? Thomson also calls attention to Clark Gable?s false teeth.

 

Film critic Molly Haskell says of Marilyn Monroe, ?She?s America pretending to want sex and not wanting it at all.?

 

 

The series series serves up many intriguing contrasts. In 1962, when Monroe died, veterans Bette Davis and Joan Crawford plowed on, remaking themselves for ?What Ever Happened to Baby Jane??

 

The many other stars here range from Rudolph Valentino and Clara Bow to John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart.

 

?Moguls & Movie Stars? also salutes directors such as John Ford, Frank Capra, Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. Alfred Hitchcock listed himself as a producer on his passport. When the passport agent asked what he produced, Hitchcock said, ?Goosebumps.?

 

Orson Welles was just 25 when he made ?Citizen Kane.? ?I started at the top and worked down,? Welles said of his Hollywood career.

 

The moguls? life stories echo ?Kane?; studio bosses exerted power flamboyantly, and they often didn?t know when to quit.

 

But the moguls? lives also echo other movies, from ?Yentl? (the immigrant experience) to ?Singin? in the Rain? (the joy of moviemaking).

 

Louis B. Mayer offered a strong image of America in the Andy Hardy movies, but he never recovered from losing his job. Jack Warner was stunningly ruthless, even when the competitor was his brother Harry.

 

There are clips of many landmark movies: ?Gone With the Wind,? ?Casablanca,? ?The Wizard of Oz,? ?Psycho,? ?Dr. Strangelove? and on and on.

 

The final hour is notable for its look at the year 1967, when the pictures included ?Bonnie and Clyde,? ?The Graduate? and ?Guess Who?s Coming to Dinner.? Mark Harris, author of the first-rate ?Pictures at a Revolution,? is a speaker in that hour.

 

And Peter Bogdanovich says the great directors from Hollywood?s golden era didn?t want to be thought of as artists, although that?s how they came to be seen.

 

Maybe that?s the key: The great ones weren?t pretentious. ?Moguls & Movie Stars? isn?t either; it?s a down-to-earth history lesson. Enjoy.

 

 

posted by halboedeker

November, 1 2010

Orlando Sentinel

 

 

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2010/11/moguls-movie-stars-studies-hollywood-dreams-and-nightmares.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3Aentertainment%2Ftv%2Ftvguy%28TVGuy%29&utm_content=GoogleFeedfetcher

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the Orlando Sentinel should hire me or some others who post here. That's a horridly written article.

 

I wanted to say stupid, but I'll just go with horrid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll go with you Helen. This is what happens when you have bloggers instead of real journalists or cinephiles. I've read better writing by some on this message board.

 

Meh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CinemaAngel

 

Sorry, I wasn't insulting you but the person who wrote the article. I've pasted part of what I found insulting to film fans, like any of this matters to those who enjoy classic films and those who made them. Granted, I've only seen the first episode but I find these little tidbits inconsequential to the history of film. Maybe these facts are focused on in future episodes, but what these things have to do with film history is baffling to me.

 

 

> {quote:title=CinemaAngel wrote:}{quote}

> Cagney briefly worked as a female impersonator and spoke Yiddish. Edward G. Robinson spoke eight languages. Shirley Temple saved Fox, and Mae West rescued Paramount. Historian David Thomson says of Cary Grant, You could not believe how insecure he was. Thomson also calls attention to Clark Gables false teeth.

>

> Film critic Molly Haskell says of Marilyn Monroe, Shes America pretending to want sex and not wanting it at all.

>

>

> The series series serves up many intriguing contrasts. In 1962, when Monroe died, veterans Bette Davis and Joan Crawford plowed on, remaking themselves for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

>

> Moguls & Movie Stars also salutes directors such as John Ford, Frank Capra, Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. Alfred Hitchcock listed himself as a producer on his passport. When the passport agent asked what he produced, Hitchcock said, Goosebumps.

>

> Orson Welles was just 25 when he made Citizen Kane. I started at the top and worked down, Welles said of his Hollywood career.

>

> The moguls life stories echo Kane; studio bosses exerted power flamboyantly, and they often didnt know when to quit.

>

> But the moguls lives also echo other movies, from Yentl (the immigrant experience) to Singin in the Rain (the joy of moviemaking).

>

> Louis B. Mayer offered a strong image of America in the Andy Hardy movies, but he never recovered from losing his job. Jack Warner was stunningly ruthless, even when the competitor was his brother Harry.

>

>

> The final hour is notable for its look at the year 1967, when the pictures included Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and Guess Whos Coming to Dinner. Mark Harris, author of the first-rate Pictures at a Revolution, is a speaker in that hour.

>

> And Peter Bogdanovich says the great directors from Hollywoods golden era didnt want to be thought of as artists, although thats how they came to be seen.

>

> Maybe thats the key: The great ones werent pretentious. Moguls & Movie Stars isnt either; its a down-to-earth history lesson. Enjoy.

>

>

> posted by halboedeker

> November, 1 2010

> Orlando Sentinel

>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really grooved to part 1! Awesome stuff, including the short films that were shown throughout the evening! I really hope that when they release the documentary box set that they include some of these films as extras, that would be really groovy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us