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Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972)

A documentary about the glorious history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and its decline leading to the sale of its back lot and props. By extension this provides a general history of Hollywood's Golden Age and the legendary studio system.


Irwin Rosten


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Complete credited cast:
Dick Cavett ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joan Crawford ... Herself - film clips (archive footage)
Judy Garland ... Herself (archive footage)
Cary Grant ... (archive footage)
Phyllis Loughton Phyllis Loughton ... Herself - film clip (archive footage)
Russell Saunders Russell Saunders ... Himself (archive footage)


MGM Studios, which was formed the result of a merger between Metro Pictures (owned by the Loews Company) and the Goldwyn Company, was the premier Hollywood movie studio from the mid 1920's to the end of the 1950's, when a court ruling dissolved the close association between movie studios and movie theaters leading to the end of the studio system that controlled what happened in Hollywood, and when television became a rival form of accessible entertainment. Led by Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg but not with obstacles, MGM was the best of the studios at perpetuating the dream that anything was possible, both in front of the cameras and in the lives of Hollywood royalty, namely the movie stars. Within a generation, movies became the largest money making form of entertainment. The public went to see movies in droves even during the depression, wanted to learn about and be close to the personal lives of the Hollywood rich and famous, and aspired to be part of that Hollywood royalty. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood: The Dream Factory - An MGM Documentary See more »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


This documentary can be found on the 2-disc special edition of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). See more »


Himself - Narrator: Within the dream factory's guarded walls were created all forms of adventure and delight. It was a place of ultimate illusion where any scene the human mind could conceive could be brought to life on film.
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Edited from Ivanhoe (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

The brilliant documentary about MGM and Hollywood
5 November 2013 | by stannortonSee all my reviews

This is the best of all the documentaries about Hollywood and specifically about MGM. It is creatively written and edited and wonderfully narrated by Dick Caveat and is so much better than the "That's Entertainment" series which it certainly inspired. It is not a promotional film for the studio but rather an interesting and seemingly honest depiction about this "beehive" of 5000 persons of so many different skills, talents, crafts from practically every industry: accountants, artists, musicians, actors, carpenters, stylists, bankers, writers, publicists, landscapers, historians, teachers (for the child stars), gourmet chefs, mechanics, electricians and on and on and on. The ending line is so tender and touching regarding the amazing theatrical enterprise that the studio was: "And while we can't be sure, the world is likely to never see anything quite like it again"

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