I caught part of this program when it aired on PBS locally Sunday night, and I caught the rest last night on its second airing. On nearly all counts, it is a fine program, featuring not only clips from all of Goldwyn's famous films (including the long unseen 1959 "Porgy and Bess"), but interviews from many departed screen stars such as Bette Davis, Dana Andrews, and Laurence Olivier, all shown, thankfully, not at the end of their careers and in failing health, but in interviews made as long as twenty years ago. The funniest clip is a display of Olivier's towering acting skills when he imitates Goldwyn's voice as he reacted to Olivier's appearance during the filming of the 1939 "Wuthering Heights", one of the screen's greatest classics. Family members are also interviewed, giving sometimes poignant insights into Goldwyn's relationships with people.
However, this film does feature two howling errors which could easily have been avoided by more careful research. A. Scott Berg, author of the biography on which this documentary is based, is also responsible for the script here, and is featured heavily in interviews, so it is difficult to understand how on earth he could have missed these errors, but during the "Porgy and Bess" segment, we hear the narrator baldly stating that Goldwyn had loved it ever since he had seen it onstage in 1932, and that the 1959 film won three Academy Awards. In fact, "Porgy and Bess" opened on Broadway on October 10, 1935, and the 1959 film won only one Academy Award (for Best Adaptation of Score). In addition, it actually LOST three Academy Awards-- to the year's blockbuster, "Ben-Hur".
I watched this segment twice in two days to make sure my ears were not playing tricks on me, and sure enough, the errors were there. The "American Masters" TV series usually produces completely accurate programs, but this time someone was asleep at the wheel when it came to proofreading the script or doing the research.