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MGM When the Lion Roars


MGM When the Lion Roars
Release Date: January 20, 2009

JudyGarland

 

Originally aired on the Turner Entertainment Company's "TNT" network on March 22, 1992, this three part documentary (contained here on two discs) is a fantastic documentary about the golden age of the MGM Studios, beginning with the studio's inception in 1924 and their first big epic hit Ben-Hur, and ending in 1959 with their last big epic hit, the remake of Ben-Hur.

Patrick Stewart (of "Star Trek" fame) lends his wonderful voice and presence as the host and narrator of all three segments. Rare archival footage and film clips abound, peppered throughout with vintage and new (at the time) interview with stars and staff of the golden years, many of whom have since passed on. It's a real treat - and probably is the best of all the documentaries done about any one particular Hollywood studio.

Judy is one of the few stars featured in more than one segment, including the first time the reminisces of some of the contract dancers who worked with her on Meet Me In St. Louis are presented. June Allyson's remembrances are especially poignant.

An equally fantastic, and lavishly illustrated, companion coffee-table book of the same name authored by Peter Hay (with contributions by many other authors) was also released. Filled with tons of great (many very rare) photos, the book goes into even more detail about the history of the studio than the documentary did. Worth finding on eBay or used book sites. A must-read for any fan of MGM and/or the golden age of Hollywood in general."