HOLLYWOOD: THE FABULOUS ERA (TV)

Summary

This documentary, hosted by Henry Fonda, surveys Hollywood's Golden Age from the advent of the sound film to the transitional era of the 1950s, when the movie industry had to redefine itself to compete with television. Featuring abundant film footage, this program touches upon the following topics, among others: the industry-revolutionizing impact of the first sound feature, "The Jazz Singer" (1927), starring Al Jolson; the static quality of early "talkies" due to stationary microphones; silent stars whose careers were destroyed by the talkies; established silent actors who successfully made the transition and stars drawn from the stage to sound film; the rise of the lavish musical, illustrated with footage from Busby Berkeley's elaborate synchronized dance numbers; the growing popularity of violent gangster films and tough-talking performers like Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, and Mae West in the 1930s; mounting criticism of sex and violence in the movies that led to the enforcement of stricter Hollywood production codes; the era of movie wholesomeness ushered in by Hollywood's self-censorship in the late 1930s, personified by stars like Shirley Temple and by Mickey Rooney in "The Hardy Family" series; the glamorous, well-documented activities of the stars of the 1930s, illustrated by vintage footage of a celebrity-studded tennis tournament, a polo match, a horse race, an evening at a nightclub, and actors arriving at movie premieres; the major stars of the 1930s, including Hedy Lamarr, James Stewart, Ronald Coleman, the Marx Brothers, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Judy Garland; leading man Clark Gable; Hollywood during WWII, featuring footage of male stars engaged in military service and the home-front activities of stars like Carole Lombard and Bob Hope in bond tours, war bond rallies, and the USO circuit; how the concerns of post-war life and a return to family living were reflected in the movies, most notably "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946); the prosperous years immediately following the war which saw the rise of such stars as Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, and John Garfield; the devastating initial impact of television on the movies, forcing the closing of theaters throughout the country as attendance declined; Hollywood's new target audience -- the teenager -- evidenced with footage of horror films and science-fiction "date" movies; efforts to win back general audiences with wide-screen epics shot on exotic locations; and the current generation of actors, such as Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, and Montgomery Clift, who are cited as the movie stars of a Hollywood in transition. Includes footage of and/or discussion about all the above individuals, as well as the following: Gloria Swanson, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Emil Jannings, Vilma Banky, John Gilbert, John Barrymore, Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Jean Harlow, Lewis Stone, Hedda Hopper, Loretta Young, Judy Garland, Paulette Goddard, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman, Kay Francis, Errol Flynn, Leslie Howard, Will Rogers, Joan Bennett, Joan Crawford, Hedy Lamarr, Franchot Tone, George Murphy, Ronald Colman, Oliver Hardy, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor, Betty Grable, George Raft, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, Gilbert Roland, Constance Bennett, Dolores Del Rio, Gary Cooper, Cesar Romero, Ann Sheridan, Irene Dunne, Frank McHugh, Charles Butterworth, Louella Parsons, Tyrone Power, Sonja Henie, Don Ameche, Marlene Dietrich, Tony Martin, Alice Faye, Orson Welles, Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald, Johnny Weissmuller, W.C. Fields, Paul Muni, Lucille Ball, Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Wallace Beery, Glenn Ford, Robert Stack, Alan Ladd, Tyrone Power, Greer Garson, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Fredric March, John Garfield, Ingrid Bergman, Rosalind Russell, Van Johnson, John Wayne, Michael Landon, Rock Hudon, Rod Steiger, and Burt Lancaster. Includes footage from the films mentioned above, as well the following films, among others: "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), "The Lights of New York," "Little Caesar" (1930), "Public Enemy" (1931), "She Done Him Wrong" (1933), "White Cargo" (1942), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), "Lost Horizon" (1937), "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936), "Dangerous" (1935), "Room Service" (1938), "Mr Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "Holiday" (1938), "The Thin Man"(1934), "It Happened One Night" (1934), "Gilda" (1946), "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946), "Sergeant York" (1941), "Johnny Belinda" (1948), "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" (1957), "El Cid" (1961), "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "Taras Bulba" (1962), "On the Waterfront" (1954), "Top Hat" (1935), "Elmer Gantry" (1960), "A Place in the Sun" (1951), and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). No commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: January 23, 1963 Wednesdasy 7:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:51:43
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:15241
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Film industry
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 1963
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Jack Haley … Producer, Director
    • Julian Ludwig … Associate Producer
    • Marshall Flaum … Writer, Production (Misc.), Production supervised by
    • Mel Stuart … Production (Misc.), Production Executive
    • Madge Reynolds … Researcher, Film research by
    • Elmer Bernstein … Composer, Conductor
    • Jack Tillar … Music (Misc. Credits), Music Supervisor
    • Henry Fonda … Host, Narrator
    • Don Ameche
    • Jean Arthur
    • Fred Astaire
    • Lauren Bacall
    • Vilma Banky
    • John Barrymore
    • Wallace Beery
    • Constance Bennett
    • Joan Bennett
    • Humphrey Bogart
    • Marlon Brando
    • Joseph I. Breen
    • Charles Butterworth
    • James Cagney
    • Montgomery Clift
    • Claudette Colbert
    • Ronald Coleman
    • Gary Cooper
    • Joan Crawford
    • Bing Crosby
    • Tony Curtis
    • Bette Davis
    • Del Rio, Dolores
    • Marlene Dietrich
    • Irene Dunne
    • Nelson Eddy
    • Douglas Fairbanks
    • Alice Faye
    • W.C. Fields
    • Errol Flynn
    • Glenn Ford
    • Kay Francis
    • Greta Garbo
    • John Garfield
    • Judy Garland
    • Greer Garson
    • John Gilbert
    • Paulette Goddard
    • Betty Grable
    • Cary Grant
    • Oliver Hardy
    • Jean Harlow
    • Rita Hayworth
    • Sonja Henie
    • Katharine Hepburn
    • Bob Hope
    • Hedda Hopper
    • Leslie Howard
    • Rock Hudson
    • Emil Jannings
    • Van Johnson
    • Al Jolson
    • Ruby Keeler
    • Alan Ladd
    • Hedy Lamarr
    • Burt Lancaster
    • Michael Landon
    • Jack Lemmon
    • Carole Lombard
    • Myrna Loy
    • Jeanette MacDonald
    • Fredric March
    • Tony Martin
    • Chico Marx
    • Marx. Groucho
    • Harpo Marx
    • Frank McHugh
    • Marilyn Monroe
    • Paul Muni
    • George Murphy
    • Louella Parsons
    • Dick Powell
    • William Powell
    • Tyrone Power
    • George Raft
    • Ronald Reagan
    • Edward G. Robinson
    • Will Rogers
    • Ginger Rogers
    • Gilbert Roland
    • Cesar Romero
    • Mickey Rooney
    • Ann Sheridan
    • Robert Stack
    • Barbara Stanwyck
    • Rod Seiger
    • James Stewart
    • Lewis Stone
    • Gloria Swanson
    • Elizabeth Taylor
    • Taylor Robert
    • Shirley Temple
    • Franchot Tone
    • Spencer Tracy
    • Lana Turner
    • John Wayne
    • Orson Welles
    • Johnny Weissmuller
    • Mae West
    • Jane Wyman
    • Loretta Young