7.5/10
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15 user 2 critic

MGM: When the Lion Roars 

The history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
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1   Unknown  
2003   2001   1992  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Patrick Stewart ...  Himself - Host 4 episodes, 1992
Samuel Marx Samuel Marx ...  Himself 3 episodes, 1992
June Allyson ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1992
Lew Ayres ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Freddie Bartholomew ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Jackie Cooper ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
George Gibson George Gibson ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Helen Hayes ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1992
Van Johnson ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Roddy McDowall ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Ricardo Montalban ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Maureen O'Sullivan ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1992
Dorothy Raye ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1992
Mickey Rooney ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
Dorothy Tuttle Dorothy Tuttle ...  Herself 2 episodes, 1992
William Tuttle ...  Himself 2 episodes, 1992
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Storyline

This series surveys the history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios from its creation and rise in the 1920's, its pinnacle in the 30's and 40's to it's decline in the 1950's. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amikor az oroszlán elbődül See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The working title for this series was originally "MGM: When the Lion Roared." The company operating as MGM as of 1992--which continues to exist--is not the legal successor to the "classic" MGM, which ceased to exist after Ted Turner bought and subsequently dismantled the studio in 1986, despite sharing similar assets such as the Leo the Lion logo. However, the new MGM thought the title was detrimental to its company and demanded the slight title change. See more »

Crazy Credits

Following the last ending credit of "Part Three" is displayed the following dedication text: Dedicated to the memory of Samuel Marx and Freddie Bartholomew See more »

Connections

Features The Great Ziegfeld (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very effective tribute to MGM's glory years and gradual "decline"
18 March 2009 | by jlewis77-1See all my reviews

When I first saw this on TNT back in 1992, I was disappointed. I thought there would be more background on Marcus Loew, Metro, Goldwyn and Louis Mayer's pre-1924 history. I was also (unjustly) critical of Patrick Stewart's hosting, the exclusion of certain favorite films, and the very limited coverage of Cedric Gibbons (not to mention many other MGM luminaries) and the short subject departments.

However, time has been kind to this series. Watching it on DVD has been quite refreshing (even with the Astaire edits harped on by fans). Since '92, I've seen parts of the RKO series (and dying to see more!), enjoyed the 20th Century Fox's "First 50 Years" and its "Blockbuster" sequel (although these utilize too many film clips and not enough back-lot story) and was, once again, a bit disappointed with YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS (Warner Bros.). WHEN THE LION ROARS is as good of a film studio overview as you can get in three two-hour installments.

For one thing, we get a lot more coverage of the Culver City lot than we ever get of the Burbank lot in YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS, despite (and perhaps because of) the fact that so much has been bulldozed to the ground. I visited Warner's twice on their tours and was surprised at how much of it is still intact. I can only imagine how great MGM (the surviving parts owned by Sony) would be today, had anyone listened to Debbie Reynold's suggestion of it being a "ready-made Disneyland".

Although the glory lies in the classic film clips, much of its heart come from the interviews. Margaret Booth's comment that "we never made bad pictures" emphasizes how the art of film editing kept MGM the top dog of the business. Samuel Marx's observation of Louis Mayer crying during LASSIE COME HOME (produced by future adversary Dore Shary) speaks volumes... even if Mayer was the best "actor" of the studio. Earlier footage of Lillian Gish, King Vidor and Eleanor Boardman are cleverly utilized from the BBC's 12-year old Hollywood series in Part 1's coverage of the silent years.

I once thought Patrick Stewart's narration and dramatic introductions a little too... shall we say?... "hammy". Today, they serve as a pleasing initiation into the "make believe" factory. His walk in front of a screen showing 1925's BEN HUR chariot race is as equally effective as any of the interviews; it demonstrates how thin the line between industry "product" and fantasy was during Hollywood's Golden Age.


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