The series finale, "Fade Out, Fade In," examines the change in the cinema-scape from 1960 to '69 as old studio heads died and maverick new filmmakers addressed controversial topics, such as drugs, antiestablishment cynicism and changing political attitudes.
"Attack of the Small Screens" examines 1950-60 and the impact of television on the movie business and how film execs fought back. Also: the effect of the Hollywood blacklist of Communist Party sympathizers and the introduction of a new breed of screen icon, including James Dean, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.
The years 1929-41 are examined, when, after the advent of sound movies, stage-trained actors were suddenly in vogue and among the early breakthrough stars were James Cagney, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn and Edward G. Robinson. During the Great Depression, musicals proved to be great escapist fare and the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers films were the tops.
The years 1920-28 are explored, and the focus is on how the movie moguls gained more power and the film world began to impact fashion, behavior and mores. There is also a look at the scandals that rocked Hollywood, including ones involving Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and director William Desmond Taylor.
A look at the years 1907-20, which marked the establishment of Hollywood as the primary site for motion-picture production and the further advent of the full-length feature. The era also saw the proliferation of certain film genres, including animation and the Western. Included are profiles of female film pioneers Frances Marion, Lois Weber and Pearl White.
A seven-part study of the Hollywood film industry begins with "Peepshow Pioneers," which covers the years 1889-1907 and looks at successful moviemaking entrepreneurs. Featured are interviews with film historians, including Leonard Maltin, and descendants of Hollywood moguls Louis B. Mayer, William Fox, Adolph Zukor and the Warner brothers.