Sunday, December 11, 2005


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

* Known For: glitz and glamour * In Charge: Louis B. Mayer, Irving Thalberg
* Directors: George Cukor, Frank Borzage,Standley Donen
* Actresses: Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow,Lana Turner,Easther Williams,Judy Garland,Ava Gardner, Leslie caron,Debbie Raynold ,Elizabeth tayler
* Actors: Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, William Powell, Walter Pidgeon, Melvyn Douglas, Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, James Stewart,Gene Kelly
* Typical Films: Camille, Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight, Mutiny on the Bounty, Thin Man series of films, The Wizard of Oz, Singing in the Rain , An American In Paris, Gigi

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer merger took place in 1924, the same year Columbia Pictures was born in Hollywood. MGM rapidly grew to six working studio lots, more than 180 acres by the end of the 1930s, under the management of Russian immigrant Louis B.... The main lot was like a city within a city, with its own police and fire departments, telegraph and post office, water tower and well, art department, laboratory, and backlot amenities like the mill, electrical, paint and lock shops, as well as the needed wardrobe, make-up, property, lighting and camera departments, etc. By the late 1920s, the glass stages gave way to sound stages (28 during MGM's tenure), with Stage #15 as the largest in the world, another with a tank for underwater scenes and stages with a proscenium arch. Mrs. Mayer, the studio chief's wife taught the commissary chef how to make chicken and matzoh ball soup to her husband's taste.

...Mayer was close to his genius head of production, Irving Thalberg, who was married to actress Norma Shearer.... Mayer had his child stars (like Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Roddy McDowell) schooled on the lot. Adoring locals waited for autographs at the East Gate of the studio boasting "more stars than there are in the heavens."

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