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Some Of The Best: Twenty-Five Years Of Motion Picture Leadership (1949)

Theatrical Poster
Starring:
Lionel Barrymore Lionel Barrymore
Leon Ames Leon Ames
Edward Arnold Edward Arnold
Ethel Barrymore Ethel Barrymore
Wallace Beery Wallace Beery

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Documentary, Film & Television History, Trailer / Footage Compilation
Released as part of the studio's 25th anniversary (Silver) celebration, the film shows highlights of MGM's major productions from 1924 through 1948. Subtitle depicted: "Twenty-Five Years of Motion Picture Leadership". --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: March 20, 2014
In 1949, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was celebrating its silver anniversary, and as part of that celebration they released this title. Narrated by Academy Award winning Lionel Barrymore, he explains how the company has grown to an industry powerhouse in a relatively short amount of time. After singing MGM's praises for a few minutes, he begins an historical look-in-view, playing an excerpt from one movie from each year. Afterwards, he claims that their future is just as bright, and shows trailers for a dozen or so movies that were right around the corner. The film ends after checking in on the massive dinner party commemorating the event.

As I'm sure you've figured out for yourself, this is MGM shamelessly patting themselves on the back. Also, for a forty-five minute release, the meat of it is just previews for other movies. You know, the thing you usually skip over when you put a movie in. So why would anyone want to sit down with this? Ironically, I think this is a better viewing in 2014 than in 1949. You see, back then, these movies were relatively new and well-known; it was twenty minutes of commercials for movies you already knew about. Watching it today however, a lot of these movies have fallen off the map, and I'll admit that more than one trailer caught my eye. Before it ended, I found myself listing the movies that I wanted to look up later. The same goes with the actors and actresses. Back in the good ol' days, the performers would sign contracts with different studios, so you saw the same faces over and over again, and even in the short amount of time they appeared, a number of them made an impression.

Now, at first, I found it a bit hard to go about rating this. Again, it's just a forty-five minute commercial. Well, that's exactly how I decided to handle it, and a commercial's main job is to drum up interest for whatever it's selling. Looking over that list of movies I wanted to hunt down, I'd say mission accomplished . No, this is not something you're gonna watch for the entertainment value it brings, but it's a nice historical look back for film buffs. 6.5/10.
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