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MGM : Hollywood's Greatest Backlot
by Steven Bingen and Stephen X. Sylvester and Michael Troyan and Debbie Reynolds


Overview - "M-G-M: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot" is the illustrated history of the soundstages and outdoor sets where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced many of the world's most famous films. During its Golden Age, the studio employed the likes of Garbo, Astaire, and Gable, and produced innumerable iconic pieces of cinema such as "The Wizard of Oz, Singin' in the Rain," and "Ben-Hur."
It is estimated that a fifth of all films made in the United States prior to the 1970s were shot at MGM studios, meaning that the gigantic property was responsible for hundreds of iconic sets and stages, often utilizing and transforming minimal spaces and previously used props, to create some of the most recognizable and identifiable landscapes of modern movie culture.
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More About MGM by Steven Bingen; Stephen X. Sylvester; Michael Troyan; Debbie Reynolds
 
 
 
Overview
"M-G-M: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot" is the illustrated history of the soundstages and outdoor sets where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced many of the world's most famous films. During its Golden Age, the studio employed the likes of Garbo, Astaire, and Gable, and produced innumerable iconic pieces of cinema such as "The Wizard of Oz, Singin' in the Rain," and "Ben-Hur."
It is estimated that a fifth of all films made in the United States prior to the 1970s were shot at MGM studios, meaning that the gigantic property was responsible for hundreds of iconic sets and stages, often utilizing and transforming minimal spaces and previously used props, to create some of the most recognizable and identifiable landscapes of modern movie culture.
All of this happened behind closed doors, the backlot shut off from the public in a veil of secrecy and movie magic. "M-G-M: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot" highlights this fascinating film treasure by recounting the history, popularity, and success of the MGM company through a tour of its physical property.
Featuring the candid, exclusive voices and photographs from the people who worked there, and including hundreds of rare and unpublished photographs (including many from the archives of Warner Bros.), readers are launched aboard a fun and entertaining virtual tour of Hollywood's most famous and mysterious motion picture studio.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781595800558
  • ISBN-10: 1595800557
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press
  • Publish Date: February 2011
  • Page Count: 312
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 11.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.33 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Performing Arts > Film - History & Criticism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-02-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

"The world probably will not see anything quite like it again," concedes talk show host Dick Cavett about the Culver City home to some of the 20th century’s most renowned and respected actors, actresses, screenwriters, and artists. A production company in its truest sense, the eventual 1924 merger of Metro, Goldwyn, and Mayer pioneered an assembly-line approach to filmmaking and initial profits paved the way for the introduction of sound stages and innovations in set design, special effects, and many other aspects of film production. Chapters are sub-divided into "Lots"—as was the MGM site itself—and readers are transported into a bygone era through candid b&w photographs, lucid commentaries, testimonials, and anecdotes that bestow a behind-the-scenes experience. But the tale had a darker side as well: cracks were showing in the pristine veneer and the editors aptly include the studio’s undignified demise amidst squandered assets and disillusioned takeover attempts. Film-buffs, historians, sociologists, and economists will swoon at the intricacy and insider information here; detailed balance sheets of frequently over-blown production budgets are even included. Readers will be educated, inspired, and enthralled by this handsome book. Photos. (Feb.)

 
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