“The Attack of the Small Screen.” Part Six of Moguls and Movie Stars on TCM. The re-run played last night at 7:00, then I watched Part Seven at 8:00. The 7-episode series is now over. It was highly enjoyable, with a slight political slant (they mentioned that the first head of the Motion Picture Production Code was a “devout Catholic,” but no mention that most of the moguls were Jewish . . . instead just referring to the fact that they were mostly from Eastern Europe). Last night, I had to watch episodes back-to-back since I missed last week.
Unfortunately, the two-hour screen-fest killed my blogging time, so I’ve contented myself with a handful of interesting notes that I typed up while watching. Hopefully, y’all will find them interesting.
The moguls thought television was a gimmick, not a real threat. “People go out to eat,” said one mogul, “even though they have kitchens.”
In 1951, Louis B. Mayer was the highest paid executive in America. But within a few years, he would be out of a job. It put Louis in a free-fall. His grandson said it was one of the saddest things he’d ever seen. Louis died in 1957.
In order to fight off TV, movies made the screens bigger, added more color and stereo, and even brought out 3D. 3D last only a few years, and everyone, including moviegoers, were happy it was gone. Nobody thought it’d ever make a comeback.
The movies originated in New York, but the industry fled to Hollywood before 1920 in order to escape thugs that were sent by the Edison Trust. In the 1950s, though, entertainment returned to New York: through television. Broadway stars like Andy Griffith made an easy jump to the small screen. The young industry then sprung up in … Read the rest