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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I had hoped for, but a beautiful book.., 7 Aug 2013
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This review is from: MGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot (Hardcover)
I bought this book in the hope that it would be overflowing with both information and photographs about the greatest studio of Hollywood's golden age, Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Unfortunately when it arrived it was not really what i had expected. Undeniably, There are hundreds of gorgeous photographs of the backlot sets and the interiors of the studio, which are great and are very insightful. When it comes to Information about the history of the studio and the stars who worked there it is very scant. Most pages of photo's are accompanied by a small paragraph of information and for me this was not enough for my money. It is a lovely coffee table book full of nostalgic photos, but if you are looking for a reliable source of information on the studio then this isn't the book for you. A lot of style but little substance.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2014 10:46:49 GMT
MD says:
I have to agree with you, Michael. I too expected a book with slightly different substance, as a sort of "behind the scenes" of MGM's stars & films. Rather, this book focuses mostly on the studio itself, which is honestly noted at the beginning. The authors do an impressive job separating the different departments and set lots at MGM into chapters, which leads to a fascinating - if not sometimes all too brief - read.
All in all, yes, this is definitely a beautiful coffee book and it was worth buying although the price is set too high. I would recommend trying to get a good, clean second-hand copy, for it is a great addition to any classic film buff's library.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2014 17:30:34 GMT
Michael says:
That is exactly what i expected. To be honest I haven't looked at it since I first read it and that is rare for me. I also found it a bit monotonous at times, as you flicked through pages and pages of photos that often times looked the same. I think another book called "When the lion roars" would be more what we were looking for. Its just a shame i spent money on this before i knew about the other, more comprehensive, book on the studio.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jan 2014 20:34:10 GMT
MD says:
I was lucky enough to grab a copy of "MGM: When the Lion Roars" just the other day after having it on my Wish List for ages. After getting the "Backlot" book, I figured I was definitely looking for something else. I usually don't buy books that expensive myself either but I really thought this was going to be stellar.

I do find that some things are highly repetitious in the book and I have definitely seen some of the photos before. I give them credit for showing interiors of the buildings that were designed by Cedric Gibbons because they are simply outstanding. I wish they had included more pictures of the stars in the canteen!
One thing that really stuck out for me was their use of other people's/stars' work in their text. For example, when discussing New England Street, they take excerpts from Mickey Rooney's 80's-published biography rather than interviewing him themselves. For goodness sake, Mickey (as of this moment) is thankfully still with us. Although his health has notably declined in the last few years, he still makes appearances at TCM events, etc. I found these types of instances quite lazy on the authors' parts.

Nice to see other Classic Film fans!! Thanks for an interesting discussion, Michael. :)
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