About Moguls & Movie Stars
TCM will tell the comprehensive story of the men and women who built the American film industry in this groundbreaking, seven-part documentary series. MOGULS & MOVIE STARS features rarely seen photographs and film footage; clips from memorable American movies; and interviews with distinguished historians and major Hollywood figures, including Sidney Lumet, Richard Zanuck, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Peter Bogdanovich, Gore Vidal, Robert Osborne and Molly Haskell.
Spanning from the invention of the first moving pictures to the revolutionary, cutting-edge films of the 1960s, this ambitious production is an epic history of Hollywood, detailing the personalities,
inter-personal relationships, collaborations and conflicts that created an industry and an art form. The series also serves as a history of America, looking at how moviemakers responded to such
major events as the Great Depression, World War II and the Civil Rights movement. MOGULS & MOVIE STARS is executive-produced by Bill Haber (TNT's Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King; Broadway's The History Boys and Monty Python's Spamalot) and written and produced by Jon Wilkman.
As America was transformed by the arrival of millions of immigrants in the 1890s, the first generation of American filmmakers joined with other innovators and entrepreneurs to create a bright new entertainment form that would transform the world. Thomas Edison perfected a device called the Kinetoscope that made pictures move, for one viewer at a time. In France, the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière brought scenes of everyday life to the screen for a large audience, while the magician Georges Méliès created startling visual effects on film and Alice Guy Blaché became the first female film director. In the U.S., moviemaking in these early days was concentrated in New York, New Jersey and Chicago. Working for Edison, Edwin S. Porter created one of the first films to tell a complete story, The Great Train Robbery (1903). In 1905 Adolph Zukor (later to found Paramount Pictures) and Marcus Loew (who would create a major theater chain) established theatres to show movies, called Nickelodeons. Edison meanwhile joined forces with investors and equipment manufacturers, including Eastman Kodak, to establish the Motion Picture Patents Company and demand royalties from other filmmakers. Many defied this demand, including German immigrant Carl Laemmle, who formed his own production company, IMP, in 1909 and went on to establish Universal Pictures Company, Inc. in a rural hamlet of Southern California called ... Hollywood!