New on DVD: MGM: When the Lion Roars

Anyone interested in film history will truly enjoy this trip down one of moviemaking’s most influential memory lanes.

In 1924, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer built the biggest movie studio from the ground up. It began as a home to silent pictures, and then moved into talkies and colour epics. The studio brought the Italian-based Ben-Hur to the screen, as well as magnificent stars such as Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Buster Keaton, and “Man of 1,000 Faces” Lon Chaney. Joan Crawford and Clark Gable were some of the many studio’s stars and the company hit it big with classics The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. Patrick Stewart narrates the three-part series, which explores structural changes, scandals and successes.

This series brings history to life through an endless stream of clips from some of the most memorable movies ever made. These are supported by behind-the-scenes footage, rare interviews and lots of insider information. The fascination created by the narrative never wanes as the film business always has something interesting to offer.

Not surprisingly, the documentary won the Emmy for “best informational series.”

While the two-disc DVD has no additional features, the bonus is in all the unknowns one discovers through watching.

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