Hollywood (1980– )
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The glorious, tragic, and truncated careers of American silent stars like John Gilbert, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, and Greta Garbo are highlighted.




Episode credited cast:
James Mason ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cedric Belfrage Cedric Belfrage ... Himself
Eleanor Boardman ... Herself
Louise Brooks ... Herself
Clarence Brown ... Himself - 1969 interview (archive footage)
Gary Cooper ... (archive footage)
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Himself
Leatrice Joy Gilbert ... Herself (as Leatrice Gilbert Fountain)
Elinor Glyn ... (archive footage)
Leatrice Joy ... Herself
Samuel Marx Samuel Marx ... Himself (as Sam Marx)
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers ... Himself
Adela Rogers St. Johns ... Herself
King Vidor ... Himself


The glorious, tragic, and truncated careers of American silent stars like John Gilbert, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, and Greta Garbo are highlighted.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 March 1980 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


[last lines]
Leatrice Joy: And he was always an enigma. I never solved him; I wished I had! Many people I guess had been likened to mercury but Jack Gilbert was mercury - you touch him and he'd vanish.
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Features The Merry Widow (1925) See more »


Merry Widow Waltz
Composed by Franz Lehár (1905)
Instrumental version heard during "The Merry Widow" clip
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User Reviews

Hollywood Episode 12
28 August 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Hollywood: Star Treatment (1980)

**** (out of 4)

Another marvelous entry in the documentary series takes a look at how stars were treated when they were on top of the world and then when they were washed up and not needed. This episode first takes a look at Clara Bow, the "It" girl who used her sexuality on screen to become one of the biggest stars in the world only to have her career wrecked when reports of real sex in her real life hit the media. The second star looked out is John Gilbert who also found himself as one of the biggest stars in the world and his power rose even more after his films with Greta Garbo (their relationship lasted off screen as well). Gilbert would eventually have his career railroaded but as to who was to blame could lead to much debate. Some say it started after he punched Louis B. Mayer at a party but others say it was his voice, which had people laughing when talkies came into play. This episode is certainly amongst the best in the series as it did a great job at looking at two now legendary stars and hearing their rise and fall. The Bow case has always been an interesting one as it pretty much deals with hypocrites as people would pay to see her sexuality on the screen but once these same people heard she wasn't a virgin in real life they decided to rip her apart and pretty much throw her away. Even her attempted comeback was a flop and that pretty much washed her up at the age of 26. Gilbert wasn't as lucky as he's be dead at a young age due to alcohol but he's another interesting case of MGM as their "machine", which had the ability to destroy anyone, including their biggest star. Louise Brooks, Bow's supposed rival, speaks very highly of her here and Gilbert also gets a lot of support including from his ex-wife who is interviewed.

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