Ninety years ago on this date, April 17, 1924, three companies merged to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, better known as M-G-M, which would become the largest, wealthiest, and most prolific studio of Hollywood’s Golden Age. As founder Louis B. Mayer said, “I want to make beautiful pictures about beautiful people.”
Many of the most important and beloved American movies, including The Big Parade, Grand Hotel, The Wizard of Oz, and Singin’ in the Rain, to name just a few, were made at M-G-M. It has been estimated that about one fifth of movies ever made in the United States were partially shot at the studio. This footage comes from a behind-the-scenes tour short, made in 1925, soon after the establishment of M-G-M.
When you think somebody’s going to kiss you and then… sigh. Clara Bow and Buddy Rogers in Wings (1927).
Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin in Gentlemen of Nerve (1914).
I got to be the number-one fan of Hitchcock’s The Lodger (well, at least first in line), which was my last screening of TCMFF, complete with live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
From Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death (1946).
I got this snapshot of 88-years-young Jerry Lewis at his handprint and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater.
From Alice Guy’s “Madame a des envies” (1907).
From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927). I just saw this at the Egyptian Theater as the grand finale (for me, at least) to the TCM Classic Film Festival 2014.
Maureen O’Hara in John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941). Today at TCMFF, I had the honor of seeing her introduce the film at the El Capitan theater. Humbled by all the audience’s admiration, she told us, “Don’t be fooled into thinking I do magical things!” Well, sorry, Maureen, but I would have to respectfully disagree.
From Clive Brook’s On Approval (1944).
Warren William in Roy Del Ruth’s Employees’ Entrance (1933). I saw this last night from a 35mm Library of Congress print at TCMFF!
From Funny Face (1957).
A few incredibly cool people I got to see in person today—close enough to take these pictures! (And, no, they’re not great pictures, but my hands were trembling.)
- Tippi Hedren
- Maureen O’Hara
- Margaret O’Brien
- Mel Brooks
- Shirley Jones
- Leonard Maltin
Thanks to my red carpet credentials, I was there lined up with the press at the world premiere of a new restoration of Fred Zinneman’s Oklahoma! doing my best not to gape too obviously. I actually got to talk to Leonard Maltin and Margaret O’Brien—plus a few other TCMFF special guests—and ask them about the films that, in their opinions, most exemplify the theme of family. I’ll hopefully be posting about all about that soon.